Because I fund my travels as best I can while working from the road, I carry a big collection of photography equipment — from my camera to hard disks to tripods (yes, I often carry two tripods with me). My electronic travel-blogging and photography gear is, by far, the heaviest part of my setup which often even makes me consider carrying that extra t-shirt. But then again, my travel photography gear is the most important thing for me, particularly when I am away for long. It keeps content on my blog going.
Here’s the overview of the photo editing tools and software I use and the hardware I rely on for producing to backing up my images while on the go. Here’s a quick overview of my photo-blogging equipment:
Sony Alpha 6300 with a 50mm 1.4 and a 16-50 kit lens: I have recently (about 6 months ago!) shifted from my Nikon D5200 to a mirrorless sony. And this happened because of two reasons: one because my previous camera was stolen in Bratislava forcing me to buy a new camera and two, I wanted to switch to something lighter and compact, and Sony Alpha series felt like a perfect alibi.
Before I had Sony I always wondered how a mirrorless camera can compete with a traditional DSLR but trust me with all the truth in me, a mirrorless works just as efficiently as a DSLR does, with the added perk of a compact size. Sony Alpha series moreover offers the fastest autofocus than any other camera series making it perfect for travel bloggers. It has inbuilt wifi and NFC making it easier to share photos and do a lot more than you can imagine. I cannot, at least in near future, can think of switching to any other camera brand.
Xiomi Action Camera: There are many action cameras out there, with Hero GoPro leading the crowd. The only problem is, Hero GoPro is undeniably expensive. Alternatives like SJCam and others lack behind in quality. But Xiomi YI action camera, priced at INR 9k offers the same quality as that of a GoPro (visit my youtube channel to make yourself believe). In low light conditions, it surely disappoints a little, but when it comes to daylight shooting, it outruns many and competes with a Hero GoPro. I’ve been using XiomiYI for more than two years now and totally love the sound and image quality.
Go for Xiomi YI 4K Action Camera, if you want to click videos in 4k, but if 4k isn’t a particular requirement for you then go for the one I own. Please note that there are different versions of Xiomi Yi, some costing a couple of grand cheaper (priced at 6 or 7k), that are the first few models of Xiomi Yi and lack in technology, so I cannot vouch for them. I’m only recommending the one this YI Action Camera link redirects to.
One Plus 6 Camera Phone: Not sure if it’s just ‘one plus 6’, I like calling it ‘one plus 6 camera phone’ because that’s what it is: a camera phone. Since I’ve got it, I’ve been often leaving my other cameras behind — particularly if I am not clicking pictures for a paid assignment and just click with my one plus 6. It gives you amazing bokeh effect, optical image stabilization, face clearing for better selfies and even slow-mo recording at 480 fps. There’s nothing more one can ask for, from a 30k device that gives you all that on top of using it as a mobile.
Lenovo Yoga: I have always been a Windows user, over fancy Mac, and the reason is: easy connectivity. For a digital nomad, it’s important to have easy shareability of files with other devices and Apple has given me a hard time doing so in the past. I have been using Lenovo Yoga 300 2-in-1 Laptop for the previous 2 years and cannot love it more. Its 11-inch screen size is just perfect to carry with me no matter where I go. What’s better is its 2-in-1 Laptop plus Tablet feature which allows me to use it as a laptop at home and a tablet while traveling on a bus or a plane. As far as its hardware capabilities are concerned, it’s good enough for a photographer using a few photo editing software and stories a few heavy files.
Lowepro Fastpack 150 AW: To carry the camera, the lenses and the laptop, I carry my Lowepro Fastpack Camera Bag which is ideal for digital nomads. I personally use Lowepro Fastpack 15 AW which is ideal to carry a 12-inch laptop, a DSLR camera with lens attached, an extra lens and a lot of power chords, if you’re not stuffing a few clothes inside. There are a few bigger version of the same series (like Lowepro Fastpack 250 and Lowepro Fastpack 350) for those who want to carry more than 2 lenses and a laptop bigger than screen size 12 inch.
Lowepro has been my main backpack for about 2 years, and despite sitting on the floors of countless bus terminals and buses, it is fairly easy to clean it with a moist cloth.
1 x Toshiba Ultra 1TB: Short of being dropped, I find my Toshiba Hard drive very reliable, in as much as any non-solid state hard drive can be. I’ve used several in the past, and never had any problems – they’re also cheap and readily available.
When I have them, I place a bunch of silica gel packets amongst various electronic bags, to help keep dampness and humidity at bay.
To get the most out of my images, I shoot in RAW – the difference in quality is worth the extra processing time, especially if you like to have more control over your images.
I use Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 to process RAW images. It’s quick and easy to use. Photoshop gives a little edge over the Lightroom (which is another photo processing software by Adobe) when it comes to making minor changes in the photo: be it removing electric wires from a street photo to adding text in the images. I’ve been using Photoshop since years and didn’t find it necessary to switch to Lightroom.
If you’re happy working on a tablet I can suggest an app called ‘Snapseed’ for processing your RAW to JPEG. For an iPad, I’ve heard good recommendations about ‘Photogene’.
I keep a backup of all the edited files on my hard drive. As I mentioned above, I also keep uploading my images on Google Drive, with the eventual aim of having a full copy of images stored online (in JPEGs only of course) – so I’m not reliant on carrying my computer all the time.
I moreover change the file size of every processed image to 1200px jpg, compressed for web use. These can be easily emailed or uploaded to the likes of Instagram. Being obsessed about backups, I also make a second high res version saved at 3MB in size, which I keep in my hard disk or upload them to my Google Drive when I get the chance.
I am not a big youtube but time and again, I keep polishing my vlogging and video-editing skills (if you already haven’t, here’s the link my Youtube channel, don’t forget to subscribe).
I use Wondershare Filmora for editing my youtube videos. If you’re looking at youtube seriously, Final Cut Pro is what I will recommend (as most popular YouTubers I know, use it) but if you are just starting with vlogging or not taking it too seriously, Wondershare is a good video editing software — making editing videos quick and easy.
For editing videos on my mobile (the ones I upload on my Instagram page) are always edited by GoPro Quik App. Though Wondershare Filmora also has a mobile app that I’ve seen many travelers use, my choice of a mobile app is Quik which allows you to add up to 200 images, videos, and music to create a video with just a few clicks. One thing I love about it is that it automatically analyzes the images and videos you’ve uploaded to select the best moments, so just upload all you want to share and let the app do the cropping and synchronizing the visuals with audio. It even lets you upload the final version on Instagram and other social networks without saving it on your phone at all.
Also Read: What Else I Pack While Traveling