From the beaches to the bush and the outback, Australia is a road-tripper's paradise. Before you turn up your playlist and take the scenic route to your next destination, check out these travel photography tips from the experts at Ted's Cameras.
1. Map out a loose itinerary
Road trips are an adventure and spontaneity is part of the thrill. You can pull up at any beach, park, restaurant or shop that catches your eye, without worrying about plane and train schedules. But at the same time, it's a good idea to have a general idea of where you're heading - especially if you're travelling to popular and busy places. If you're planning on stopping for the night, aim to book accommodation in advance. That way, you won't waste time (and petrol) driving around from one hotel to the next, asking about availability and prices. If you prefer to sort out your accommodation on the day, try to call in the early afternoon before rooms start filling up.
Top Tip: Once you have a loose itinerary, send it to a trusted friend or family member so they know where you are.
2. Do a safety check
Before you hit the road, prep your car for the trip. If it's been a while since its last maintenance service, take your car to the mechanic for a tune-up. Otherwise, test the tyre pressure, brakes, lights, indicators and windshield wipers to make sure everything's in working order. Double-check that you have a spare tyre too.
While you're at it, invest in a first aid kit with the basics: BandAids, alcohol swabs, tweezers, eye drops, aspirin, insect spray and antiseptic and rash cream. If you have the budget for it, consider buying a GPS or a stand for your phone so you can drive hands-free without needing to look up directions. Last but not least, kit out your car with a phone charger, water bottles, and every road trip essential - snacks!
Top Tip: Share the driving responsibilities (if possible) and plan to stop every 2-3 hours for a short rest break.
3. Pack suitable camera gear
The best road trips are filled with memories you'll want to hold onto forever. To capture those moments, build a lightweight yet versatile camera kit. Along with a good digital camera, pack an all-in-one zoom lens and the best lens for travel photography. If you're a keen photographer, you could also bring a prime, tilt-shift or fish-eye lens to produce really creative pictures. The major benefit of road trips is that you don't need to worry about luggage restrictions! That being said, the less you pack, the less cumbersome your kit will be to carry.
Camera and lens aside, these travel-friendly accessories can make your life on the road much simpler:
● Universal charger - Pick one that can charge multiple devices and works in your car or via a power bank.
● Spare batteries - There's nothing worse than running out of juice and missing the shot! To prevent that from happening pack a few spares and charge them up whenever you can.
● Extra memory cards - Chances are you'll be snapping more photos than usual, so make sure you have enough memory cards on hand.
● Camera cleaning kit - Keep your camera gear in tip-top condition with the help of a travel-sized camera cleaning kit.
● Camera bag - Look for a bag with padded dividers to protect and comfortably fit all your gear.
● Tripod - You have a boot, so take advantage of it! A tripod will help you compose your images and boost the quality of your photos. It's also essential for time-lapse, long exposure and nighttime photography.
Top Tip: Excited to experiment with different styles of photography? If you're not quite ready to buy brand new gear, you can rent cameras, lenses and accessories with Ted's Cameras x Studio19 Rental Program.
4. Buy travel insurance
Another thing to tick off your list: Travel insurance. Many people think it's only necessary when flying to a different country, but unfortunately, accidents happen and you never know if thieves or disasters will strike. To protect yourself and your belongings, purchase travel insurance for photographers. If you're bringing electronics, make sure the policy covers all of it - including cameras, tablets and laptops. And if you have high-end camera gear, read the fine print of your camera travel insurance policy to ensure it's covered for its full value.
5. Think of a backup system
We all know the pain of losing a document that you've worked really hard on. It's the same for photos. Though it may not be a financial burden to lose your photos, it can take an emotional toll. For your peace of mind, have a backup system in place to avoid mishaps while you're on the road. Some modern cameras have dual memory card slots, and you can use the second slot as a backup. If yours doesn't, bring a laptop with a portable hard drive and take the time to back up your images.
Find the best cameras for travel photography
For more travel photography advice, pop into your local Ted's Cameras store. The team is always happy to answer any questions you might have and to help you choose the best gear for your road trip.