The Resource Magazine team is proud to announce Resource UnBox, a continuous curation of the greatest products available in the photography and video industry. You can find out more about how it works, and why the we are so proud of it on our official announcement, but in looking over the products, I thought it might be valuable to highlight some of the awesome gear that us travel photographers need…or at least day dream about and save to our Wish List. We here at Resource Travel might even start creating our own custom kits. Have a product you think is good enough to make the Resource Unbox cut for travel photographers? Let us know in the comments!
So get ready to step up your travel photography game in 2016 with these 10 essential pieces of gear that every travel photographer needs.
Even though the Aurora season is coming to an end, it’s never too early to start planning your winter Arctic excursions for a chance to see one of the most incredible phenomenon in person. But even though just witnessing the Northern Lights will make anyone happy, us photographers want to bring home photos that help convey the vibrant scenes that we saw, and having the right equipment is critical. Which is why we have created our own custom “Shoot the Northern Lights Kit”, with the Pentax K-1 the centerpiece to make sure you walk away with the sharpest aurora images possible.
Aerial photo and video is being integrated into the standard travel photographer’s portfolio more and more as quadcopters become more sophisticated, yet remain generally inexpensive. Tourism boards crave the unique views that only UAVs can provide to help promote their destinations, which gives aerial ready photographers a “wing up” when proposing projects to travel companies.
For those of us who spend more time sprinting through airport terminals than jogging on a treadmill, light and compact tripods are a necessity. Due to video work, I have had to travel with heavier tripods on some trips, and I found myself daydreaming about trips where I would only need a travel tripod, and at a scant 2.4 lbs and 15.75″ long when folded up, the Manfrotto BeFree is as good as it gets.
When it comes to travel photography, it’s all about comfort, convenience, and productivity. Nothing on the market comes close to making our lives easier than the simple Peak Design Camera Clip. The Peak Design team is the best in the business at designing well thought out products that help keep photographers happy, and the Capture Clip is simply a piece of gear no photographer should be without, traveling or not. It’s absolutely essential.
Love it or hate it, 360° video is all the rage. The unique, viewer-controlled video makes you feel as you are truly in the scene, whether it’s almost being hit by a plane, hovering over an active volcano, or flying wing to wing with the Blue Angels, it’s hard to deny the “WOAH” factor that 360° video delivers. The VSN V.360 Action Cam is the easiest way to jump into the 360° game, as the sturdy underwater housing allows you to take the camera on every possible adventure you can dream of. And the GoPro mount compatibility let’s you get right into the action while using all those old GoPro harnesses that you have laying around.
Ok, this is pretty cool. The compact Brinno delivers the perfect set up for Behind the Scenes time-lapse films. While the quality won’t deliver anything that you can include in a high production film (the 1.3 Megapixel sensor only delivers 720p video), the ease of use and ridiculous battery life can open up doors for some unique time-lapse films. You can set your shooting interval from as little as 0.3 seconds to as much as 24 hours and this camera will continue to take photos for days or even weeks. Brinno claims a battery will last 40 days while taking a photo every five minutes in the Daylight setting mode. Add to that the camera has an interchangeable lens system with three lenses available (19mm, 18-55mm, 24-70mm) and the Brinno is a fun gadget for travel photographers to post their short videos to Instagram. Check out a sample video here.
Ok, so we just saw how we can create cool standard HD behind-the-scenes time-lapse films, but what about the videographer who needs high-quality smooth motion video and time-lapse footage? In comes the Syrp Genie, which is one of the best motion control products on the market, especially for traveling filmmakers as it only weighs 3.3 pounds but can handle a 44-pound setup. 12 hours of battery life will have you time-lapsing the Milky Way all night this summer while you catch some much needed Zzzzz’s in your tent.
Often, the number one concern among travel photographers is theft of their valuable gear. Whether on an adventure for fun or on a working job, nothing can kill your travel high more than having camera equipment or irreplaceable memory cards stolen. Luckily for us, the Lifepack Anti-Theft Solar Backpack can help ease our minds a bit. With its retractable combination padlock, you can secure your zippers shut or even lock the entire bag to a nearby object if you need the temporary freedom to move about without a pack on your back. But since you aren’t worried about your gear being stolen, the built-in speakers can blast your favorite tunes while solar charging panels keep your phone going with up to 12 charges.
For over 10 years, GoPro has been the first name mentioned when talking about action cameras. They have been the one constant in the market as other products come and go, and for good reason. GoPros just get the job done. And the smallest action cam in the world, the GoPro HERO4 Session is no different. The tiny cube records 1080p video at 60 frames per second at an underwater depth of up to 33 feet in addition to built-in time-lapse functionality and 8MP still images. Pair it with the trusty Smart Phone app and GoPro delivers yet another action cam that just always gets the job done.
While mobile editing is becoming more and more advanced with products like Lightroom Mobile, Snapseed, and VSCO, it is becoming less critical for busy travel photographers to lug a laptop with them everywhere. The final edits can wait till you get home, but when you only have five minutes of free time to edit a photo and post to your social networks so your Mom can know you are still alive, nothing beats editing on the monster that is the iPad Pro. A 12.9 inch Retina Display, lightning fast A9X processor, and up to 128 GB of internal flash storage fit into a sleek package that is a slim 6.9 mm thin and weighs only 1.57 pounds. While expensive, the iPad Pro is a valuable tool for the working travel photographer.