Confession- I heart photography gear. My shopping cart on Amazon is perpetually filled with camera gear I desire (and can’t afford), and DP Review is kind of like my virtual candy store.

Normally when I travel I bring an SLR, a point and shoot, a smart phone and a whole bunch of tech gear. But no longer!

These days, as smart phones are endowed with such impressive photography skills, there’s really no point in a point and shoot. This year on my big trip to Europe I’m taking along only my SLR and iPhone.

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My new set-up!

One weak spot in my camera set up is that I don’t have an underwater camera- I’d love, love the GoPro HERO3+:Black Edition but can’t really justify the $400 price tag.

(Also my little brother said, “Why do you need a GoPro? You can’t even do any cool tricks.”) Ouch, little bro.

iPhone 5s

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Instagrams of my snowy life in Michigan… all courtesy of my new iPhone 5S!

 I upgraded to an iPhone 5S from an iPhone 4 this Christmas and am so impressed with its photographic capabilities. Now I actually enjoy using Instagram!

Photo editing apps really amp up iPhoneography- I’m particularly a fan of Snapseed.

In Europe I’ll use my iPhone on days when I don’t feel like lugging my SLR around and for nights out.

Accessories: Case and screen cover

Favorite camera apps: Snapseed, A Beautiful Mess, Afterlight

 

Canon EOS Rebel T2i with Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens

While someday I’d love to upgrade to a full-frame SLR like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III for now I’m more than happy with my Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Plus, it’s way lighter than the Mark III.

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I love my new lens’ bokeh!

And after my beloved Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 started malfunctioning in Asia (I accidentally bumped it into a tiled wall, ugh) I upgraded to its big brother, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4.

I absolutely adore this lens. It takes such crisp, quality images with the creamiest bokeh (that’s photog-speak for a blurry background)- I can’t wait to try it out in Europe. Thanks Candace Rardon for the recommendation!

The only problem is that it’s a 50mm so I can’t capture wide shots. For wider shots I use the Canon kit lens, the Canon EF-S 18-55. While I’m not a huge fan of this lens, I can’t afford an upgrade right now. Someday.

Accessories: extra battery, LCD screen protector, camera bag

 

BlackRapid Metro Camera Strap

I love this accessory so much I had to write a whole blurb about it. Anyone who uses an SLR NEEDS to get this strap.

While a normal camera strap goes around your neck, resulting in neck soreness and limited motion, the BlackRapid Metro Camera Strap goes across your body and allows you to access the camera in a fluid swinging motion, much like a rifle strap.

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Me demonstrating how the strap works. Putting these pics on the internet is proof of how much I love you guys!

I will never, ever go back to a regular camera strap.

 

Editing Programs

Photo editing goes such a long way. Last year I invested in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 when it was on sale for $100 and I LOVE it. While the learning curve is steep, once you get the hang out it it’s a cinch. And the editing capabilities are worlds away from Picasa, the photo editing program I used for years.

And I actually do still use Picasa for organizational purposes. With Picasa I can quickly access my photos in an easy to use format (Lightroom can be confusing for organization because photos seem to “disappear” easily.)

Take a look at the magic of Lightroom:

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Before

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After!

Photo Backup

I have lost so many photos in the past because I never backed up. Don’t make that mistake!

I use Time Machine on my Mac to back up my entire computer, and I bring an external hard drive when I travel. I also have another external hard drive at home just in case I lose the other one traveling.

One thing I probably should start doing is cloud backup– though some places I travel to, like Southeast Asia, don’t usually have fast enough wifi for that.

What’s your travel photography setup like? I’d love to know!

Note: None of the companies listed paid or perked me in any way for mentioning them. And the Amazon links above are affiliate links for which I will get a small commission. Thanks for supporting Ashley Abroad!

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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