Photography + Foreign Travel ?'s

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by astrocreep96, May 29, 2007.

  1. astrocreep96

    astrocreep96 TPF Noob!

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    I'll apologize ahead of time if this is in the wrong forum, hopefully this will work.

    I will be travelling to Peru this July for two weeks, and it should present some awesome photo opportunities. I would like to take my Nikon D200 with a few accessories, but I'm not too sure if it will be feasible.

    Quite a few complications with bringing the camera:

    First is weight/size. I'm travelling with a volunteer group and we'll not only need to pack for the two week trip, but we also need to bring an extra duffel of donated items. I'll have my own bag to pack, but I don't really want to be paying the extra if it is over 50lbs (I could, but...) and the extra duffel means I won't have another bag to put stuff in. I would carry my camera on with me, of course, but I'm pressed for space in the somewhat likely scenario that my checked baggage disappears for awhile between Lima and Iquitos.

    Second, we'll be staying in a small lodge on the Amazon river. To get to the village we will be working in, we're going to be taking a 20 minute boat ride. I'm unsure of the size of the boat, and I would be able to pack a lightweight dry bag, but a rollover in the canoe (if that's what it turns out to be) could none-the-less be disasterous.

    The two biggest issues, however, are power/storage.

    I do not have a portable hard drive to back up my pictures. As much as I would love to buy one, I manage to be fairly poor most of the time, and I have other trips, plus a lens to pick up and gear for Peru. I do have a decent laptop that I could bring, but that is a problem in-and-of itself. Aside from the previously mentioned issues, I'd have to find out how to charge the thing. I can pick up an adapter for the outlets at REI, but there's no getting around the voltage conversion and I don't want to pack a converter too. I'm not too sure, but I would imagine the charger for my Nikon's batteries is dual voltage, so I wouldn't need one for that.

    If I leave my laptop, I would have to put everything on two 4Gig CF cards. I could get a decent number of pictures, but this would rule out RAW (er...NEF).

    At the end of the day, as much as I'm excited to get some awesome pictures, I'm beginning to think that the camera is becoming more of a chore than a pleasure, which kind of sucks. I'm not going to Peru solely to photograph - I do have other responsibilities, so it might not be in my best interest to bring it with all of these complications. Then again, I'm not sure when I'll be in Peru again. I have a small P&S that I could take, it does ok, but I'd rather not.

    If anyone could pass on some advice, I'd appreciate it. I'm sure there are many people here that have encountered some of the obstacles I have, so fire away with any thoughts.
     
  2. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

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    Although the guy was taking cameras into a different sort of extreme climate than you'll be going into, his article nevertheless seems to address problems similar to yours, and has some helpful ideas and suggestions.

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/A19/
     
  3. astrocreep96

    astrocreep96 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the link!
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like you have already shot the idea down. Bummer because it sounds like an adventure. If I was going to Peru the camera gear, etc would be very, very high on the priority list.

    One battery and a 2gig card could last 338 images at jpg fine. That is plenty for a 2 week period.

    Love and Bass
     
  5. Stretch Armstrong

    Stretch Armstrong TPF Noob!

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    I would just as soon leave my right arm at home as to not take my camera with me. Take a charger and a regulated adaptor and beg to charge if you have to.

    Try to buy a couple extra memory cards or in the alternative borrow from friends and keep them on you. Even if you lose them you could replace them, worst case senario. Personally, I abhor the idea of shooting in jpeg alone. I think about getting the shot of my life and it being jpeg. God help me.

    I just got back from 3 weeks in central Europe and I never let my camera out of my sight much less put it in checked luggage. Remember the Samsonite commercials with the apes as baggage handlers?

    Whenever I travel, I take my old clothes especailly underwear and I throw them away as I go along to make room for the return flight.

    If you are with a group, maybe someone else has room in their carryon for your extra clothes? Just an idea.

    Good luck.
     
  6. astrocreep96

    astrocreep96 TPF Noob!

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    I haven't shot the idea down. I'm still mulling it over. I do want to take it, but I'm wondering at what point it becomes too difficult to work everything out. At any rate, I have until July to figure it out.

    Looking at B&H, does anyone have any experience with the Wolverine ESP120? It's a 120GB portable drive with a color TFT screen. Priced at ~$450, it's more affordable than an Epson P5000 by a fair margin. The Wolverine ESP80 is better still at $350 for 80GB. I would think that would work for 14 days even at ~17mb per picture. That would give me roughly 4500 pictures worth. Hard to imagine I would eat up that much, but 8gigs does have a habit of flying by if I'm having fun.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ignore the TFT screens and all those fancy features, process when you get home. Spend the money on spare batteries. Nikon D200 batteries can be fully charged in 1-2 hours so having multiple may even get you through a week.

    When I was in Austria I took a quick 1 week trip to Switzerland. I managed to fit enough cloths for the week + D200 + SB800 + medium sized tripod in a bag the size of a suitcase. So pack smart and you should be able to take your camera.

    Take your camera with you in hand luggage. Regardless of how over the size / weight limit you are I have never been asked not to take my camera bag onboard. As for the boat ride, travel insurance will cover the camera if you capsize. This is not a matter of ifs. You are going to Peru so would be crazy to go without travel insurance.
     
  8. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Absolutely.
    Take your camera with you in hand luggage (along with change of underwear, all meds, toothbrush.)
    never, ever pack camera.
    D200 is weatherproof. (take large zip-locks with you)
    Battery charger is multi-voltage and you only need plug adapter at most.

    Check weather and learn to pack light.
    You can buy more shirts in local market (I take hat, 3 shirts, underclothes, 2 convertible pants and sandals for 5 weeks on the road.

    You need medical evacuation insurance.
    Household or renters insurance should cover camera/ call the company (insurance link on lonely planet - you should read FAQs there on Peru. http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/m...594032&STARTPAGE=1&parentid=0&threadid=662003
    )

    Scan passport and any documents and send them to yourself on web-based email (gmail, hotmail, etc).
    Carry photocopies of all docs with you in separate pocket.
    If you lose them, you can download copies in Internet cafe in Lima.

    Carry Lomotil and Cipro for Traveler's tummy.
     
  9. astrocreep96

    astrocreep96 TPF Noob!

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    ^^Thanks for the tips. I will be bringing a ~3,000in^3 pack as a carry on. It's just barely under the limits for TSA's carry on size, so I should be good. The camera will be in a LowePro bag that is itself inside an ultralight waterproof nylon bag, and all of that will be in my pack. It should be safe in the event of a dunk in the Amazon.

    I'll have to check on the insurance(s), and great idea on making copies of important documents. Kind of a duh! that I didn't even think of.
     
  10. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    If you bring cash, bring clean, untorn bills no bent corners or marks - easier to change.
    Also copy front page and visa page of passport.

    that's all i can think of that isn't really obvious.
    send me a pm if you have any questions that I could possibly help with.
    i've been to 44 countries and pretty much have a succesful routine.

    Lew
     
  11. astrocreep96

    astrocreep96 TPF Noob!

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    Sweet. Thanks again for the help!
     

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