Vacation in Europe and Photography

Created by Anominal on Oct. 4, 2014, 3:04 p.m.
  • So I'm going to Europe for 10 days starting next weekend. Spain, Portugal, and France. It's with a church tour group, traveling with my family (sort of marking the beginning of my mother's transition into retirement).

    What do I need to know in terms of safety and loss prevention and general preparation?

    I assume I should travel as light as possible. Which likely means one or two lenses. For my Canon 70D.

    Should I bring (Camera: Canon 70D):

    - EF 24-105 f/4L as my main lens or EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8?

    We will be looking at cathedrals and I'm guessing I'll want a wide angle lens. Should I bring:

    - EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 STM or EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM. (The 10-18mm costs half a much, and is smaller, which is nice. More range and slight faster lens with the 10-22mm for likely dark cathedrals.)

    Or any other combination of these lenses?

    I know I should be prepared with enough SD cards and batteries. What kind of rain gear should I get? I'm told the weather can be sporadic. I know I should also have everything on me and never leave it in the room. Perhaps bring a gorilla pod as small, easy to carry tripod if I need one?

    Any and all tips are welcome. I've never gone to Europe before and don't know what to expect.

    Edit: Oh yeah, I can also choose to bring my Canon EOS-M if I want. Perhaps attached to a second lens with the adapter? That way I won't have to stop and switch lenses while with the tour group? The difficulty is making sure whatever I have on it is safely secured and not easily pick-pocketed while we're all distracted.

  • I would go 10-22 and 24-105. just for best focal length range

    Don't forget don't spend your holiday looking through your camera viewfinder all the time.

    Also take a mono pod as many places don't allow tripods. As for weather gear then if it is raining keep it in a bag I prefer shoulder bag to rucksack. as it allows quicker access to your camera. Also if you haven't already buy a cheap lens protector, as many of the buildings are dusty, and the wind outside will blow the Autumn debris around. so much cheaper to replace a £20 lens protector than a new front element.

    Bring your canon M as-well for those days you don't want to carry a big SLR around with you. I always say many smaller capacity cards are better than one or two big capacity. If you are visiting many places, when you have taken shots of one building then if possible swap cards and keep the used one safe. losing a memory card with only one days photos on them or one cathedrals photos etc is less of a blow than loosing the one card with a weeks worth of photos on them. (invest in eyefi cards) they will automaticaly send them via wifi to your phone or ipad or laptop. Always back up once more than you think is needed.

    Oh and if loads of photographers gather in one place go in the opposite direction.

    enjoy your trip

  • @Rallier: I bought a single plug adapter... I guess that means I should probably bring some kind of multi-outlet surge protector since plugging things in one at a time is not going to be enough. And it looks like not Barcelona. It's going to be Avila, Burgos, and Pamplona for Spain. And Lourdes and Paris for France. And yeah, I'm nervous about pickpockets. I've been pickpocketed in San Francisco and that was bad enough. I don't want that to happen when I'm in another country. I have a waist belt for my wallet and stuff, just in case. And I just picked up the Click Elite Trekker which I hope will be big enough to hold everything. (And that includes the Manfrotto Compact Monopod@oddjobkia. I'm surprised it was less than $25.) The Trekker conveniently has a rain sleeve packed in the bottom.

  • I'd say Sagrada wears the crown of commercialism ;)

  • Take this stuff and leave everything else at home.

    • 10-22mm
    • 24-105mm
    • EOS M + 22mm
    • One 600EX
    • Gorillapod
  • So this is what I took:

    • 70D and EOS M
    • EF 24-105mm, EF-S 10-22mm, EF-S 40mm, and EF-M 22mm
    • 600EX-RT
    • Monopod
    • Circular Polarizing filter
    • 128GB, 64GB, 2x 32GB, and a 16GB SD card (Used them all but the 16 by the end.)
    • A bunch of batteries and their chargers

    Forgot to bring:

    • Blackrapid strap (Improvised a strap by buying a bag in a gift shop. Thankfully I had the base still attached to my camera since I never take it off.)

    Some quick bullet points:

    • I learned to appreciate Shutter Priority mode when take pics from the tour bus window, and trying out street photography while on the move.
    • I had fun trying out said street photography and did a lot of practicing shooting from the hip.
    • I need to get into the habit of doing a settings check before I start shooting each day. I ended up doing a variety of Shutter, Aperature, and full on Manual, and I missed some shots on a couple of days forgetting to check what settings I was on from the night before.
    • I learned that I can accidentally hit the AF/MF switch on accident sometimes when taking the cameras out from a tight fitting slot in my bag.
    • I did wish I could have had a tripod sometimes to take some pics of myself. Most of the places I went to felt pretty safe. On the other hand I did often leave my whole bag behind and just took both cameras with me to save on bulk (and keep from getting sweaty in the middle of the day when it was hottest.) So getting the right balance is still tricky and I'm not sure what's best.
    • I wish I remembered to bring my circular polarizing filter when we had an afternoon off at a beach in Spain. The Water was so clear! And there were a ton of fish, with some people some bread crumbs down to them from the pier. I took a lot of pics, but being able to cut past the reflections and deeper into the water with the filter on would have been great.
    • Need to bring some protective rain gear next time (I hear it rains quite a lot in Paris, and it did rain on and off all day when I was there. Also rained the first night in Portugal when I was trying to photograph a candlelight ceremony). I made some quick rain covers by tearing some holes in the shower caps provided by the hotel I was in.
    • Having the EOS-M as a second camera was fantastic. It was also nice when shooting pics in the plane when space was at a premium, and great when I wanted to be more subtle with a more silent shutter.
    • I did end up using all but the final 16GB memory card. (200+ gigabytes! Mostly pics. Some video.) We'll see what tiny fraction of those will actually be worth processing. Some of those were just practice shots from the hip, or trying to get pics of moving landscape from the window, or shooting blanks after a series of pics that I intend to merge into panoramics and stuff.
    • I definitely enjoying going out and shooting every day. While my brother would be exhausted and want to just chill in the room and get on the internet as soon as possible, I often wanted to just go back outside and do as much shooting as I could. It certainly seems like photography is able to keep enough of my interest for it to have been worth the buy-in.

    That's all I can think of at the moment. I still have to sort through and process my friend's engagement photos before I can touch these. Time to spend time on the other side of photography and sit at my computer for hours on end sorting and processing. We'll see how my attention and enjoyment fairs on the flip side of the photography coin. I'll post some vacation pics when I can.

  • Oh, and my computer rebooted in the middle of importing pics on my 64GB memory card. When I insert the card to select which pics to import, Lightroom tells me that some did get important, while others did not, yet when I try to continue to import the rest of the images Lightroom tells me there's nothing new to import. Could I perhaps... revert to a previous backup of the catalog as a method to fix this?


  • @Anominal: Any chance we might get to see some of your pictures soon?