Preparation is the key to any successful photo trip, especially when you're going somewhere volatile
What I didn’t need:
Nikon 17-355 f/2.8 AF-S
The 24mm proved to be just wide enough for my needs. In addition, this is a rather bulky, large lens that screams, “I am a photographer”.
Macbook Pro 15”
A much smaller computer would have done fine. I found this to be bulky and generally annoying to carry around.
What I wish I had brought:
A longer lens
This would have been very helpful when shooting polling locations from an abandoned balcony across the street.
There were a couple times this would have been helpful, but overall, I decided it was to heavy and bulky to travel with.
What I’m glad I had:
I really developed a strong relationship with this lens over the course of the trip. It is incredibly sharp and versatile.
SB 600 and lighting equipment
This gave my portrait series some versatility. While I generally tried to shoot with window light, the flash proved invaluable in the evening time.
The low-light performance meant I never had to use a flash (other than for portraits).
Plenty of memory cards and a rugged drive
It’s nice having two backups.
Plenty of Nikon batteries
I likely could have gone the entire trip without charging my gear. Thankfully, I did not have to. However, when traveling abroad, especially to potentially risky areas, having access to power is not always a certainty. For that reason I am happy I had so much power to work with.
Traveling abroad in the name of photography is an incredible experience. The level of uncertainty that comes along with going somewhere new is both exciting and sometimes scary. However, thanks to some careful planning, and gear carrying practices, you too can ensure that no matter what, you are going to come home with the shots.
Fortunately for me, I made it home with all of my equipment intact and a solid 4500 frames to call my own.