Top Ten Items You are Most Likely to Forget on a Photographic Trip « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Top Ten Items You are Most Likely to Forget on a Photographic Trip

Important Notice

I fly to Atlanta this afternoon (12 DEC) continuing on to Buenos Aires, Argentina via a Delta redeye flight, arriving at 7:39am local time the next day. Then I need to get from the international airport (EZE) to the domestic airport (AEP) via taxi or van for my flight on Saturday afternoon down to Ushuaia.

Along with the rest of my shipmates I board the Ortelius on the afternoon of 15 DEC and disembark on the morning of 9 JAN. There is no wifi on the ship. That means that I will effectively and absolutely be without internet at least from 14 DEC through 9 JAN. At present I am further behind with answering e-mails than at any time since I have began answering folks’ photography-related questions about 25 years ago.

Please therefore refrain from e-mailing me at the usual samandmayasgrandpa e-mail address until I get back home on 13 JAN. You can reach my right-hand man Jim Litzenburg by e-mail here or reach Jennifer here as usual.

Important Blog Notice

I hope to have some time before getting on the ship to prepare a few new blog posts and to have them published during my absence with the help of either Jim or the invaluable Peter Kes, the BAA webmaster. In addition, my plan is to resurrect a collection of older but very important educational blog posts and have them re-published during my absence. Please enjoy. Please consider signing up for an IPT. And please continue to do a great job of using my B&H and other affiliate links while I am gone.

What’s Up?

I need to finish packing this morning. Soon. Jim is driving me to MCO; we leave hear at about 11:00am. This blog post was published from my home in Indian Lake Estates at just after 5:00am.

Top Ten Items You are Most Likely to Forget When Packing for a Big Photographic Trip

#1: The tripod ring for the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. In low light situations, you will often want to get this amazingly versatile lens on the tripod.

#2: The (ET-87) lens hood for the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. While you might not need it at Bosque where it rarely rains it can be a life-saver on most trips.

#3: Battery chargers for your various camera bodies. Today, many folks travel with one or more pro bodies and one or more pro-sumer bodies.

#4: Flash cards. I keep a Delkin 64GB 700X Pro CF Flash Card in three of my four camera bodies and a Delkin 64GB 1000X CF Flash Card in my 5D III for video captures. By keeping them in the cameras I cannot forget them.

#5: Four back-up flash cards as above. It has been so many years since I had a bad card that it is easy to forget the need for back-ups. Denise Ippolito had a bad card recently. Delkin replaced it immediately as they always do.

#6: Several kitchen sized plastic garbage bags for rain protection or to serve as an impromptu rain cover. I have never been a fan of any of the fancy rain covers….

#7: External hard drives for back-up. I travel with two of these:

You can find lots more sizes and colors here

#8: Rain gear, tops and bottoms. Good rain gear can keep you dry when needed. It can keep the wind off you when it is really howling. And it can provide an extra layer of warmth. On my Southern Ocean expedition I make sure to pack two sets. Just in case.

9: Gloves. I am bringing several pairs of warm gloves on the upcoming trip. But even when traveling to warmer climes I always bring a pair of light gloves for the occasional cool morning or to keep the bugs off.

#10: Sun protective clothing. I bring a Sun Protection Hood on every trip. Much better to protect with clothing than with chemicals. I was bummed when the company that produced the hood that we carried for years and replaced it with a new model that only worked well for folks with heads shaped like pencils….

What Have You Forgotten to Pack?

I once drove two hours from my home in Queens, NY to eastern Long Island only to learn that I had forgotten my biggest telephoto lens at the time, the Canon EF 400mm f/4.5. That was so long ago that Google never heard of the lens. I used that lens with film for seven years from 1983 to 1990 before moving up to the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 which I think might have been an “L” series lens; it was white.

If you have ever gone on a photographic trip–long or short, and forgotten something important, please leave a comment and let us know what it was. It might help someone :).

Brand New Listing

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II Telephoto Lens: the world’s greatest portrait lens

Al Hart is offering a lightly used Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II Telephoto Lens for sale for the absurdly low price of $3999. The lens has no nicks, no scratches, no blemishes, and indeed, no marks of any kind; it is perfect both functionally and cosmetically. In fact, lens has been out of Al’s house only twice, to photograph shoot birds at local rehab sanctuary. The sale includes the CL-L1 ballistic nylon case, the HK-31 lens hood, the standard drop-in filter, the never-used lens strap, the RRS # LCF-15B lens plate, the lens manual, the original packaging, and insured ground shipping to US addresses. Payment by Paypal with the fee prepaid is acceptable. As is payment by U.S. postal money order or by certified check drawn on a U.S bank. The lens will ship only after the funds have cleared.

Interested folks can contact Al via e-mail or by phone at (248) 626 4706.

As the lens sells new for $5999, $3999 qualifies as a great price. As I do not know a lot about this lens, below I offer a quote from a satisfied B&H customer. You can learn more about the lens and find more reviews by clicking on the appropriate tab here. artie

This lens is the “Mohammad Ali” of portrait lenses. I can shoot with it in the middle of NYC Times Square and the background just blurs into a liquid swirl. Your photos will be so sharp they might cut you. From what I have experienced so far shooting with this lens I can safely say that it will remain in my possession until the great asteroid hits the Earth and destroys every other lens on the entire planet. Barry


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25 comments to Top Ten Items You are Most Likely to Forget on a Photographic Trip

  • Graham Devenish

    Once went on a holiday in my early 20’s and forgot to take my entire camera bag!! Luckily my parents and my then Girlfriend traveled a long way to meet me half way. I married the GF and we’ve been happily married for over 32 years!!

    I never forget to take the gear anymore!


    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      That reminds me of a trip I made to Churchill, Manitoba. Forgot my rolling bag. My late wife’s parents Fed-Exed it and it beat me there, despite the fact that the label fell off! I wound up getting the $220 refunded and all of my gear was intact 🙂 artie

  • Ken Sheide

    Artie, I suspect the reason Google couldn’t find your first 400mm lens is because you searched EF (EOS system) while that 400mm was an FD system lens. That you used it in 1983 tells me it could not be an EF lens; they didn’t exist until the introduction of the EOS system in 1987. Try 😉

    Hope you have a fun and productive Antarctic trip!

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks on all counts. You are most correct of course. Senility is a terrible thing :). artie

  • Phil Stone

    On a trip to Antelope Canyon I had my tripod, camera, and all other essential gear, except the mount which connects the camera to the tripod! So I had to carry around a useless tripod and hand-hold the camera for all my shots. I actually managed to get a few decent shots with no visible camera shake. Now the mount, and a spare one, is on my photo gear packing list. Is was learning from this incident that I decided to create a list of photo gear to pack for every trip.

  • Bob Smith

    Keep a container of waxed dental floss in your gear bag—it is handy for all kinds of things b/c it is so strong and it weighs nothing and occupies no space–I have used it to:-mend jacket, fix broken tables leg (or read tripod leg here?), build an overnight bivouac, suspend a light, or almost anything, tie branches out of the way to create a shooting lane, tie moose legs to facilitate gutting, fix my backpack, ………

  • Carolyn Peterson

    While in the Azores transferring to a domestic flight, I had to go through carry on security again. The screener took my three inch allen wrench because it was a “tool”. As my flight was already boarding, I could not argue or ask to see a supervisor. Fortunately I had a backup in my checked luggage. That “tool” had made it through TSA screening many times before its demise in the Azores at the hands of an obviously inexperienced screener.

    I always keep back up batteries and cards in my camera bag even if I am sure they are not needed.

  • Ar

    Another caution– I won’t let my bags go in a different vehicle. I was on a trip with Art Wolfe in Venezuela. The last day our group went to the Caracas airport together. I refused to go in a taxi while my luggage was still on the sidewalk and Art shook his head like I was a fussbudget. I waited and went in the vehicle with my bags. We get to the airport and one of the guys can’t find his suitcase! LOL it was left behind on the hotel sidewalk. So who’s laughing now, Art?

  • Ar

    Pack your contact info in every bag, even multiple filter and flash card containers. I was fussing with stuff in a carry-on bag on a Lan Chile flight. A bag of assorted gear including filters fell out and was left behind. I filed a report with the airline desk a few days later. When I got home I wrote them a letter with a description and list of contents. there was NO identification on or in the small blue bag. But a month later the airliine returned it to me in the U.S. Nothing was missing.

  • Jim Kranick

    Not even while traveling but just when shooting around home.

    I keep several of my older, slower, smaller CF cards in the car and a few in the extra pockets of my backpack. Have read about folks leaving their cards in the card reader by their computer and decided I could do that too and needed a way to help whenever I would.

    As Nancy wrote about bringing an extra pair of glasses I have put the pair of glasses I just replaced in the car. Useful for when you go out wearing sunglasses and then stay out later than you intended.

  • Walking back to my car with some buddies after a good morning session photographing shorebirds we hear a loud voice from afar asking if anybody forgot anything. Everyone from our group look around, shrug shoulders and move on. Hear the voice again…”ANYBODY forgot ANYTHING??”. We look around and 200 yards away I see my camera and lens sitting neatly on the wet sand all by its lonesome self in the now harsh light (a few shorebirds foraging around it, and a birder with binoculars pointing to it). DOH!

    Moral of the story: You can bring everything you need on a trip or on location…but you can can just as easily forget it there too!

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Been there, done that. Just recently at Bosque we moved from the crane pool to the farm fields. I got out of my car confidently only to find that I had left my tripod behind. It was returned by someone who had previously been on an IPT; he tracked me down. My Mongoose has my name on it.


  • Prescription medications. These are impossible to replace in foreign countries.

    Extra glasses or contacts. Hard to photograph if you can’t see very well!

  • Forgot my power cord for my MacBook Pro on a trip to Ecuador–needed the computer for downloads at a minimum! Found it was missing before we started up into the Andes. Fortunately, there’s an Apple store in Quito and I was able to purchase (expensively, to say the least) a new power cord so I could download my thousands of Hummingbird photos during the week!!

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      That was fortunate. I always worry about leaving the power cord plugged into the wall when I leave a hotel…..

      And on the flight home from Bosque–thanks for your great help there, I almost walked off the plane with my new Macbook Pro on the floor by my seat…. It is so light that I don’t feel that I am missing anything if I grab the laptop bag without it…

  • wtlloyd

    Went to Europe for a 3 week trip, forgot to pack any underwear…..does that count?

    Re: That exact hard drive (I have two) is bulletproof, USB3 powered, and Amazon Basics has a swell little hard(ish) case for about $6 that fits perfectly. I second the recommendation, I now travel with my complete photo library in addition to enough backup storage for any trip.

  • Bill Richardson

    I forgot my tripod once and that is when I learned I could hand hold the new Canon 600mm but it was not fun. I always worry about forgetting the wrenches to tighten the various screws too. I have now taped them to my tripod leg.

  • David Policansky

    Camera? I once forgot a camera…pretty embarrassing to admit to.

  • Oh yes I now bring #2 flashes to tropical or semitropical destinations after leaving a banana packed with a flash in my photo vest. Needless to describe how a soft banana oozes into every crevice. I cleaned the flash the best I could but still shorted out first day from moist banana . Unless new flashes are better sealed the older ones a flash does not tolerate any moisture. So far when I have forgotten minor things I have been able to borrow or share.

    • Bill Richardson

      I have been coating the metal battery junctions with electrical grease on my flashes after finding corrosion in one. Really helps, especially if you do it immediately on purchase. I use the eraser end of a pencil to push it down in.

  • Tilo Samter

    Ah, the keys to the large lens containers. I always lock them when the lens is stored to prevent accidental opening. The keys are now kept on the car keys ring.

  • Fain Zimmerman

    Bring extra batteries for each camera. One trip to Tanzania, I lost one of my three batteries for my main camera the first day. Thinking back, I believe when I picked up my bag and everything fell out (it was open, and I didn’t realize it), it must have rolled under the bed. I was using two batteries a day. I had to recharge in the truck. Fortunately, the truck had several chargers that could be used during the day.

    • Not just the danger of losing a battery, but of it failing. One time at White Sands, NM, I was having a heck of a time with static electricity. I wasn’t careful changing the battery, and managed to zap it. The battery cells themselves were fine, but the electronics in the battery were dead, and the camera wouldn’t work with it any more. Fortunately, I travel with 3-5 spare batteries on longer trips, along with a charger or two.

  • I know you mentioned battery chargers for the different bodies, but I actually bring
    an extra charger now. I was on a trip and somewhere between packing my charger and
    unpacking, the wires separated from the charger and the cord.

    Luckily, I was able to push the wires back in and keep them in place with electrical

    But ever since then, I’ve always brought a backup.