My little trip away to Barcelona is fast approaching, a city I’ve always enjoyed and somewhere I’ve wanted to head back to after my overnight there years ago whilst working on the cruise ships.

Therefore I booked the first week of September to do just that. However having so much camera equipment left me with a bit of an issue……what camera, lenses and extras should I be taking?! Travel photography should be about enjoying your adventure, rather than worrying about carrying loads of equipment!

So to help others in a similar issue I’ve put together the reasons why I’ve narrowed down my equipment to what I’m planning to take, with some useful travel photography tips to help along the way.

Camera

Nikon D700

Seeing as the only DSLR I own now is the Nikon D700 it would be silly not to take that really! I could take something a little smaller/lighter like my FM2n but shooting film for the week would mean I need a fair few rolls of film!

One thing I am doing with my D700 is removing the battery grip. The main reason is to save on weight. I’ll be having to carry around everything on my shoulder, so cutting down on the unnecessary is key!

Lenses

Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR

Now this is the ultimate challenge picking the right lens or lenses for the trip. It’s a matter of thinking how you’ll be shooting when travelling and also the same issue with the camera – weight!

Owning several different lenses doesn’t help as well. If you start of thinking of lenses you won’t need it makes it easier to narrow down the ones you do. For me I don’t need to take a long telephoto so don’t need to carry a 70-200mm, same with my fisheye and 105mm lenses as they both do a certain job. As I’m going to doing a lot of street photography a nice wide angle lens is a must so therefore 17-35mm, fast f/2.8 and covering a nice working distance. I was tempted to take a 28-70mm to cover the middle range however the good old nifty 50mm will do just fine. Faster aperture and much lighter, great bokeh and if walking around at night smaller profile to not draw attention.

Camera Bag

CityWalker

After finally sorting out the amount of lenses and camera to take it’s the age old problem of finding a bag to fit everything inside. As I’m only taking a limited amount of equipment I didn’t need a large rucksack or even my massive roller bag. I then looked towards the Think Tank Photo range of shoulder bags, there was one in particular that caught my eye. Named the CityWalker 10 it seemed to tick all the right boxes for what I was after.

  • Discreet – as thats the last thing you want a bag that screams out photographer
  • Spacious – enough room to fight all the equipment comfortably
  • Hard Wearing – like all Think Tank bags these things are built to last
  • Pockets – money, maps and travel essentials

I’ll be testing out this bag during the trip so I’ll be putting together a post and review. Make sure to check back to see what I thought and how I got on with it.

Tripod

As I want to be doing some long exposure and photography at night time I had to think about a tripod. The current tripod I own is way too big to be trekking around the streets of Barca, something smaller in size but just as supportive. Manfrotto had just recently brought out a new range of tripods called the Manfrotto BeFree, small, light weight with a built in ball head.

Perfect size, comes with a bag and just light enough to not become a strain when carrying it around, ideal for travel photography. Almost like a mini version of the larger 055 that own, however not carbon (although Manfrotto have just launched a newer and carbon model in the BeFree range).

Extras

One key accessory I’ll be taking to enhance my photos is a circular polariser. The main reason for bringing one of these is to bring out more contrast within the sky and also cut out reflection. This is extremely handy when photographing large glass fronted buildings as well as anything containing water. I’m not sure how much I’ll use it but it’ll be interesting to have a 10 stop ND filter. This could make a busy street appear almost vacant and create some drama to a city landscape.

To help with my night photography and any other long exposure photography, I’ll be using a remote release cable which will give me more control on the exposure time and stopping any camera shake.

Plenty of spare batteries for the camera and also a back up charger for my iPhone, as if you’re out shooting for long day the last thing you’d want is there not to be enough power to shoot! Not forgetting enough memory cards as well. Always better to take more than not enough.

Travel photography isn’t complete without having a handy pocket sized map for making your way around the city. As there is quite a large tube system in Barcelona, having a map that lists the tube stops is very helpful. Last thing you want to do is get lost walking around, not knowing where you are.

Matt Thomas Photography

Matt Thomas is a Gloucestershire based Fitness, Commercial and 360 Virtual Tours photographer. Passionate about all things photographic no matter if it's digital or film. Creative with lighting and always looking for that new travel adventure. Visit the social links below to stay up to date with behind the scenes content, videos and more.