Zen’s quick tips for traveling with a digital camera

What a treat to hear from our buddy, West Asheville resident, blogger and photographer extraordinaire Zen Sutherland! He’s offered our community some valuable tips for traveling with a digital camera. Good for vacation season!

Here, the dispatch:

First and foremost, write your name, address and cell phone number on a piece of paper and take a photo of it. It will be on your camera the first thing that anybody sees if you lose it and you might not lose the camera with the case. Make sure you can read the image!

Unless you intend to make poster-sized pictures, set your camera to use the medium-sized (3-5 Mb) picture size. You’ll get more pics on your camera and you’ll switch memory cards less often.

Equipment: Make sure your charger works in the country you’re going to. Bring a second (or third) set of batteries which are always charging at home/hotel and bring enough card space for all your pictures (or a means to download to a laptop or other place). Cards are relatively cheap. Oh, and use the camera’s hand-strap when taking a shot. Too many people have dropped their cameras while taking a shot.

If you’re filling up memory cards, don’t

< keep the filled cards with the camera. You could lose the camera but you won’t have lost the pictures you taken so far.

The rest are creative ways to use your camera while on the trip:

Use your camera as a memory device. Going into the London Underground or DC Metro? Take a careful shot of the color-coded map that you can zoom in on and use it to help make sure you know where you are. Same with hikes in parks or the number lot where you parked your car at Wally World.

Load a few of your best pictures on the camera (especially if it has memory outside the the memory card) to show the people you meet your family, friends and where you live.

Take a good photograph of your children. Kids can get lost, and when you’re in a foreign land (including New York City), having a good shot of your child can help others locate.

Photograph your rental car license and any dings or imperfections so you can both identify it and avoid rental car scams.


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