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I'm preparing for a trip with Lindblad/National Geographic on the NG Explorer to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. I plan to take primarily still photos with occasional video.

 

So far, I'm planning to bring:

  • Two Nikon D7100 bodies
  • 10-24mm f/3.5 - 4.5G ED
  • 18-300mm f/3.5 - 5.6G ED VR
  • 80-400mm f/4.5 - 5.6G ED VR AF-S
  • Monopod with ball head
  • Polarizer filters
  • Remote shutter releases
  • Rain Sleeves
  • Two Canon Powershot S100 pocket cameras
  • Extra SD cards, extra batteries, and duplicate battery chargers
  • Waterproof backpack

Is there anything I should leave behind?

 

Do you have any thoughts on whether I should bring:

  • Prime lenses (35mm f/1.8G, 85mm f/1.8G)
  • Tripod
  • Flash (SB-910)
  • External microphone (Rode Videopro)
  • Neutral density filter

Any other recommended gear?

 

Due to the carry-on restrictions on the charter flight to and from Ushuaia, I hope to keep my camera bag's weight down.

 

Thanks.

 

Woody

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If you wear glasses with transition lenses you'll find they get too dark and its hard to see through the viewfinder. Get a pair of glasses without the transitions to use outside in the cold. I found the monopod to be very useful not really time for a tripod and its too bulky.

Have a great trip.

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Nikon D4s

 

14 - 24 2.8

 

24 - 70 2.8

 

70 - 200 2.8 VRII

 

400 2.8 VRII

 

800 5.6 FL VR

 

RRS tripod w/ Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Tripod Head II with Quick Release Base

 

Kirk Monopod head

 

Kitchen sink....

 

What you listed is a nice backup.

 

Cost for the above, Priceless:eek:

 

framer

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Some dry bags. Would not trust the waterproof backpack.

 

Good pair of photo friendly gloves.

 

Good idea on the backup body. My D600 died and the D7000 body served as the backup.

 

Be careful on the carry on weight. They gave me a hard time on 10 kg limit on the charter.

Edited by PaulMCO
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I'm preparing for a trip with Lindblad/National Geographic on the NG Explorer to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. I plan to take primarily still photos with occasional video.

 

So far, I'm planning to bring:

  • Two Nikon D7100 bodies
  • 10-24mm f/3.5 - 4.5G ED
  • 18-300mm f/3.5 - 5.6G ED VR
  • 80-400mm f/4.5 - 5.6G ED VR AF-S
  • Monopod with ball head
  • Polarizer filters
  • Remote shutter releases
  • Rain Sleeves
  • Two Canon Powershot S100 pocket cameras
  • Extra SD cards, extra batteries, and duplicate battery chargers
  • Waterproof backpack

Is there anything I should leave behind?

 

Do you have any thoughts on whether I should bring:

  • Prime lenses (35mm f/1.8G, 85mm f/1.8G)
  • Tripod
  • Flash (SB-910)
  • External microphone (Rode Videopro)
  • Neutral density filter

Any other recommended gear?

 

Due to the carry-on restrictions on the charter flight to and from Ushuaia, I hope to keep my camera bag's weight down.

 

Thanks.

 

Woody

 

Hi Woody, we traveled with Nat Geo/Lindblad to Antarctica last year. I have a very detailed blog about our trip that you can find in my signature below; it not only sets out my camera gear (far less than what you have) but my other gear suggestions and how we prepared for the trip; I hope you find it useful.

 

Some thoughts about your list: good idea to take two DSLR bodies and duplicate battery chargers and spare batteries. In terms of your lenses: when you are ashore, you will often find the conditions wet, windy and/or slippery -- not the time to be changing lenses. I have a Nikon D7000 and used the 18-300mm lens on the landings. I did not have a 400mm lens, but you will love having it on board for the birds and whales.

 

I'm not familiar with your Canon Powershots, are they waterproof? If not, you might consider a small waterproof camera to keep in your pocket in the zodiacs and on the landings. Most of the time you'll find it "safe" to have your DSLR out in the zodiacs, but there will be times when it's quite wet and you are getting a lot of spray, and a little waterproof camera will be just the thing. Also for taking on a kayak if you get to do that. In addition, you'll want to have your DSLR packed up in your dry bag (or backpack) when you are getting in or out of the zodiacs, and that just might be the time an interesting photo op presents itself, so having a camera in your pocket is a good thing.

 

I did take "photo friendly gloves" but still found it hard to shoot with any gloves on. Mostly, I just took my gloves off.

 

You may find the tripod unnecessary if you have a monopod. It will certainly be a lot to take, particularly given the weight limits.

 

You haven't mentioned a laptop or netbook for backing up your photos. I strongly suggest bringing one, even if you are using multiple SD cards. Also, toward the end of the trip, there will be a guest photo show. Everyone gets to contribute five photos. If you want to participate, it's easiest to do so if you have your photos uploaded to a computer, and then put your five on a jump drive (bring one with you).

 

I'm not a big video shooter either, but try to remember every now and then to take videos of the penguins; there's nothing like seeing them move.

 

Most important: remember to put down the camera and just sit quietly on a rock for awhile and take it all in.

 

Have a great trip!

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I'm preparing for a trip with Lindblad/National Geographic on the NG Explorer to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. I plan to take primarily still photos with occasional video.

 

So far, I'm planning to bring:

  • Two Nikon D7100 bodies
  • 10-24mm f/3.5 - 4.5G ED
  • 18-300mm f/3.5 - 5.6G ED VR
  • 80-400mm f/4.5 - 5.6G ED VR AF-S
  • Monopod with ball head
  • Polarizer filters
  • Remote shutter releases
  • Rain Sleeves
  • Two Canon Powershot S100 pocket cameras
  • Extra SD cards, extra batteries, and duplicate battery chargers
  • Waterproof backpack

Is there anything I should leave behind?

 

Do you have any thoughts on whether I should bring:

  • Prime lenses (35mm f/1.8G, 85mm f/1.8G)
  • Tripod
  • Flash (SB-910)
  • External microphone (Rode Videopro)
  • Neutral density filter

Any other recommended gear?

 

Due to the carry-on restrictions on the charter flight to and from Ushuaia, I hope to keep my camera bag's weight down.

 

Thanks.

 

Woody

 

I would leave the primes behind. With regard to the flash, unless you need it for fill flash, remember that it will never get dark in Antarctica.

 

I am not sure that you will get much use for the wide angle lens since most of your pictures will be of vistas and your 18 - 300 is almost as wide as the 10 - 24 wide angle.

 

One thing that I do not see is any device to view and back up your pictures. You do want to be able to check the pictures to be sure that they are coming out and you also want to do backups on a daily basis just in case you have media problems or your storage media disappears on the way home.

 

Enjoy Antarctica. For us, it was the best trip we have ever taken. You will never forget it. I am so jealous that you are going to South Georgia. That is one place that we missed on our trip.

 

DON

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. . . Get a pair of glasses without the transitions to use outside in the cold. I found the monopod to be very useful not really time for a tripod and its too bulky.

Great tips about eyeglasses (I wear transitions) and whether to bring a tripod. Thanks!

 

 

. . . What you listed is a nice backup.

Ouch!

 

If I win the lottery, I'll get the gear you recommend.

 

Woody

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Some dry bags. Would not trust the waterproof backpack.

 

Good pair of photo friendly gloves.

 

Good idea on the backup body. My D600 died and the D7000 body served as the backup.

 

Be careful on the carry on weight. They gave me a hard time on 10 kg limit on the charter.

Thanks for the tips. Sorry to hear about your D600. Glad to hear you had a backup.

 

Which gloves do you recommend, and where are they available?

 

Good advice for protecting the gear from water. I looked into dry bags and waterproof backpacks. While a dry bag offers the best protection, I was concerned about how to carry them when ashore taking photos.

 

I found a backpack that's essentially a dry bag with padded shoulder straps. It is waterproof and has the same roll-top closure design as dry bags: fold the top over three times, make a loop with the ends, then buckle the ends. The product tag says, "Waterproof. Protects from heavy rain and rough water." Hopefully it will do the job.

 

I'm very concerned about the charter flights' carry-on weight limit.

 

Woody

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Hi Woody, we traveled with Nat Geo/Lindblad to Antarctica last year. I have a very detailed blog about our trip that you can find in my signature below; it not only sets out my camera gear (far less than what you have) but my other gear suggestions and how we prepared for the trip; I hope you find it useful.

 

Some thoughts about your list: good idea to take two DSLR bodies and duplicate battery chargers and spare batteries. In terms of your lenses: when you are ashore, you will often find the conditions wet, windy and/or slippery -- not the time to be changing lenses. I have a Nikon D7000 and used the 18-300mm lens on the landings. I did not have a 400mm lens, but you will love having it on board for the birds and whales.

 

I'm not familiar with your Canon Powershots, are they waterproof? If not, you might consider a small waterproof camera to keep in your pocket in the zodiacs and on the landings. Most of the time you'll find it "safe" to have your DSLR out in the zodiacs, but there will be times when it's quite wet and you are getting a lot of spray, and a little waterproof camera will be just the thing. Also for taking on a kayak if you get to do that. In addition, you'll want to have your DSLR packed up in your dry bag (or backpack) when you are getting in or out of the zodiacs, and that just might be the time an interesting photo op presents itself, so having a camera in your pocket is a good thing.

 

I did take "photo friendly gloves" but still found it hard to shoot with any gloves on. Mostly, I just took my gloves off.

 

You may find the tripod unnecessary if you have a monopod. It will certainly be a lot to take, particularly given the weight limits.

 

You haven't mentioned a laptop or netbook for backing up your photos. I strongly suggest bringing one, even if you are using multiple SD cards. Also, toward the end of the trip, there will be a guest photo show. Everyone gets to contribute five photos. If you want to participate, it's easiest to do so if you have your photos uploaded to a computer, and then put your five on a jump drive (bring one with you).

 

I'm not a big video shooter either, but try to remember every now and then to take videos of the penguins; there's nothing like seeing them move.

 

Most important: remember to put down the camera and just sit quietly on a rock for awhile and take it all in.

 

Have a great trip!

Turtles06, my wife and I found your blog awhile back and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's been very helpful, not only for photo gear but for overall preparations and other packing as well. Thank you for all your suggestions -- in your blog and here.

 

I just love your photo of the iceberg with the bow of the ship in the foreground (the one with the black specks that are penguins!). If I can capture anything remotely like that, I'd be pleased.

 

Good advice to avoid changing lenses ashore. I could take ashore two camera bodies with lenses attached. The question becomes, Which two lenses should I bring ashore?

 

The Canon Powershot S100 is not waterproof. I do have an Olympus Stylus Tough-3000 waterproof point and shoot. I think I'll bring the Olympus too (plus batteries and two chargers) for photos in inclement weather and while kayaking.

 

It's looking like the tripod will stay at home.

 

Good tip to put down the camera and just take it all in.

 

Woody

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. . . You haven't mentioned a laptop or netbook for backing up your photos. I strongly suggest bringing one, even if you are using multiple SD cards. Also, toward the end of the trip, there will be a guest photo show. Everyone gets to contribute five photos. If you want to participate, it's easiest to do so if you have your photos uploaded to a computer, and then put your five on a jump drive (bring one with you).

 

 

. . . One thing that I do not see is any device to view and back up your pictures. You do want to be able to check the pictures to be sure that they are coming out and you also want to do backups on a daily basis just in case you have media problems or your storage media disappears on the way home.

I was on the fence about bring a laptop, largely due to the weight limit on the charter flight. Plus the D7100 has two card slots.

 

But what the two of you say makes a lot of sense. Thanks. I'll bring a laptop plus one or two portable hard drives. Would you recommend bringing a Belkin Mini Travel surge protector?

 

Our itinerary has five sea days. With a laptop, I also could start editing photos. (I never edit in camera, only on a hard drive.) Plus I'll be able to participate in the guest photo show. After the show, does the crew share the photos with the passengers, on disc or otherwise?

 

Woody

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I would leave the primes behind. With regard to the flash, unless you need it for fill flash, remember that it will never get dark in Antarctica.

 

I am not sure that you will get much use for the wide angle lens since most of your pictures will be of vistas and your 18 - 300 is almost as wide as the 10 - 24 wide angle.

 

One thing that I do not see is any device to view and back up your pictures. You do want to be able to check the pictures to be sure that they are coming out and you also want to do backups on a daily basis just in case you have media problems or your storage media disappears on the way home.

 

Enjoy Antarctica. For us, it was the best trip we have ever taken. You will never forget it. I am so jealous that you are going to South Georgia. That is one place that we missed on our trip.

 

DON

Thank you for the suggestions.

 

It sounds like there's no need for the prime lenses or a flash.

 

Good input on the 10 - 24mm wide angle.

 

Woody

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Woody: thanks for the kind comments about my blog; glad you found it helpful. (You picked out one of my favorite photos, too. :) )

 

I always travel with a Belkin mini; given the electronics you plan to take, I'd bring one as well. As for which lenses to bring ashore: your "go to" lens will be the 18-300. The 80-400, while very useful on deck, is not wide enough on the short end to be your only lens ashore. As to whether to take it ashore at all on another body -- will you be carrying all that gear, or will your wife be carrying some of it?

 

Don't forget, you'll be walking around, sometimes uphill (and downhill) and on slippery surfaces. Only you can decide whether you want to have all that gear with you on the landings and how much more you think you'll need/want the reach of 400mm v. 300mm. At any rate, whatever you decide on the first landing, you can adjust on the next if you want to change up what you are doing. Also think about your hands; we found it very helpful to have a walking stick, given the slippery/rocky surfaces.

 

As for the guest photo show: about two months after we returned, Lindblad sent an email with links to that and other resources from the trip.

 

(This just prompted me to go back and watch ours. Wow, it seems unreal that we were really there! :) )

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B]Would you recommend bringing a Belkin Mini Travel surge protector?[/b][/color]

 

 

 

Woody

 

It probably not necessary but it does not weigh too much so why not. However, too many "does not weight much" items adds up to a lot of weight.

 

One thing about the Belkin if it is the one that I had (note the use of the past tense). The one that I had did not like being plugged into 220V as I found out when I blacked out several rooms in my B&B in England. Check the specs on the one that you have before you plug it into any 220V outlets.

 

DON

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It probably not necessary but it does not weigh too much so why not. However, too many "does not weight much" items adds up to a lot of weight.

 

One thing about the Belkin if it is the one that I had (note the use of the past tense). The one that I had did not like being plugged into 220V as I found out when I blacked out several rooms in my B&B in England. Check the specs on the one that you have before you plug it into any 220V outlets.

 

DON

 

It will work fine on the Nat Geo Explorer, which has American 110V outlets.

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. . . As for which lenses to bring ashore: your "go to" lens will be the 18-300. The 80-400, while very useful on deck, is not wide enough on the short end to be your only lens ashore. As to whether to take it ashore at all on another body -- will you be carrying all that gear, or will your wife be carrying some of it?

 

. . . At any rate, whatever you decide on the first landing, you can adjust on the next if you want to change up what you are doing. Also think about your hands; we found it very helpful to have a walking stick, given the slippery/rocky surfaces.

 

As for the guest photo show: about two months after we returned, Lindblad sent an email with links to that and other resources from the trip.

Great advice. I'll be carrying all the gear myself. My wife will be using her own Lumix pocket camera.

 

I'll try carrying two cameras on the first landing, and possibly adjust on the next.

 

Woody

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. . . I always travel with a Belkin mini; given the electronics you plan to take, I'd bring one as well.

 

 

It probably not necessary but it does not weigh too much so why not. However, too many "does not weight much" items adds up to a lot of weight.

 

One thing about the Belkin if it is the one that I had (note the use of the past tense). The one that I had did not like being plugged into 220V as I found out when I blacked out several rooms in my B&B in England. Check the specs on the one that you have before you plug it into any 220V outlets.

 

 

It will work fine on the Nat Geo Explorer, which has American 110V outlets.

Space permitting, I'll bring the Belkin mini surge protector for use on the ship. It will be nice having the extra AC and USB outlets (for charging Apple and Kindle devices).

 

Don, I feel your pain about burning out electronics. One time on the Cook Islands, I fried an Olympus battery charger. It was dual voltage (110 - 220v), but there must have been a power surge. Forget about trying to find a specific replacement charger on the islands. I now carry duplicate chargers to remote areas.

 

My Belkin mini is 120v, so I'll be sure not to use it in Buenos Aires, which uses 220v. Glad you suggested checking.

 

Woody

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Definitely take your Olympus Tough waterproof camera. I didnt have a waterproof camera on my first trip and really regretted it. Took a Pentax WG1 on the next 2 trips and it worked a treat (tho its a severe chewer of batteries!). We did some zodiac cruising in blizzards and there was no way I was getting my proper camera out in that!

 

The passengers who had their backpacks inside the bigger waterproof sacks usually took the backpack out once on shore and left the sack with the pile of lifejackets etc.

 

And yes I always take a laptop (MacBook Air) and 2 500gig external drives. I do a full back up to each drive daily as well as leaving all photos loaded to iPhoto fo editing on "at sea" days and sorting and sharing with other passengers and contributing to the shared passenger dvd. Handy to also have a bunch of cheap 4 gig thumb drives to pass around for swapping and recieving shots off people through the trip. Use a marker to put your name on them as people end up with pockets full !!

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Thanks for the tips. Sorry to hear about your D600. Glad to hear you had a backup.

 

Which gloves do you recommend, and where are they available?

 

Good advice for protecting the gear from water. I looked into dry bags and waterproof backpacks. While a dry bag offers the best protection, I was concerned about how to carry them when ashore taking photos.

 

I found a backpack that's essentially a dry bag with padded shoulder straps. It is waterproof and has the same roll-top closure design as dry bags: fold the top over three times, make a loop with the ends, then buckle the ends. The product tag says, "Waterproof. Protects from heavy rain and rough water." Hopefully it will do the job.

 

I'm very concerned about the charter flights' carry-on weight limit.

 

Woody

 

I used the Aquatech gloves. Kinda funny did not use them on any landings. But they came in handy on the ship when we did some whale watching with cold high winds they did save the hands.

 

Only used the ultra wide angle once. So it was not really worth taking.

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I used the Aquatech gloves. Kinda funny did not use them on any landings. But they came in handy on the ship when we did some whale watching with cold high winds they did save the hands.

 

 

The Aquatech gloves were the ones that I brought as well. I did use them, but found them bothersome, and mostly took them off. I agree, though, that when standing on deck for any period of time, gloves are typically needed (but I found I had my hands bare for my camera and then in my pockets a lot! :) ).

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The Aquatech gloves were the ones that I brought as well. I did use them, but found them bothersome, and mostly took them off. I agree, though, that when standing on deck for any period of time, gloves are typically needed (but I found I had my hands bare for my camera and then in my pockets a lot! :) ).

 

I have done photography trips to Fairbanks in March and Yellowstone in the winter. Both places are really cold - much older than Antarctica will be. What I do is wear warm gloves or mittens and silk liners under the gloves. When I am not taking photographs, my hands are reasonably warm. When I am taking photos, I take off the outer gloves and the liners keep some of the heat in and block the wind.

 

Another thing that I did when it was really cold (negative 20 or 30) was to put chemical hand warmers inside of the gloves but outside of the liners. You could throw a few of them in your luggage just in case. Do not put them in your carry on bag as they may be confiscated by the airplane security gestapo. Just remember that the chemical hand warmers are one shot items that can not be put away and reused.

 

I forgot one more thing. Bring suitably sized sealable plastic bags with you so that when you bring your equipment in from the cold into the warmth of the ship, stuff does not fog up.

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc
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Definitely take your Olympus Tough waterproof camera. I didnt have a waterproof camera on my first trip and really regretted it. Took a Pentax WG1 on the next 2 trips and it worked a treat (tho its a severe chewer of batteries!). We did some zodiac cruising in blizzards and there was no way I was getting my proper camera out in that!

 

The passengers who had their backpacks inside the bigger waterproof sacks usually took the backpack out once on shore and left the sack with the pile of lifejackets etc.

 

And yes I always take a laptop (MacBook Air) and 2 500gig external drives. I do a full back up to each drive daily as well as leaving all photos loaded to iPhoto fo editing on "at sea" days and sorting and sharing with other passengers and contributing to the shared passenger dvd. Handy to also have a bunch of cheap 4 gig thumb drives to pass around for swapping and recieving shots off people through the trip. Use a marker to put your name on them as people end up with pockets full !!

Thanks for the tips. Should four batteries be enough for the waterproof camera?

 

Good to know the waterproof sacks can be left once on shore.

 

I'll bring a MacBook Air, two external drives, and some cheap thumb drives marked with my name.

 

Woody

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I used the Aquatech gloves. Kinda funny did not use them on any landings. But they came in handy on the ship when we did some whale watching with cold high winds they did save the hands.

 

Only used the ultra wide angle once. So it was not really worth taking.

 

 

The Aquatech gloves were the ones that I brought as well. I did use them, but found them bothersome, and mostly took them off. I agree, though, that when standing on deck for any period of time, gloves are typically needed (but I found I had my hands bare for my camera and then in my pockets a lot! :) ).

Before committing to the Aquatech gloves, I'd like to try them on. I'll see if they're available locally.

 

Do you have any tips for photographing while on deck (whale watching, birds in flight, landscapes)?

 

Woody

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I have done photography trips to Fairbanks in March and Yellowstone in the winter. Both places are really cold - much older than Antarctica will be. What I do is wear warm gloves or mittens and silk liners under the gloves. When I am not taking photographs, my hands are reasonably warm. When I am taking photos, I take off the outer gloves and the liners keep some of the heat in and block the wind.

 

Another thing that I did when it was really cold (negative 20 or 30) was to put chemical hand warmers inside of the gloves but outside of the liners. You could throw a few of them in your luggage just in case. Do not put them in your carry on bag as they may be confiscated by the airplane security gestapo. Just remember that the chemical hand warmers are one shot items that can not be put away and reused.

 

I forgot one more thing. Bring suitably sized sealable plastic bags with you so that when you bring your equipment in from the cold into the warmth of the ship, stuff does not fog up.

Great advice. Funny you should mention Fairbanks in March. We have planned a trip to Fairbanks in March 2015 to see the Northern Lights.

 

Do you have any tips for a Northern Lights trip? Items to bring? Lens recommendations?

 

Good tips to pack hand warmers in checked luggage, and to bring sealable plastic bags.

 

Woody

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I was alternating 2 batteries on my Pentax waterproof and did often wish I had a 3rd !

I had 4 for the main camera but more often then not they just needed to be popped out and popped back in to the compartment to get more life out of them.

 

The Pentax waterproof had GPS and I was specifically turning that feature on in order to map the voyage - which it did brilliantly. I took a photo out on deck each day, plus in the zodiac at specific points and once at each landing. Then would turn off the GPS as it was a serious battery drain.

 

Do you have any tips for photographing while on deck (whale watching, birds in flight, landscapes)?

 

I tended to stick with bare hands or thin silk liners on the decks.

 

Biggest tip - never ever leave your cabin without your camera round your neck and spare batteries tucked in your pockets. Nothing worse than getting the whale call and having to traipse down stairs get the camera - get back on deck - to have everyone say "too late buddy you missed it" !!

 

Birds in flight. I practiced for ages in a local park of pigeons and gulls and would sway from side to side while I tracked them in flight - to mimic the rocking of the boat. I found that finding somewhere sturdy to lean on out on deck helped rather than just free standing.

 

And yep - no such thing as too many ziplock bags - they come in handy everywhere.

 

I also made a little battery holder out of a spare piece of fleece fabric. Just a rectangle that I folded in half down the long side and sewed little compartments every 2 inches. Had all the batteries for the main camera and the waterproof tucked in there and then in my pocket. Kept them nice and warm.

 

Took "heaps" of handwarmers on my first voyage and never used any of them - ended up selling them to the ship shop. Have never bothered packing them for any of the other trips.

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PerfectlyPerth, thank you very much for all the tips, especially this one:

 

 

. . . Biggest tip - never ever leave your cabin without your camera round your neck and spare batteries tucked in your pockets. Nothing worse than getting the whale call and having to traipse down stairs get the camera - get back on deck - to have everyone say "too late buddy you missed it" !!

I'll be sure to bring extra batteries. Smart idea to make a fleece battery holder. Having batteries organized also help keep track of which ones are charged.

 

I visited the local Nature Preserve to take photos of birds in flight. It's not easy!

 

Woody

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