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Photo Vacation Travel Tips

So you may be asking “what’s a Photo Vacation”? For me, it was not only choosing a vacation spot, but also planning my trip around the idea that I’d spend my time practicing my hobby, photography. From where do I go to what do I bring, every piece of puzzle revolved around taking lots of photos.

Crater Lake, Oregon.

Picking the Right Destination
Lately I’ve been working on improving my landscape work as well as photographing water. So I thought about places where I knew I would find beautiful scenery and plenty of practice opportunities.

Summers in Texas can be a tad on the flesh-melting side, and as this was going to be a vacation, weather was definitely a factor. If my plan was to spend a week outside shooting, I wanted to pick a place where thermometers rarely go above 80. My choice…the mountains, forests and lakes of Oregon.

Gearing Up
For a while now I’ve been wanting to shoot with a very wide angle lens, so I headed over to and rented the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom. I didn’t want to lug around too much gear so I decided to only bring one more lens. I needed something that would be a solid “walking around” lens. Because of its broad zoom range, I opted for the Tamron AF18-270mm f3.5-6.3.

I knew my trip would involve hiking several miles a day, so I picked up a small tripod from Sunpak. If you’re using heavier lenses or a battery grip, this may not be your best choice, but this little guy is extremely compact, lightweight and got the job done.

The last thing I needed was a way to charge my batteries while hiking and camping across the state. Having a power inverter for my rental car proved to be an absolute must!

Getting Great Shots
My goal was “practice, practice, practice”, so at every opportunity I would perform a variety photographic exercises like only shooting in a certain mode, framing a shot several different ways or shooting my subjects with various depths of field. Did I delete a lot of bad pictures? You bet! But after a week, my ability to work with my camera to get the right shot improved tremendously.

More times than I should probably admit, I also found myself climbing onto, into or around places/things that I shouldn’t have. While I don’t recommend that you follow my lead on that, personally, that’s when I had the most fun and got the shots that I am most proud of.

Mt Hood overlooking Trillium Lake

Crater Lake, Oregon.

Mt Hood overlooking Trillium Lake

Where have you traveled lately? Did you get any brag-worthy shots?

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As a member of Photodex's events team, Dylan specializes in teaching pro photographers and slideshow hobbyists alike how to use ProShow in their business. He's an avid student of photography and enjoys Austin's eclectic mix of music, art and nature.