5 Essential TIPS for TRAVELLING WITH GEAR!!

5 Essential TIPS for TRAVELLING WITH GEAR!!


– What’s up, everybody? Peter McKinnon here, and I am back. Programming will return to
its regular scheduled time. In honor of my return from abroad, today, we’re talking about five tips,
five tricks that you can do when traveling with your
photo or video gear. Intro. (upbeat rock music) First things first. Pete, why is your face so red? Well, I’ll tell you. The wind utterly destroyed my skin whilst climbing the side of a mountain. Needless to say, I was in
four countries yesterday. That’s crazy. And I started thinking to
myself on the flight back, what can I teach you guys
that I learned on this trip that would be valuable to
you, and I thought, well, this is a perfect example
of things you need, things to do, things to keep in mind when traveling with your equipment, be it on assignment or vacation
or whatever it is. There’s kinda something for everyone. A little bit of a mixed bag, if you will. So let’s start with bags and organization. Now, these are are the bags I use, these are the pouches
I use, the things I use to keep my gear safe, organized, and efficient when I’m traveling to shoot. Or whatever it is,
photo, video, assignment, pleasure, doesn’t matter,
this is kinda my system that I feel is a good one to implement if you wanna keep your stuff together. So, so many bags to choose from. There’s roller bags,
stroller bags, sling bags, backpacks, I’ve had ’em all. For me, the best thing… I’m come full circle back to the backpack. You can have your hands free
if you’re hopping a fence, if you’re climbing under something. It’s just the easiest bag
to keep all your stuff on you without having that
side bag flopping around when you’re walking, or
slinging it, it gets stuck, and all that weight starts
hurting your one shoulder. You can’t roll a bag up a mountain. Every bag is good for something, but there’s just some bags
that are better for everything. For me, that’s a backpack. Specifically, I like a backpack
that opens from the back. It doesn’t matter what
brand it is, but if it opens from the back, that
protects it from thieves. Six days ago, I was in Venice,
Italy, and we were shooting some footage and I put my back
down to grab some equipment, and I noticed three
guys sitting on a bench. The second I put my bag down,
they looked at each other. One got up, circled around behind me, pretend to talk on the phone,
magically had a phone call. The other guy went
around to his other side, and they effectively formed
a triangle around me, and the one guy on the
bench was keeping watch. I know what he was doing, I
know what they were doing, I looked up, and I gave ’em the nod. Yeah, nice little, nice formation there. Real stellar. And he looked over at his
friend went like this, and that was kinda the signal to tell them I had caught on and then they
all went back and sat down. The phone magically went away
and that phone call ended, and I zipped up my bag and left. So, you gotta be careful when
you’re traveling anywhere because people, people
wanna steal your shit. So you gotta make sure it’s
safe, secure, and in order, and nobody’s getting into
that bag, except for you. I love the Lowepro ProTactic 450. They’re not paying me to say this. It’s just a sick bag, because
it opens from the back. There’s a lot of loops on
the front that you can use to clip different things on and off, different pouches, kind
of a modular system. Now, within that bag, I
segregate all my devices, accessories, et cetera,
through different pouches. So I’ve got an audio pouch. I’ve got a cable pouch. I’ve got a battery pouch. Because time is money,
if you’re on assignment. If you’re just shooting for leisure, time is also important,
because you might only have a couple seconds to get something. You might have only a couple
minutes to get something. You need to know where your stuff is, and you need to be able to
access that stuff, fast. So for me, all my cables, dongles, whatever, what have you, stay in one bag. I know where that bag is. I can open up my backpack,
pull out that bag. All my cables are ready. A lot of these tips
might seems kinda basic but not as many people think
about them as you’d think. Someone’s coming down the
street, you’re trying to get, you’re battery’s dead,
looking through your pouches, stuff everywhere, filters coming
out lenses, there’s gloves, there’s a bag of chips
that exploded in there, Sun Chips, because those are just extra… Yuk. It’s not efficient, and
when you’re a photographer, and you wanna make sure
that you get those shots, efficiency… Mmm!
(Peter snaps) That’s key. Another thing you wanna keep in mind is airline restrictions. Does your bag fit in the overhead,
or are they gonna ask you to sky check it because hell
no, you’re not taking my bag. Are you kidding me? Mmm.
(Peter snaps) Point number two. Doing your homework. What does that mean? I hate homework. I hated homework too. I don’t think I ever did my homework. Regardless, doing your
homework, very essential. Now, there’s two schools
of thought on this. Let’s say you’re
traveling to San Francisco for a vacation, and then
let’s say you’re traveling to San Francisco for a photo assignment. If you’re doing a photo
assignment, chances are, you already know what
you’re going there to shoot. So you go there, you shoot
it, you get the job done, you come home, cool beans. All is well and good in the world. If you’re just going to
travel and you wanna make sure that you get the most out of
the time that you’re there and you get good shots, and
you hit the right spots, you gotta do the homework. My recommendation is to open up Instagram, hashtag search San Francisco
or find some Instagrammers that live in San Francisco,
and go through their photos. Find the spots that you like,
that you’d wanna shoot at. See if they’re geotagged. If they’re not, maybe
DM the person and say, hey, where did you take this shot from? Because having a little bit of a shot list that shows you location, that
helps you manage your time so that you get everything
that you need to get, for photos, for video, you’re good. You land, you get off the
plane, you have some food, throw back a few tacos, and
then you say to yourself, all right, I wanna hit
this spot at this time, and then we’re gonna
across the bridge to here. We’re gonna hit that spot. This area looks amazing. The guy told me you can get
in if there’s a little hole in the fence, so we’re
gonna crawl under that hole. He told me, if that’s blocked
off, you can go around the… Just planning your shots
helps you ensure that you get everything you wanna
get while you’re gone, and you make the most of
that time you’re away. Now, there’s some people
who might say, well, Pete, half the fun is just
exploring and wandering around with my gear and shooting
whatever I think looks good. Yeah, absolutely, 100% agree with you. However, I like to do my
homework so that I know the right spots to get the
most epic photos or the spots that inspire me that I wanna
do my take on that version, and then, once that’s
done, because that was so efficient and planned
out, I’ve got plenty of time to wander around and explore
and find my own spots. Now, this goes as far
as tracking your flight the day before you leave
and seeing the flight path, the trajectory of the
plane, because that way, you can choose which side
of the airplane to sit on when you do your online
check-in, which means, when that plane lands and
takes off wherever it is that you’re leaving and going to, you have the best vantage from the
best side of the window, because we’ve all been there. You know when you’re landing
in Vegas or something and everybody’s peering on
the window on the right side and they can see the strip. You’re on the left side like, what… What are you looking at? Oh, no, that looks so good. Can I… (Peter sighs) But if you have all
these things planned out and you’re on that window side… Pow! Pow! Pow! You’ve already got sick shots
coming in from the plane, and you’re gonna land, and you’re gonna hit two spots at night, and you’ve got a location
planned for the morning. So when you do your
homework, you’re gonna ensure to yourself that you get the best footage and the best photos,
because you put in the work. (Peter snaps)
Yes. All right, let’s talk about storage and dumping your footage. You need to bring an
external drive with you. I can’t even tell you
how many times I’ve had drives crash, cards stop
working, cards formatted because I didn’t have my shit together. I’m trying to figure out what goes where, and is this card empty, is that full, I’ll just format it… (Peter gasps) I didn’t save it! Travel with some sort of
a laptop or a hard drive so that you can be
safe, dump your footage, back it up, and have that
piece of mind so that you know when you go out shooting, you’ve
already got a copy of that in the cloud and in the
hard drive, ’cause trust me, I’ve been there, it
sucks really, really bad. Okay, so here’s a quick
example of how I format and organize my footage
when I’m on a shoot, be it it’s paid or leisure. (Peter snaps) Let’s jump into the computer right now. We’re not gonna jump into it. We’re gonna go over. ’cause, I mean, you know, whatever. Okay, so when you plug your
hard drive into your computer or your laptop or whatever
it is that you’re using when you are traveling and
you’re essentially not at home, this is what I do for a
typical workflow or backup of my files to make sure
everything is safe and secure. So let’s do an example
of the trip I just did, which was through Italy and Switzerland and Germany and all that stuff. Let’s just call it Alpine Road Trip. So we go Alpine Road Trip. Now, every single day I’m
gonna update this folder. So day one is Day 1, and
I’m gonna write down Day 1 and make sure it’s all ready to go. Inside Day 1, depending
on what I shot with, I’m going to update this
folder with the camera name. So I’m gonna write, okay,
the 1D I did some shots with. I did some shots with the GoPro. We flew the drone, and
we have some footage with the camera we we were testing, which was the Olympus, and
that is what I will make. Now, inside the 1D, I’ll
make folders called Photo, and I’ll make folders called Video. Just make sure I spell it right. Inside the drone footage,
depending on which drones, I might have the Phantom 4,
and I might have the Mavic. So, now we’ve got a pretty good
file structure for day one. We’ve got our 1D footage
with photos and videos. We’ve got our drone footage
with the Mavic and the P4. We’ve got GoPro footage,
and we’ve got footage from this Olympus camera
we were testing out. Now, every day, I’m gonna
make the same folder. So on day two, I’m gonna
do the same thing, day two. I’m gonna open it up,
depending what I shot that day. That’s the 1D footage. Maybe I only shot 1D and drone, and maybe I only shot
the Mavic, so inside, just so that I know which drone it’s from, to keep that organization
on point, I’m gonna write 1D, drone, Mavic, and that’s it. That’s for day two. That is everything completely organized. When I put my cards in, I’m
gonna dump all the footage. So it’s good to have three
different types of backups: one locally on your
computer, so in this case, I’d probably save it to my laptop as well. On the hard drive itself,
which is the backup, and then I would back
one extra time to Dropbox or whatever cloud service
it is that you’re using to make sure you’ve got
three contingencies. So, if your hard drive
crashes in your laptop, you’ve still got your external. If your external crashes,
you still have the cloud. If the cloud crashes, you’ve
still got both of these. If everything crashes, well
then, fuck, just go home. Now, next up is essential items. These are things that you
need to bring with you that are gonna help you out so, so much. I’m only gonna go through a couple, so let’s go right now. You need, if you’re
shooting video, you need, you have to get, a variable ND filter. Now, what’s a variable ND filter, Pete? Hah, I’m happy you asked! I’d be happy to tell you. Variable ND filter… Think of it this way. So, when you’re shooting video,
you need to do the 180 rule. So you gotta keep your shutter speed double what your frame rate is. So if we’re shooting
at 24 frames a second, which most people do, you wanna keep your shutter speed at a 1/48 or 1/50. Some cameras only do 50 like mine, so you wanna keep it at 50. Now, what if it’s outside
and it’s too bright and you wanna keep that
nice shallow depth of field, and you can’t shoot at 50? That’s when you put an
ND filter on your lens. Now, a variable ND filter
allows me to adjust the amount of light that comes in through
that filter, so you can see, if I spin it, it gets darker. If I spin it this way, it gets lighter. So it’s limiting the amount
of light that comes in. Now, the reason this is on the lens, think of it like
sunglasses for the camera. I can put this on the lens, still shoot, keep my shutter speed at
50, and if it gets brighter, I just spin that filter a little bit, and it blocks out more of the light. Keeps my shutter at 50, which gives me the most natural-looking motion blur, because if you don’t do that, you get some jittery
footage, it’s too bright. You gotta stop down and you
lose that depth of field. So these, absolutely imperative. The second I just started
to make this habit and not break away from it, my
footage looked so much better. So there’s links below
for these if you want one. This seems like a
no-brainer, but trust me… (Peter laughs) You’d be surprised. You need to have at least two batteries for every single device
that you have with you. So, if you’re shooting with a Steadicam, you’ve got two batteries. If you’ve got a drone,
you’ve got two batteries. If you’ve got a mirrorless camera, you’ve got two batteries. If you’ve got a DSLR,
you’ve got two batteries. The other one’s in the camera. This one, I nearly forgot last week. Different places use
different types of power, so you gotta make sure
that, if you’re bringing a hard drive and a laptop
to back up your footage, you can actually plug it into the walls. So, I mean, just get some adapters. What else do I need to talk about? What else? All right, tip number five is shooting at the right time of day. This is probably the most
important point for me. A lot of the times, I
have friends, I have fans, I have people and family and
whatever, ask me questions, and a lot of the questions I get is, how does that footage look so good? Why does that guy’s stuff
look so much better than mine, or why do those clips look
so much better than my clips? A lot of people don’t shoot
at the right time of day. Let’s use the Matterhorn,
for example, in Switzerland. (shutter snaps) I was there a couple days ago. A lot of people were out mid-day taking pictures of the Matterhorn. Now, did I do that as well? Yes, ’cause I was there. I’m taking a couple photos. However, I wanna get the
best possible photo I can of said mountain, so what am I gonna do? I’m gonna wait for the right time of day. For me, that’s either sunrise or sunset. Sunset I find is better
because it’s the gift that keeps on giving. It literally, the sun looks
amazing just before it sets, it looks great as it sets, and then there’s some
residual light after it sets. You’ve got like a whole
little runway of amazing light where sunrise is just gonna like, boop! And it’s done. And you gotta get it
and, you know, whatever. But sunset, you got more time to do it, but you gotta give yourself time. So many times you hear people
saying, oh, chasing the light. Yo, chase, hashtag,
chasing the light, bro. Yo, we’re light chasers. You don’t wanna chase the light. You wanna be there for
when the light is right so that you don’t have to chase it. I mean, that’s… There’s nothing worse than
trying to actually beat sunset and get to somewhere or get to
a spot that you wanna get to before the sun sets, ’cause
when it starts going down, there ain’t no stopping it. It goes fast, and the
best photos, best results, are gonna happen during that
time, so be there on time. If you’re there a couple hours
before, or an hour before, you can scout different locations. You can say, okay, right
as the sun starts to set, I’m going to shoot a
time lapse right here. As it’s just peaking below the mountain, I’m gonna run over and shoot over there, and then in five minutes,
when it’s gone completely and the sky is just on fire
from that residual light, I’m gonna come back to
this spot and shoot stills. So having a plan because
you’re there early lets you execute and get all those images, get all of that footage. It’s gonna look the best
from that entire day. So many people just don’t
wait for the right light. They just shoot it mid-day, they get back, they show their photos to the friends, and I say, oh, yeah,
no, I’ve been there too, yeah, check this out. Why does that look so good? ‘Cause I waited. So, for me, I got the best
possible shot that I could of the mountain instead of
just shooting at mid-day. Now, you might say, I’m not
gonna be there at sunset, so how do I still get a great photo? In that case, yeah, I mean, shoot it at mid-day and
do the best you can. You might not. But that’s why you plan
and do your homework so that you can be at
the spots you wanna be at the right times of day. Okay, guys, so that’s it for me today. It’s important to say
that this stuff isn’t just for people who are
traveling or working abroad or going on assignment or vacation. If you’re just going down to
the city for the day to shoot, these tips will help you just as much. They still apply to a very
wide range of information. It’s not just for people who
travel, vacation, or work. If you’re just going around the corner, you can still take care of your gear. You can still use ND
filters, and you can still do your homework and find
the best spots around you. Okay? So use these tips. If you got something out of this video, hit that thumbs up button, give me a like. Show me some love. Subscribe if you aren’t already, and, and, mmm! (Peter snaps) I’ll see you guys in the next video. (upbeat techno music)

100 thoughts on “5 Essential TIPS for TRAVELLING WITH GEAR!!”

  • YOU TESTED AN OLYMPUS?! DUDE. I HAVE to know what your opinion is on them m43s!!! I tried it out and wasn't too impressed with the high iso!

  • I'm literally going to San Francisco to take photos in a month😂 Awesome tips! It was a while ago when you made this but I love it, thank you Peter!

  • ThaOneBigAndSmallOne says:

    you need to know the shortcut to create a new folder buddy.. Nice vid! Love the Channel
    (cmd+shift+N)
    please and thank you

  • Levitated Entertainment says:

    PETER YOU NEED THIS SHORTCUT: Press: Control+Option+Command+1and it will arrange all your files by name so you don't need to right click and select it every time. 🙂

  • Hot tip!! Take a 6 point powerboard, then you only need 1 local adapter for the country you're in and you can plug in all your stuff! Plus most hotels only have limited wall points.

  • Eric Paul Goldie says:

    Awesome video as always! Big fan, people like yourself, Mr Neistat, Jesse are a huge inspreation! If there's anything you have all taught me its to never give up! If everything crashes, I go back out a get as much as I can, I get stock footage, I ask friends for their footage. Point being, don't take L's! #determination #neversaydie #mrpositive

  • Most countries I've been to in one day was 5. Commuted by car from Heidelberg, Germany to St. Jean Cap Ferat, France. (Countries include: Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Monaco)

  • Fernando Cervantes says:

    Peter, I love every video you make!
    This should save you some time

    Pro tip:
    right-click folder > show view options > sort by name > use as defaults

    Also, cmd+shift+n for new folder

  • ghese productions says:

    Hey Peter,
    Have you ever had the airlines ask you to check in your carry-on camera bag because there was no more room in the overhead bins? This happened to us on the first leg of an international flight, and we ended up having to re-book our entire trip in order to keep the carry-on with us. Is there a way around this, especially since we were traveling for work?
    Thanks so much. – Sam

  • Any more advice on traveling with gear and preventing it from being stolen? Heading to Puerto Rico in two days and I want to shoot everything I see, but i'm hearing that crime is up since the recent hurricane.

  • Buy yourself a One Adaptor+. Works in every country and has 4x USB outlets and to Mac as well. It's been all over the world with me and never failed once.

  • Came here looking for a good travel backpack to purchase, was not disappointed. Btw, you probably already know this, but if you don't: if you ever format a card by mistake, you can still recover everything from it, just don't save any new material on it until you've recovered your data. Just google it, there's free, easy to use software available for that.

  • Uribe Linares says:

    HEY PETER! Question : I have many drone traveling shoots. but not know what to do…. can u help me??????

  • Pro Mac tip Pete! In Finder if you go to "view -> show view options" you can set it to sort by name then use that as a default so you don't have to right click and sort every new folder

  • I thought this was going to be a boring video. But, noooo. It was packed full of valuable info I didn't know…again. You and Matti are amazing. Thanks for all you do. Bravo!.

  • Thanks for this video, Peter. I found it really helpful. I'm ready to purchase a backpack or other bag for carrying my gear and it's helpful to have recommendations.

  • Hey Pete, I use a Nikon D5600 with a 18 – 55 MM VR lens…. which ND variable filter will go best with my gear? I’m finding it difficult deciding it…..

  • I take a usb-c to sd card dongle and unload my photos onto my phone. Then put those on some cloud storage. Saves lugging a laptop around.

  • Chasing the light is like getting 2 drone flights in when you live in Toronto in the winter. Why does this happen to me.

  • We realised that the best benefit of a variable ND filter is that we can do Long Exposure Photography at day time as well. 😃♥️ It.

  • LaQuisha Kenyatta says:

    Once again amazing advice. I’ve already been using some pointers but I definitely need to start doing a shot list before i travel.

  • Great video Peter! – as always. I happen to already do pretty much everything you talked about here so it was a nice reassurance to hear all that from you. I however prefer sunrises as opposed to sunsets for two reasons – 1. the most popular places are significantly less crowded and some places are just impossible to shoot at sunset unless you don't mind a bunch of random people on your photos or post-processing hassle to remove them; and 2. it's easier to make it on time at the right time especially when you're travelling with family and have bunch of things planned for the day, sometimes it's hard to make it on time for the sunset. With sunrise you just gotta wake up early enough. And yeah sometimes you don't get to choose because the azimuth of where the sun is on the horizon is key to the shot – like shooting Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn.

  • Hey I see a lot of photographers and videographers using Mac. Is Mac better for editing photos and video or does it matter what system software you have just the what's inside the computer matters?

  • Great video thanks. I wonder whether you have experienced what i have. I slept in my car in February 12F in Colorado! I wanted to take pictures (I have a Nikon 7100) and drone footage (DJI Spark) of the Great Sand Dunes National park, all my batteries DIED due to the cold. Even having them in my pocket did not work that well. I later thought of putting HANDWARMERS in with my drone case and my camera gear…after that, no problems with cold batteries.

  • timbo wilderbeeste says:

    There's pros and cons to a backpack. Ten years ago I spent four months researching a book on Ansel Adams and traipsed all over California, New Mexico, Arizona, etc hiking all over creation, and I used a top of the line Kata backpack that was supremely comfortable and came with excellent strapping. Only problem, and it does get tedious, is that you have to undo the belt and drop the thing to the ground when you need or want something, then hoist it back up and do the buckles up again – if it weighs as much as mine did that gets really old after a while. Sure, you can hang a camera from your neck or the straps, and I generally us a vest to carry bits and pieces I may need in situations like that, but if you're using a couple of bodies, need to switch to a different lens, or have to grab the tripod, then back you go to taking the pack off again. It's times like that when you wish you simply had a shoulder bag, but of course carrying one of those all over the place would kill your shoulders after a while. For long days of tramping everywhere backpacks are definitely the way to go, but they do have their limitations as well.

  • Street Drummer says:

    Peter dude you're killing it. Just unlocked a 1T WD harddrive and found it's empty. Also going on a trip next week and this video really helped on what to bring. Keep the great content coming!!!

  • Good, dynamic, enthousiast, persuasive, rushy, quick, fast, accurate, funny, usefull, nervous, breathing, FANTASTIC presentation. I will just try to remember everything…do you have a version in slow motion ? Keep smiling I love this video

  • This is so true!! Went to Nashville at the beginning of April. Wanted to get some night shots from the rooftops but no bars would let you go in with your backpack. Then I said I’ll leave my back pack down here and they still would not allow any detachable lens. 🤦🏻‍♀️I was so upset so I went back to the car and left my camera in there.

  • i mean…lightroom can do all that organizing for you if you set it up nice, you can just go through the metadata, the filters are awesome

  • A lot of Pete's tips in this one are very basic nuts-and-bolts stuff any serious shooter should already know. At the same time, however, if one is not a pro shooting every day, or if one shots mostly in a studio, this type of reminder video can most definitely save the day! Thanx, Pete.

  • Waldemar Ishibashi says:

    Venice, like most Italy actually, is not a secure place. Be careful showing off your equipment and look out for grab-and-run phone thieves.

  • You are so right on with your tips. Also, you have one of the few videos where every other sentence doesn't include, "like," "actually," "you know," "ah."

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