Your trip of a lifetime will yield wonderful encounters. Here’s seven photo tips that will help you concentrate on creating fantastic images along the way rather than worry about gear in an unfamiliar environment.

1. Bring spare batteries on every outing, and keep them warm. 

Batteries drain more quickly in the cold. The best place for your spares is in a pocket of your inner jacket (e. g. your fleece or down jacket).


2. Have spare memory cards at hand. 

Take as many memory cards as you think you will need for your trip, then multiply by at least two – chances are you will end up with A LOT more photos than you intended to make. Be sure you always have spare memory cards at hand, no matter if you’re on deck, heading out for a zodiac cruise, or making a landing.


3. Invest in a waterproof bag. 

Sometimes, when there’s some wind and wave action, zodiac rides can be splashy. You want your photo equipment protected – salt water is one of its worst enemies. Sturdy roll-top bags have proven to be a good, versatile solution.


4. Use your lens hood. 

Photographic equipment is delicate, especially the front element of a lens. A lens hood/shade, attached properly, is a good basic protection from rain, snow, spray, and mechanical contact with surfaces of any kind. Plus, it shields the lens from direct sunlight which can cause lens flares and significantly reduce the contrast of an image.


5. Backup your pictures. 

If you’re a keen photographer, it’s worth bringing a small laptop or tablet to regularly backup your valuable images. Or, pack a high-capacity USB thumbdrive and use the public computer on board to copy your files to the drive. (If you happen to run out of space, you may find additional USB drives in the on-board shop.)


6. The night is not just for sleeping. 

If you have to get up during the night, make it a habit to check the light outside. Due to the high latitude (read: midnight sun) chances are it’s wonderful. Peek out your window – and be ready to get dressed and put your camera to work.


7. Resist the temptation to chimp in the field. 

No need to review your images on the spot (other than a quick check for potential technical problems) – your photos will still be there afterwards, the moments won’t. Use every minute of your outing to take it all in: the wonderful surroundings, the magical landscape, the unique wildlife sights and sounds. Put your camera down at least every now and then, and just be in the moment. Listen. Feel. Enjoy.


By Expedition Photographer Sandra Petrowitz

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