Overland travel: Discovering the world of photography

xpedition-truck-black-sea-romania-terratrotter

Photography, it wasn’t something either of us were particularly interested in before. Of course we appreciated a beautiful picture. But we, we only took the occasional photograph and maybe one or two selfies throughout the year. And what is Instagram? We only discovered that a month ago. Yeah, the world of photography was uncharted terrain for us.

When we started to take traveling more seriously, we realized that it would be a shame not having a visual diary of our adventures. However, that is not the only thing photography gave us. We eventually discovered that it enriched our traveling experience and provided us a new perspective on the world we travel through.

Note: Featured image  is taken on the Black Sea beach in Romania with our Sony camera  (original image; *We decrease the size of the images on our website. This increases the website’s speed, but decreases the image quality)

Cellphone

As rookies, we started out with our cellphones; well an iPhone6 to be exact. We were satisfied with the results… for a year. After our  trip to Croatia we noticed that the quality of 99% of the photos we took was disappointing.  Due to wear and tear of the waterproof case, the transparent screen in front of the phone’s camera was scratched up. As a result, our pictures were far from printing quality.

Lifeproof waterproof case:

The Lifeproof case (iPhone, iPad or Samsung) is water -, snow- and shockproof. Seriously we filmed with it under water. But the knobs do show wear and tear quickly (we did receive a free replacement case when one of the knobs tore within the first couple of months of use). After approx. a 1-1.5 year the case is clearly not in its best shape anymore. However, it is the best one we have had and the phone itself still looks like new.

 

Aside from the reduced quality of our photos, we missed a good lens as well. We needed a lens to frame the wildlife we spotted in a distance or to take a beautiful portrait of … our truck of course.

Pelican in Danau Delta Romania
Pelican in the Danube Delta in Romania  (Original picture* taken with our Sony camera)

So it became time to step up our game. We started our search for the best camera and lens to join us on our journey.

Sony Camera & Tamron Lens

Criteria

The camera had to be easy to use – even for a newbie -, but with enough ‘room to grow‘ for when we gain more experience with photography. It also needed to be travel-friendly: not too heavy and an all-rounder. After all, we want to take quality pictures and movies from people, wildlife, buildings… close-by and far away. Not too much to ask, right? In other words, we were looking for the perfect camera 🙂

Sony alpha 6000 with Tamron lens

 

Our choice

After spending way too much time researching different cameras (reading reviews, asking professional photographers and my dad, who I recently found in the trees with his camera), we decided upon the Sony alpha 6000. This camera matched all our criteria and more. But we did not go for the kit lens. Instead we chose the Tamron Di III 18-200mm VC zoom lens. This is an all-in-one zoom lens. It eliminates the need to carry extra lenses with you. Switching lenses not only increases the risk of getting dust or sand into the body, it also decreases spontaneity, speed and ease of use – all things you want to avoid while traveling. Overall, we are very satisfied with the choice we made.

If you like to capture sunsets, panoramas or wildlife, we highly recommend adding a tripod to your kit. We purchased the Cullman Concept One travel tripod, which is very compact, versatile and doesn’t cost you a fortune.

 

Campfire in Romania
Campfire in the mountains of Romania (original image*)

 

Discovering beauty

What we did not expect is that photography puts you in a different mindset. Instead of letting the beauty of nature, people, … surprise you – like something you run into accidentally – you now consciously search for it. As a psychologist/trainer I tell my clients “what you give attention grows“.  Focussing your attention to specific things will produce a new filter in your brain – your mind’s eye as some like to call it – through which you observe, interpret and feel about the world. In the case of photography, you are paying extra attention to things that are beautiful, tell a story or are intriguing. And before you fully realize it you start to see magnificent things all around you, even in that little bug that lands on your finger.

Close up from bug

 

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