My Favorite Piece of Travel Photography Gear

Silver-throated-tanager-Costa, Rica by Susan S. lawrence
Silver-throated-tanager-Costa Rica by Susan S. Lawrence

by Susan S. Lawrence

Recently a friend and I were chatting about travel photography when the talk turned to our favorite travel gear.

I didn’t hesitate to name my favorite item:  a gallon-sized plastic ziplock bag —an indispensable item for protecting my camera when shooting in the rain. The gallon size is roomy enough to surround and protect my fixed lens travel zoom camera, plus

Ladies waiting for a taxi in the Piazza della Repubblica, Florence Susan S. Lawrence Photo
Ladies waiting for a taxi in the Piazza della Repubblica, Florence Susan S. Lawrence Photo

there’s enough room in the bag to insert my hand to reach the shutter, dials, menus or function buttons.

For travel, my trusty ziplocks are definitely easier to use than the pricey, stiff professional rain sleeve I bought several years ago.  A ziplock weighs next to nothing, takes up no room in my suitcase or backpack, fits in my pocket, is quick and easy to slide onto my camera, and cost only a few pennies.   When the sun comes out, I can toss it in the trash or re-used indefinitely.

How to do it…

Before each trip, I prepare 5 or 6 ziplocks by cutting an arc-shaped piece off one bottom

images by Susan S. Lawrence
images by Susan S. Lawrence

corner of the bag to form an opening just barely large enough to slip over the end of my lens.

Then I tuck a thick rubber band inside each precut bag.  The rubber band is used to anchor the bag around the rim of the filter that’s always on my lens—unless I have my lens hood handy.

The lens hood is actually a more secure way to anchor the bag and keep rain off the glass, but in a pinch, the rubber band will do the trick.  I fold the precut ziplock with the rubber band into a small packet, fastening it with a paper clip.

Whether I’m exploring a foreign city, on a cruise, hiking in a national park, or up on the Blue Ridge Parkway,  I always keep a handful of the ziplock packets with me —one or two for my own camera plus several to give to fellow travelers when the need arises.  Most are surprised and delighted to discover such a simple way to protect their equipment while shooting in a drizzle or a downpour.

About the Author…

Susan S Lawrence
Susan S Lawrence

Susan S. Lawrence is a Lens Lugger, having attended a number of Field Workshops by photography Bob Grytten, as well as other instructors. She loves to travel and is a very accomplished Post Production artist.

About her equipment, she says …  “I only own one camera – a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 which is not weather-sealed.  It has a fixed zoom lens 24 – 400mm equivalent.  Had it  since it was released in Aug 2014 and it goes everyplace with me.” 

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