How Do You Prep Photo Gear for Vacation?

I’m a mostly-serious amateur photographer. That means I really enjoy photography and am constantly trying to improve my technique. I read a lot of books, magazines, and blogs. I also view lots of examples on photo sites and take plenty of shots on vacation – experimenting with technique. It also means that I haven’t quite gotten serious enough to shoot other than vacations. I know I would do better by shooting every day or at least every weekend, but, the fact is, I don’t.

What this all means is that I spend time at the beginning of every vacation trying to remember the tips, tricks and techniques I learned the last time. It also means I spend time reading my camera manual to remember what the heck all of those buttons and dials are for!

Before my next trip, I wanted to change this approach. I figured I would start months in advance to reacquaint myself with photography. I’m starting by reviewing the camera manual and tips I’ve learned. I figured I would think about the different shooting scenarios I expect and create some simple checklists to make sure the camera was set the way I needed it before I start shooting. Then, I can focus (ha! get it? focus! sorry) on the good stuff – lighting, composition, not falling of the cliff into the ocean, and so forth.

So, after that long-winded explanation, I’m seeking your help. What do you do to prepare your gear (and your head) before vacation?

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