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How to take GREAT HOLIDAY PHOTOS, packing for travel photography, garden birds, medium format film

Coming up on this episode of Photography  Online... we give you top tips for taking  

great holiday photos... we shoot from the comfort  of our home... and we show you how to pack a bag!

Welcome to part one of our June 2021 show which  is sponsored by Pouch which i'll be telling you  

more about later. This month we're bringing you  the show from a rather special place - Armadale  

Castle. This is one of those under the radar  locations here on the Isle of Skye which often  

gets overlooked by visitors, but I'm going to  show you why this should be top of your list  

if you plan on visiting the island. Before all of  that though, let's get the show off and running.  

With international travel opening up again and  the summer fast approaching, the photography  

online experts thought they would share their top  tips for taking great holiday photos. If you're  

often left a little underwhelmed by your holiday  snaps then grab a pen and get ready to take notes.

Photography is not all about taking amazing  images which are good enough to be hung on a wall  

or entered into a competition. Sentimentally  shots of friends and family are far more  

valuable than great landscape shots, so  it's important to remember to take photos  

which will act as a record of your time and  become treasured memories for the future.  

When out and about I often see families on  holiday taking photos of themselves to document  

their experiences. Now while I appreciate that  they're not trying to win any awards with their  

photos, sometimes I see them doing  something that's fundamentally wrong  

and I have to resist the urge to run over  and offer some advice. Now I'd probably be  

told where to go, and maybe quite rightly so, but  surely these never-to-be-repeated moments should  

be captured in the best way possible? If you  agree, then we've put together a few handy tips  

to ensure that next time you come back from your  travels, you do so with the best possible images.  

Ideally you want the sun low in the sky and off  to one side. This creates softer light and longer  

shadows which are far more appealing in a photo.  This isn't going to be the case if you're at a  

location in the middle of the day so you might  want to think about trying to venture out earlier  

or later than you normally would do. Instead of  planning a walk on the beach at 2pm, try doing it  

before breakfast or after dinner as this is likely  to provide far more attractive light which can  

make a huge difference even on shots taken with a  phone. The other advantage of being out early or  

late is that there will be fewer people around  so not only will you get better light but you  

also get a better experience of the location that  you're visiting. The lower the sun is in the sky  

the more attention needs to be placed on where  it is in relation to yourself and your subject.  

If you're taking a family portrait with  the light behind you then your subjects  

are going to be squinting. And if the light  is in front of you - i.e behind your subject,  

then you're going to end up with a silhouette.  If possible, try to position your subject in  

the shade but close to where there's sunlight  hitting the ground. This is likely to provide a  

very flattering light and a sparkle in the eyes.  Overcast days provide great light for portraits.

When photographing children, try to position  the camera at their eye level as looking down  

on people rarely has a pleasing outcome,  unless you want to portray the subject as  

being vulnerable in some way. The same applies to  anyone sitting down - don't stand over them and  

point the camera downwards. Instead crouch  or kneel to bring the camera down to their  

eye level as this gives a much more personal  connection between the viewer and the subject.  

Try to capture natural expressions rather than  false smiles. If you ever find yourself shouting  

"say cheese", then it's probably time to  book yourself onto one of our workshops.

You can't really capture the spirit of a  place without including the local traditions  

and cultures and this of course is likely  to involve photographing the locals going  

about their daily lives. One can snipe people  on a telephoto lens from a distance but you  

will never know who they are. These pictures  may have merit but they will certainly not  

be as personal as they could have been if  you'd actually engaged with your subjects.

Now this engagement can be a daunting experience  for many, most, if not all of us photographers,  

but it can also be incredibly rewarding,  

so how do we go about overcoming this? If you  see someone you would like to take a photo of,  

here's a tried and tested method. Firstly and  most importantly of all, be yourself and tell  

the truth. And be respectful and have a clear  plan of what it is you wish to say in mind  

before engaging with the person themselves. This  will give you confidence and they will sense it.  

Approach them and say hello. Introduce yourself.  Tell them your name and where you come from.  

Explain that you've come to visit their country  or area etc and tell them what you've seen so far  

being positive of course. Say that you're enjoying  your trip very much but you're looking forward  

to showing friends and family what a  great place it is when you return home.  

Basically you are building the impression that  you are going to be an ambassador for their  

home, their area, their country. You  can do all of this even if you don't  

speak the same language. Once you feel the  conversation is coming to a natural end,  

thank them for their time and ask them if it would  be okay for you to take a picture or two of them.  

Explain it will only take a moment or two and be  honest and say that it is part of the reason you  

spoke to them in the first place - they caught  your eye. It's the truth so why not tell them.  

The answer now will almost certainly be a "yes"  as they will want to be part of your memories.  

At this point you should have a basic idea  of the style of picture you wish to create  

and the rough settings should  already be in place on your camera.  

Once you have someone's permission don't just take  a quick shot and think thank goodness that's done  

and run for the hills, back into the shadows.  Take a little time, reposition them, or yourself  

if necessary. Think about your composition. Think  about the story you're trying to tell. They will  

want the photo to be as good as possible so they  should be willing to cooperate with your requests.  

With this kind of photography please keep in  mind that your pictures are actually not that  

important. You're not shooting images to change  the course of history, although you never know I  

guess. The point is, don't harass people and use  your common sense. Keep safe, make the experience  

for both you and your subjects a positive one.  You can exchange email addresses, you can send  

copies. Lastly and importantly, please don't  pay people for their time, it's just not cool.

The most common mistake with wildlife photography  is missing the moment. You need to be able  

to predict what's going to happen and get the  camera ready to record your prediction rather  

than what's already happening. Many cameras have  a slight delay as they try to focus on the subject  

and this can cause you to miss the shot. To enable  the camera to take the photo instantaneously,  

pre-focus by lightly pressing down on the  shutter button until focus on your subject  

has been confirmed. When your subject is in the  right position or doing something interesting,  

press firmly down to take the photo. If you want  to take more than one shot of the same subject,  

assuming it's not moving closer or further away,  then as long as you don't take your finger off the  

shutter you can keep pressing and each photo will  be immediate, as the focus has already been set.  

There are a couple of very simple rules for  ensuring decent architectural shots the first  

is to avoid converging verticals. This is where  a building looks like it's falling over backwards  

and it is caused when you have to point the camera  in an upwards direction in order to include the  

very top of the building. To avoid this falling  effect you need to ensure your camera is pointing  

straight ahead - dead level. Assuming of course  you are standing at ground level you will now  

probably have lots of unwanted foreground at the  very bottom of the frame and will be cutting off  

the roof of the building at the top of the frame.  This is not great, so try to include the top of  

the building by either turning the camera on its  side, zooming out, or by moving further away from  

the building itself. The important thing is to  get the entire building included in the frame  

without pointing the camera upwards. Take the  shot and you will see that the building is now  

upright and vertical. You may well find that the  extra foreground helps set the scene regardless.  

If you have excess unwanted foreground  simply crop it off later in post-production.  

The second tip for shooting buildings is to  try and include two sides, ideally each one  

in a different light. For example, if you shoot  a building from head-on you won't be able to see  

either of its sides and regardless of light it  will appear rather flat and one-dimensional. But  

if you move to one side or another and shoot  the same building at around 45 degrees you  

will now be looking at the front and one of the  sides of the building and this is much better.  

If you can also get the front in sunlight and  the side in shade then this is better still  

as it helps you give the building an  even more three-dimensional appearance.  

Try where possible to place your subject away  from the center of the frame. If your subject  

has a direction - for example has a front and a  back such as a vehicle or a person, then position  

it so that it's facing into the frame. If your  subject has no direction and is being side lit,  

then try to position it on the opposite side to  where the light is coming from. Of course, if  

you have symmetry around your subject then placing  it in the center of the frame may work. Generally  

speaking though, placing your subject off to one  side gives a more pleasing balance to your photo.  

Sometimes you may see an amazing  scene in front of you and think  

"oh that'll make a nice photo". However, upon  showing the masterpiece to your friends and family  

may leave them a little bit glassy eyed and  holding back the yawns. A likely culprit could  

be because your photo is lacking a focal point  - somewhere for the viewer's eye to settle on.  

Adding an anonymous person to your scene can  provide such a focal point and it's often  

just a case of being patient and waiting for the  perfect subject to walk into the perfect position.  

It sounds obvious but make sure your lens  is clean. This is a common mistake people  

make when shooting on their phones. How often do  you check to see if the lens is free from grubby  

fingerprints or dust from your pocket when you  take a shot on your phone? The smaller the lens  

the bigger the problem dirt and grease will  cause, so a phone will really suffer in this area.  

A clean lens will produce sharper images and  increase contrast for crisp and clear photos.  

If you're shooting with the sun in  front of you but not in the frame  

then try to place a shadow from your  hand over your lens as you take the shot.  

This will increase the clarity  and contrast of your photo.

If you're heading off on your holidays soon then  hopefully some of those tips will be useful.  

Now as I mentioned, this month we're bringing you  the show from Armadale Castle which is situated in  

the south of the Isle of Skye and was once the  seat of the Mcdonald's. The castle, gardens and  

museum are now run by a charitable trust dedicated  to promoting the history and traditions of the  

Clan Donald and the Highlands and Islands. As  you can see, it is a great place for photography,  

especially from May through to October when the  grounds will be looking at their very best. So  

in just a minute we're going to be joining our  star student with her photographic assistant  

as we look at what you can do to take wildlife  photos without leaving your home, but first,  

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Now if you're a regular Photography Online viewer,  you'll be familiar with our Schools Out series  

where we've been teaching our 8-year-old star  student the basics of photography. This time she's  

switching from her film camera to a digital camera  as she tries to capture her first photos of garden  

birds. She's very excited to share everything  she's been doing over the past few days, so  

without further delay let's hand you over to the  cutest member of the team, along with her not so  

cute father!

So welcome to Schools Out and here we  have our star student. Do you remember your name? Xiana. That's a good start isn't it. And what  are we photographing today? We're photographing  

garden birds. We're in our kitchen looking out  our window. And outside here what have we done?  

Outside um so we've built like a little pole, hung  up two bird feeders - one's full of fat balls and  

the other is filled with seeds and we sprinkled  some seeds on the ground and also given out bread.  

Okay um and why don't you show everybody what  you've got in your bird photographer's bag. First  

of all let's show everyone what you've got on the  front. Do you know what bird this is? Corncrake.  

Yeah. Have you seen any yet? um no. No you will  see some soon though. They'll be here soon.  

I've got my bird book. So why is this important?  Because if we meet any new birds that come to our  

garden we can look at them in this bird book and  then we'll find out the type of bird what type  

of bird it is. Yep. What else is in there?  Binoculars, so we can look out the window.  

Okay and what kind of binoculars are  these? Um they are small binoculars made by  

Kite Optics. Are they good binoculars? Yes. Yeah  they're very good for the size aren't they.   

Little hands like that, and they're very powerful  and very clear. Yes. Right now I can see two  

starlings feeding on the fat balls right  now through the binoculars. Okay and what else? 

I have got my notebook for writing down all the  different types of birds I see each day. So on the  

first day I started doing the bird watch I've  seen a robin, starling and also um we've seen  

eagle. Lots of little girls like you when they  started their bird keeping diary they would have  

put robin at the beginning okay. And then the next  one down is starling. The starlings are probably  

the most common bird that we've seen out of here  because they always arrive in lots of big numbers  

don't they. But then third, this is going to be  unique to you because no one else is going to  

have a list of birds that says 'robin, starling, eagle',  because eagles eagles are very rare in the UK. It's  

only here in the north west of Scotland that you  can really see them. Yes. But you see them all the  

time don't you? Yes. Not on the bird table because  that would probably fall over if they came down  

and landed on that. It wouldn't be able to take  the weight would it. it would be like me sitting on it!  

Yeah. Oh look at that. What's that one  there? It's a pied wagtail. It's very close  

to the door because we actually fed out a  pile of seeds right at the end of the door.  

Why is this called a wagtail? Because as it  walks it like wags its tail.. goes woop woop! How does it go?  

What noise does it make though? Woop! 

Okay so let's talk about the equipment that we're  going to use okay. Because this is your camera  

that you've been using up until now isn't it, but  why are we not using your camera to do this? 

Because it's a film camera? Well... number one  it's a film camera so you wouldn't be able to see  

if you were getting good shots would you? Yes. But  more importantly the longest lens that you've got  

on this camera is 135mm and it's not  auto focus okay. So because the birds are moving a  

lot you really need a camera with auto focus so  it locks on very quickly. But tell people what  

lens this is. So we are using the 500mm lens. Okay and what does that do? What does the  

500mm do? It makes and can look very close into the  birds. While we're waiting for more birds to come  

down shall we bring in our early warning bird  system? Yes AKA my brother. Yeah so why don't you  

tell everybody about your brother. So my brother's  name is Miles. He is disabled so he can't talk.  

He just makes sounds like "um". But he likes watching  the birds very much doesn't he? Yes he's learned  

a lot about the birds during lockdown and  loves watching them and sometimes we just  

leave him to sit here and wait for a bird to come  and when a bird comes he alerts us by shouting "uh".

So I know that we have many uh viewers who are,  you know, limited in mobility and find it difficult  

to get out of the house, so um my son is severely  disabled so um you know it's not often that he  

can go to places and take photos but this is one  of those situations where he can get involved  

and join in. So shall we go and get  Miles and then he can start  

taking photos can't he. Yes he loves taking photos. All right let's go and get the boy.

Okay there he is. Now then this is  our early warning system. All right  

Miles you're going to say hello to everybody?  Miles you're going to say hello to everybody?  

Okay, right now when you see a bird... actually  look, before you go any further it's a good job  

you've got your camouflage trousers on Miles because otherwise the birds would see you

wouldn't they? Yes. All right so you got your  camo gear on that means you're in stealth mode.  

Okay so what we want you to do is you tell us  when you see a bird okay? So because Miles can't  

use binoculars and can only use his eyes then  we've got the live view on the camera here with  

a magnified view on so that it's the same as him  looking through binoculars, basically so he gets  

to appreciate the birds close up. And you can also  take some photos can't you because you can tell me...  

you tell you tell daddy when you want to  take a photo. Make sure it's a good one.  

Okay done! That's miles's photo. You  captured all of the birds looking over there.  

That's very good timing Miles. If you want me  to take another photo Miles you just shout.

There we go, look at that! What great timing. Wow  look at that action shot. So we've got enough  

photos of birds now. Yes. What advice would you give  people who want to do this from their own house? 

So I would give them advice to um if they  have a big window look out from that window  

and put up a bird feeder in front of the  window and then they can get good shots um  

find some bird seeds or bird food to bring the  birds in for photos yeah and stuff. And what kind  

of lens do you think they need? A very long lens  to make the birds big in the photo? Yeah they  

need like a quite long lens if and they  have put the bird feeder far far away but  

try not to put it too close to the door  it will make the birds feel a little bit  

nervous and a little bit scared. Yeah and if  you don't want, because we've just been taking  

pictures of the birds on the fence and on the  feeder because we don't really, we're  

not trying to get award-winning photos, we're not  trying to get wildlife photos we're just trying to  

give you some practice and teach you about birds  aren't we, so if people want to take better quality  

photos then they could put some branches like some  tree branches outside so the birds can sit on the  

branches and then they can photograph them on the  branches instead of on the feeder like we're doing.  

Yes. And what about the background as well? What  do you think is good background? A good background  

is like some hills or like countryside stuff.  Yeah. Do you think houses are a good background?

Not that much. No not very  good. So you want trees or hills  

Yeah, like nature background.  Yeah nature background, very good.

Okay Miles tell us when any birds are coming okay.  

Because that's your job. That's what you're  hired for. That's how you get the money!

Apparently that's how you get the money  Miles.   

What a great way to get young ones into photography, as well as nature. All the photos you saw there were taken by the kids and as  

Marcus explained, while they're not going to win  any wildlife awards they do provide a fun reason  

to use a camera and teach the importance  of becoming familiar with your subject.  

Now before we go any further I just wanted to  say a huge thanks to everybody who's joined us  

for our monthly webinar event Mc2 Live. This is  our 90-minute live show where we look at various  

topics including giving our opinion on some of  the photos submitted by our audience. We've now  

extended the show by adding on some Extra Time at  the end and this part we're making free to watch  

on our sister youtube channel Mc2Photography.  So if you want to hear the team chatting away  

about all things photography then give it a watch.  There's a link in the description below. And on the  

subject of our Mc2 Live webinar, we'll hopefully  be broadcasting a live sunset shoot in the coming  

shows so that should be good fun. Please do join us  if you can. Still to come we'll be showing you how to  

best pack a camera bag for travel so stick around  for that. Now as you know we like to cover many  

areas of photography as we can here on Photography  Online and this includes film photography. Our  

regular feature Analog Affairs has looked at a  few different cameras over the past year or so  

and these have always been presented by Marcus.  However, Nick fancied a piece of the action so  

borrowed a camera and a couple of rolls of film  to see how easy, or difficult it is.   

I've been taking photographs for around 35 years now which  means that when I started I was using one of these  

not one of these. But when the digital revolution  arrived, I jumped on board and haven't looked back since.

I mean who would still want to shoot film when it's so much more convenient using one of these?  

Well it turns out quite a lot of people do, as  film photography has gone through a major revival.  

Prices of old film gear were at an all-time low  a few years ago when supply outweighed demand, 

with amazing cameras and  lenses going for bargain prices.  

But now things have changed and the balance  has shifted, with demand now outweighing supply.  

I remember my film days consisting of long  waits to see how bad my exposures were.  

But I reckon I've improved my skills since  then. Okay the wait may still be there, 

possibly even longer, but maybe that's part  of the appeal? To find out I've got hold of  

an analog camera and a couple of rolls of film to  see if I can discover what all the fuss is about.  

Having got used to high resolution photos from the  latest digital cameras my expectations as to what  

is acceptable when it comes to image quality  has got much higher since the last shot film,

so to go back to 35mm probably won't be  giving film much of a chance. So I'm taking things  

to the next level. This is a medium format film  camera which takes 6 x 9 cm frames,   

giving plenty of detail to compete with the  standards I am now used to. Now I have to explain...  

I've never used medium format film before so this  is new territory to me, but how hard can it be?  

Well I've decided to document my attempts to  see what's driving the current resurgence in analog photography.

Okay. So the first task was  to load the film which sounds quite easy but  

if you've never done it before and never  been shown then take it from me, it's not.  

Now what I should not be doing is unrolling  the film like that. What I should be doing is  

putting the film into the camera, but as you can  see... I'm not!   

After ruining my first roll of film before I'd even got it into the camera (S*&t!), a new day brought the promise of a new start, so here we go - take two...  

This week I've been out with a film  camera for the first time. Now I've gone to  

various locations around Skye and I've come  here this morning to try and get another shot.  

I've got a clear horizon over to the east so I will  get light. I haven't got massive amount of clouds  

behind me but because I'm going to get light I  should get a reasonable shot and i'm shooting on  

Fuji Velvia which is a nice saturated film  so that'll help with the blue sky. Now I've  

been excited to use a film camera but I've also  been rather nervous by using it. One of the main  

reasons, especially with this camera is that I've  only be given two rolls of film and each roll of  

film only takes eight exposures. And with this  particular camera, it's a rangefinder camera so  

when you're looking through the viewfinder  you're not actually looking through the lens  

so you must remember to take the lens cap off  because you won't see that so let's do that now.  

So I'll set my composition. Now like  I said, this is a rangefinder camera  

and when i'm looking through the viewfinder, you  know I'm not 100% sure if i've got my composition right  

but because this is a 90mm lens  which equates to about 45mm in 35mm cameras,

it's giving me a slightly wider angle than I would normally shoot this scene from because I'd usually shoot this at 50mm

so it gives me a little leeway with my composition.

So let's just double check that and there we go.  Right so that's composition check. Now we've got  

to focus. so I kind of work through this workflow...  composition, focus, set my aperture ,and then meter  

for my for my exposure. So focusing on this is  relatively simple, but sometimes you don't know  

if you've exactly got it right because when  you look through the viewfinder you've got  

a tiny circle in the middle and it's something I  believe it's called split focusing so you get to  

see kind of that part of the scene twice and as  you bring it into focus they join together   

and that is there now that happens to be infinity. I  know that's fine because everything in my in my  

composition is at infinity, so I kind of helped  myself by choosing this particular viewpoint.  

So composition - check. Focus - check. Now,  aperture... I'm going to use f11 for this.  

That will give me anywhere from  probably 15 meters to infinity.  

Okay, so the light is now hitting my scene so I  need to get metering and get a shot in the bag.  

In the absence of a light meter I came up with a  cunning plan - to use a digital camera as a meter!  

Basically all I'm doing is metering to make  the highlights a mid-tone and then i'm going  

to increase this exposure by around two stops to  ensure the highlights are at the upper limit of  

the dynamic range of the film..... one quarter  of a second. Now i just need you to take the shot...  

such a good noise that. So that's my  first one now i'm going to overexpose  

this one, so that's half a second. Wind it on..

and that should...

be my...

yeah it sounds like the film is wound all the way on  

fingers crossed I'm not going  to do anything wrong here.  

So there's our film. Now just need to... now remember  the trouble I was initially having loading the  

film on my first attempt? Well surely getting the  film out wasn't going to be that difficult? Oh God...

Can't get it out

Ah there we go. So with what I hoped was a decent shot  in the bag, it was time to develop the film and  

see how it turned out. Following the Photography  Online guide to processing your own film -  

something we featured in our june 2020  show, this was a fairly straightforward  

exercise and it wasn't long before I  was getting the first few of my images.

I was really impressed by the results with  this shot being the better of the exposures.  

As you can see, there's loads of detail in the  image enabling me to print this at a decent  

size if needed. This may not be my favorite ever  shot from this location but it is unique in that  

it has that film quality to it which seems  impossible to replicate with digital.

So what was the conclusion to my first medium format film  experience? Shooting on film again after all these  

years has really been a great experience for  me. That jeopardy of not knowing what I've got  

when I press the shutter button compared to the  instant feedback I get with my digital camera.  

Although it's not for everyone I can really  see why a lot of people are going out there  

and buying second-hand film cameras. Do I want to  do it again? Of course I do, so watch this space.

What a great image Nick got there and it just looks like it was taken on film if you know what I mean,

which considering it was is hardly surprising but it is amazing how film has a look which just can't be recreated with digital.

If you're into your film photography then next month we have got a real treat for you. In fact, even if you've never shot film in your life,

you still really need to see our next Analog Affairs as  we'll be in the company of someone who is regarded  

by the world's best known photographers as  being the master of the darkroom. I've already  

seen it and was immediately inspired to get  out and shoot a roll of black and white film.  

It is definitely something not to be missed. Now,  at the start of the show we gave you some tips  

on how to take great holiday photos but before  you can even think about any of those you need  

to travel somewhere. Knowing what to take and how  to pack can be a daunting task, so when preparing  

for a recent trip with Marcus, I grabbed the  opportunity to get some space-saving tips from  

someone who spent several years flying around  the world as a professional travel photographer.

When recently packing for a week-long work  trip, I had that usual conundrum of how to  

best pack all my things... travel hairdryer - all the  essentials. With camera gear plus all my clothes  

and other paraphernalia, it's never long before I  resemble philly's fog about to embark on an 80-day  

round-the-world trip (oh hat). But Marcus always  seems to be able to fit everything into one bag  

despite having way more camera gear than me. In a  quest to find out the secret formula to packing  

like a pro I gave him a call to see if he would  share any tips I could apply to reduce my excess baggage.

Hello. Oh you made it. I did. I need to see  where this magic happens.

Okay so what I've done is I've laid everything out because when  you called me I'd literally just finished packing,  

so you couldn't have called at the worse time. 

This comes from years and years of traveling around the world with cameras and it's not an easy thing to do

but the mistake a lot of people make is that they pack their camera bag and they're left with so much wasted space in there   

so I'm going to show you how to make the most of that empty space and the way we do that is we we use

clothes for extra padding. So your clothes are  actually just to fill up space? Correct!

First thing you think about is your camera gear! When I  go clothes shopping I don't think about style or  

price, I just look at it and go "that will go nicely  down the side of the 70-200mm lens".  

Okay different ways of working I think, but let's  see what you've got. Okay so we've got two cameras,  

we've got a digital camera over there and we've  got four lenses which is probably more than most  

people would take. Yes. And then a massive film  camera and film and a light meter as well just  

so that you know if I can get all of this in  and you've only got one camera and three lenses  

then there's no excuse. We've got filters - four  filters, filter holder, batteries, battery charger,  

and then on top of that we've got enough clothes  to last for a week. Aye. Okay so that means  

seven pairs of socks, because there's nothing  better than fresh pair of socks on in the morning,  

seven pairs of pants, seven t-shirts and then two  pairs of trousers, but one of them I'm wearing.  

Okay. So I put a clean one on before you go.  My jumper, I'll only ever wear one jumper, right,  

because we're gonna I mean it's summer time now,  you're not planning going out for the evening and  

taking a nice pair of chinos or something?  I'm going on a photography trip.  

This is not fine dining! So, this is what we  do... oh and i'm going to have a computer as  

well so we'll put the computer in there to  start with because that's now out the way.  

You've got a power adapter for that as well?  uh i can get one in a minute. All right. I know  

that you're going to be keeping tabs on me. I am. I've  actually got a checklist! So first thing i'm going  

to do is put the camera into this little space  here but you might notice that there's a load  

of space underneath here which is currently not  being used so we want to use that. so I reckon a  

t-shirt will go nicely underneath there so we'll  put a t-shirt underneath there and then there's still  

loads more space either side so, I won't get my  pants out to show you those in any more detail ( I appreciate that)  

those can go over the top like that and then  we can probably get another t-shirt like that.   

So just in a space where most people would just  have a camera and a lens I've managed to get four  

items of clothing as well. That is quite impressive.  Whopping great medium format camera... that can go in  

there and again we've got all of this room around  here so let's just pad that out with t-shirts and  

pants and things because obviously we're not  going to be using the bag for photography, so  

once we get to the hotel we'll unpack we'll take  all the clothes and put those in and we'll just  

repack the camera bag as a camera bag, so access  to our gear is of least importance at the moment. 

Always leave the socks 'till last because  they're good to fill in little gaps.   

Obviously you're packing for a guy let's be fair right  now well I haven't checked recently but I think...

I think I take that box, or a very low maintenance  person. So you do want a nice a nice rucksack with  

kind of separate pockets and stuff that you can  put your bits and pieces in? Yeah I think so

because otherwise everything's going to be rubbing  together and that's not what you want, but this

this bag here is a Mindshift... I think it's called  a FirstLight 40...

and this is the largest bag that is airline compatible carry-on compatible so I don't have to check this in

this is why you have it because you're cheap and you can actually... No it's nothing to do being cheap, it's to do with  

not wanting to check my photo gear in to a plane (fair  enough) I don't want baggage handlers throwing  

this around, although to be fair, because it's  going to be so well packed I wouldn't mind  

people throwing this around a bit because I know  that it's going to be safe. I mean I used to travel  

with a much bigger bag and it went around the  world several times and I never had any breakages.  

So hang on wait wait, you just put one toothbrush,  is this the... well how many toothbrushes do you need?!  

Is this the extent of your toiletries? Well I'm gonna  maybe put a bit of toothpaste in as well. Okay no  

shampoo? No because you get shampoo at hotels. When  you go to a hotel.... but you can't always rely on it.  

What kind of establishments are you staying in?  Okay so if you're gonna be travelling to a warm  

place and you maybe want to bring some sun  cream with you... yeah... will that fit in there?  

Yeah yeah because I've got the... look this  is this is basically these two compartments here  

are reserved for Ruth items. This is for your  holiday souveniurs? I knew you'd be pedantic about and go  

well you haven't got this. Okay okay as a woman  there are certain things that we maybe bring  

that you guys don't think about so much, shampoo  being one of them. Well I've answered that question.  

Okay so this this might look large to you but  that's going to contain essentials - soaps, shampoos,  

various things that people need when they go away,  so I mean are you going to stuff that in there?  

No because what, you see this this is the problem.. this  is a bag, which, if you had it in here would be one  

of the biggest wastes of space ever (a bag within a bag), so you're saying take everything out, take everything  

out and split it up and put it into different  places. You don't need a bag within a bag.  

Okay okay so sun hat? Sun hat.. well okay... I don't  have a sun hat because I just soak it up like a  

man, but if I did need a sun hat I'd have one of  those flat you know flat ones that packs flat  

and I would put it in here on top of my computer,   there's loads of room in there. So you do have some  

space in there. You'll get loads of stuff in there and look, I've got another space here as well which I can  

put stuff in. In fact look here I've even got some  waterproof trousers. I didn't even know they were  

in there, that's how well packed they are. We don't  need those where we're going so that's my sun hat.  

Okay shoes? They'll be on my feet! Just the one  pair then? Well I mean how many pairs do you need?  

So look that's me with two cameras four lenses  and enough clothes for a week. Okay it's not  

entirely you. You've got a tripod lying down there. Okay so  this is the sticking point. Yeah. Um because of  

the spikes particularly, but you could take those  off and put rubber feet on, but um, that is a weapon..

that will strap to the side of that, but  I think... I think you wouldn't be allowed. I don't  

think security would let you go on the plane with  this, so you'd have to you'd have to either check  

that in or not take it. It depends what kind  of, you know, trip you're going on obviously, so  

that's the sacrifice but if I was going somewhere  for longer than a week or somewhere, you know,  

longer haul with more gear then I would have  another separate duffle bag and that would go  

in there wrapped with clothes. Okay so you're  not averse to having a check-in bag and just...  

no no if you're going long-haul then you normally  get your check-in bag as part of the ticket anyway.  

I'm talking about going to Europe where they  charge you £100 for your ticket and then  

charge you £400 if you want to take a bag on  as well. That's true. So this is the best way to do  

it. It's the safest way to do it because this  can't get lost if it's not out of your sight.  

Okay fair enough. I'm slightly impressed. I mean  travel hairdryer obviously isn't in there and ... 

Yeah you get that in the hotel. Not always and  my hair never has trouble drying by itself...

So you're all set! You now know how to pack and  how to get great shots during your holidays.  

If you're able to get away then I hope you  do have a great time. Feel free to let us  

know in the comments where you're heading  and send us your best shots when you return.  

We'll be doing a travel themed surgery session  at the end of the summer so we could be featuring  

one of your images. Okay so that's it for part one  of this month's show, but do join me for part two  

in just a couple of weeks when we'll be back here at  Armadale Castle to show you around a little more.  

We'll be continuing the theme of travel by  looking at three different types of bags  

and we'll be explaining everything you need  to know about lenses including busting one of  

photography's greatest myths! Don't forget  to give us a thumbs up if you enjoyed the  

show and please tell your friends about us as  we know there are still lots of photographers  

out there who are missing out. You'll also find  links for more information about Armadale Castle  

how to purchase Photography Online  T-shirts, hats and tutorial books  

and how to follow us on our new Facebook page.  Okay so I've got five seconds left which gives  

me just enough time to say... Until next time, take  good care but most of all take good photos.