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Grease ice surrounds the Astrolabe Islands, Antarctica
Canon EOS 5DSR, f7.1 @ 1/160 second, ISO 100

There’s not much point keeping your camera tucked safely away in your camera bag or backpack as a travel photographer (unless you’re in transit or visiting a place where you’re certainly not going to be taking photographs – one can’t be too absolute in these days of social media commentary)! If something interesting happens, there’s a good chance you’ll miss it while you’re fumbling around with a zipper and turning the power on.

Assuming as a travel photographer our desire is to capture the best moments that reflect a location’s culture and customs, we need to respond quickly while walking the streets, wandering through a market or visiting a landmark. First thoughts are to have our camera around our neck or over our shoulder. In practice, we’re often anticipating action before it happens, so the camera could already be in our hands with the power turned on. The point is, a comfortable camera strap is a good investment.

There are other options, too. A wrist strap for a small and light camera might be even quicker and easier to use, allowing you to keep the camera in your hand all the time. (And a comfortable camera grip assists here as well). If you have two cameras, a double camera strap or camera harness system can evenly distribute the weight and keep both cameras ready. And there are belt and camera bag quick-release systems that let you keep your camera out of your camera bag and attached to your person, ready for action.

The point to consider when shooting travel, is that the photos that matter are usually very fleeting and if you’re not ready, you’ll miss the key point of the moment. Keep your camera ready at all times and a comfortable camera strap is a good place to start.