Gear Up with the Best Travel Photography Accessories of 2019 (so far …)
It’s only February, but 2019 is already shaping up to be another kickass year for innovative travel tech. For travel photogs, in particular, we’re practically living in a Golden Age. As proof, these four gadgets are among the best travel photography accessories of 2019 (so far …).
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Best Travel Photography Accessories for 2019
Lume Cube AIR LED Light
Good lighting is critical to good photography. But, it can be tricky to find (or create) even half-way decent lighting while on the road. I’ve seen quite a few solutions, but none tackle mobile lighting as effortlessly as Lume Cube AIR. At roughly 1.5 inches square, it’s hardly bigger than a golf ball. It weighs next to nothing. It’s bright. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s inexpensive. It’s also waterproof down to 100 feet and drop-proof to boot.
All of which makes it one of the best travel photography accessories of the year. In my own experience, it’s a huge help with food photography as well (no more relying on your dinner-mates to “light up” your plates for all those Instagram shots!). Plus, the included white and orange (warming) diffusers make the latter a breeze with nice, soft lighting.
Lensbaby Sol 45
Lensbaby‘s line of creative camera lenses is a polarizing (pun intended) topic among photographers. Personally, I love the challenge of using them. There’s a steep learning curve, even for skilled photographers. But, the payoff can be tremendous. Sure, you can achieve similarly creative looks using mobile photo editor apps like VSCO and Lightroom. But, I’ve found that none quite capture the moody, dreamlike quality of Lensbaby.
One of the latest in their line is the Lensbaby Sol 45. The 45mm fixed f/3.5 selective focus lens creates a tack-sharp circular area of focus surrounded by pillowy soft blur and a heaping helping of bokeh. Even Lensbaby admits it’s not for everyone. But, the results are unlike any other creative lenses I’ve personally test-driven!
It’s available for every major camera brand, including Sony, Canon, Fuji, Nikon, and Pentax.
Peak Design Everyday Messenger 15″ (v2)
Of course, the gear bag you choose is almost as important as what goes in it. When I first tested Peak Design’s original Everyday Messenger bag, I absolutely loved it. It was the most handsome, best-designed, most durable such bag I’d ever tested.
Peak Design recently returned with a reboot of the original that basically started it all for them. I’m happy to report the Everyday Messenger v2 is every bit as awesome as its predecessor. Plus, it’s been upgraded with a luggage pass-through on the rear panel, better FlexFold dividers to keep your gear organized, more durable fabric throughout, and a better weatherproofing treatment on the exterior. Seriously, I can’t recommend this bag more highly!
If the messenger bag format isn’t your thing, the Everyday Line is also available in a backpack, a sling, and a tote.
Mobile Edge Core Gaming Backpack
It’s taken me a long time to hone my gear organizing skills. I pack almost as much — if not more — electronics than I do clothes and toiletries. So, finding a way to keep everything in its place is key.
One way I’ve found to do this is by keeping all my photography gear in its own messenger bag, and toting a separate bag or backpack for everything else. This makes the most sense, particularly if I’m traveling with my main 17″ HP laptop that doesn’t fit in Everyday Messenger.
The solution for me has been Mobile Edge’s Core Gaming Backpack. The list of features on this is almost dizzying, but it’s everything I need to keep all my non-camera gear straight. The name of the game here is: pockets, pockets, and more pockets. There are three separate sections for stowing my 17-inch laptop, headphones, tablet, accessories, and printed itineraries.
Plus, there are tons of compartments for organizing loose bits like pens, keys, cables, business cards, and gum, and side pockets for additional cables, Bluetooth travel speakers, phones, and even large water bottles. The external USB 3.0 Quick-Charge compatible port with a built-in charging cable means I never have to bother trying to hunt down the ever-elusive airport power outlet.
It’s all wrapped in a super durable ballistic nylon outer shell. The padded air-mesh shoulder pads and ventilated back panel ensure it’s comfortable to carry. And, the trolley strap makes it a snap to stow on top of my rollaboard. The entire design is also TSA checkpoint-friendly which means I can move through security much faster.
Polaroid Pop Instant Print Digital Camera
Sure, an actual camera seems a curious choice for a list of “best travel photography accessories.” But, for most photographers, this is likely to be a quirky add-on to their primary photography gear kit.
If you’re “of a certain age,” the name Polaroid no doubt elicits tinges of vintage photographic nostalgia. The days of snapping photos on some of the world’s first instant cameras, then impatiently waiting for them to develop in your hand were so damn fun.
Polaroid gets this, which is why they’ve brought back their iconic instant camera. The all-new Polaroid Pop 2.0 Instant Print Digital Camera is just like those instant cameras of your (well, at least my) childhood. But, the company wisely added all the latest tech bells and whistles including a touchscreen display, built-in Wi-Fi, and 1080p HD video capability.
With clever ZINK Zero Ink technology, photos print flawlessly and even feature the iconic, oversized white Polaroid border. Now, you can paper your fridge with all those amazing snapshots that would otherwise be “wasted” on Instagram.
What do you think are the best travel photography accessories of 2019? What bits of kit can’t you travel without?