Can I take this item on a plane?

I’m regularly asked about what are the rules around batteries when travelling. Make sure your batteries make it through check-in. Basically, if you are flying with spare batteries, they need to be carried on. Don’t lose your expensive batteries! You can bring spare lithium batteries in your carry-on bag, but not in your checked-in luggage.

BUT, if the battery is in an electronic device, the device can be checked in as long as it’s turned off, although never put your camera and lenses in your checked in luggage as it most likely will be damaged UNLESS you’ve got a speciality camera equipment case, and make sure you put it through the fragile bag drop.

What are the restrictions?

  • Spare or loose batteries must be carried in carry-on, they are prohibited from checked luggage.
  • You do not need approval of the airline for lithium batteries that do not exceed 100 Watt hours [Wh] or 2 grams [g] of lithium.
  • You can take a maximum of two spare lithium-ion batteries [or power banks], that exceed 100Wh but not 160Wh [or for lithium metal batteries 2g lithium but not 8g] but only with your airline’s approval.
  • Batteries that power any device can go in checked luggage if they are in the device and the device is turned off.
  • Each person is allowed a total of 20 spare batteries [including power banks] unless an airline has approved the carriage of more batteries. The 20 spare batteries can all be lithium batteries or a combination of lithium, dry-cell, nickel-metal hydride and non-spillable batteries.
  • Each spare battery, must be individually protected by being in retail package, individual bag, a protective pouch, or with tape placed over exposed terminals. Check out what I use.

Read the full aviation security article here

Why I want you to learn how to capture an image “correctly” in-camera

If you’ve been on any of my workshops, you’ll recall me working with you, coaching you to take time to get the image “right” in-camera, let me explain why:  

Apart from choosing which lens to use, then there are your settings – ISO, shutter speed and aperture to capture the image to your liking, what I’m also wanting you to look at are:

  • The flow of the image – leading lines & framing your subject
  • Horizon – is it straight? 
  • Distracting objects in your image – what’s to the left or right of the centre of your image?

When we come to the important part of processing your images, I’m not wanting you to crop your image to correct leading lines and not to remove a distracting object from the side (rather user Photoshop), nor levelling the horizon.  


Photographing Fireworks

Take your tripod 

You’ll need to keep your camera perfectly still so it’s best to use a tripod and make sure that you set up your tripod on stable ground, and shield it from any wind. You can of course put your camera on a table.

What lens? 

That really depends on what you are thinking your image should look like.

  • Telephoto – 70-200mm will get you detailed shots of the fireworks but you’ll need to keep your camera trained on the right part of the sky at the right time, and it can be easy to miss.
  • Wide angle – 24-70mm will capture the entire skyline but won’t offer a lot of detail in the image. 

What aperture? 

If you have no foreground subjects you can get away with pretty much any aperture, from wide options like f/2.8 to narrow options like f/16.


Tips for overcoming fears of capturing street photography images

When you’re out on the street with your camera, many people are looking at you wondering what you are photographing.  Here’s are just a few of my tips to help you reduce your nerves so you don’t freeze so you can create beautiful street shots. 

Good street photography can look deceptively easy and if you’ve been on one of my street photography workshops you will have practiced these tips. 

Fear stops many would-be street photographers, but with the right approach, overcoming your nervousness is possible.

I’ve been leading street photography workshops across New Zealand & Australia and photographing on the streets for years and I’m sharing my techniques to work past your street photography fears allowing you to enjoy taking great street images without feeling paralysed by anxiety. 


What is HDR photography & how to create it an HDR image

For photography, HDR describes a type of photo that captures a dynamic range that can’t be achieved in a single photograph. HDR stands for “high dynamic range” and it’s a clever way to work around difficult lighting situations. 

It’s quite rare to have perfect lighting when shooting landscapes. Often, the sun is shining bright creating contrasting dark shadows and bright highlights. 

Cameras these days often have very good dynamic range (meaning they can capture darker darks and lighter lights in a single photo) but sometimes this isn’t quite enough, especially when you can easily create your own HDR image.

This is a manual way to increase your dynamic range by taking multiple photos at different exposures and then merging them together. The simplest method is to take one photo exposed for highlights, one photo exposed for mid-tones and a third photo exposed for shadows. 


Tips for capturing images in the snow

I’m soon heading off to Antarctica and been thinking about how I need to change the ways in which I capture my images, camera gear, camera accessories to pack, and even how I look differently at what to capture.  If you’re heading to somewhere packed full of snow soon here’s my tips:

Keep your equipment safe – The cold temperatures of winter can be harsh on your equipment. Since snow can easily wet your gear, consider buying a waterproof bag to keep everything safe and dry.

You can never have enough batteries – Cold temperatures significantly chew through your camera’s batteries faster when you’re outside for long periods of time.  Bring at least two spare batteries and recommend that you store them close to your body in an insulated pocket to keep them warm.


What is the reciprocal rule in photography? 

The reciprocal rule, simply is about how to make sure when hand holding your camera, that your images are sharp. It’s quite simple your shutter speed should be at least “1” over your lens focal length. In other words, to keep your shots sharp, you should use a shutter speed that is the reciprocal of your lens, otherwise, you’re at risk of blur due to camera shake.

As an example, using a 50mm lens, you’ll need a shutter speed of at least 1/50s. And if you use a 200mm lens, you’ll need a shutter speed of at least 1/200s.