Travel Tech | What I use for filming and photography on the go.

Travel Tech


This week I thought I'd talk about what equipment I took with me for working in Japan. I was really limited with how much I could take on the plane, but I knew I'd be filming a lot so I wanted to make sure I took all the equipment I needed. 

However, I tried to take as few things as possible, and just buy or make anything else while I'm here. For example, using big pieces of cardboard and tinfoil as bounce boards, instead of trying to pack my big reflector in my backpack.


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Obviously, the first thing I need is my camera. A Nikon D750 with 50mm 1.8 lens. I bought this camera pretty recently, and although the model initially had problems, it works really well for me, and I'm happy with it. It does everything I need and the video quality is a lot better than my previous camera.

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Best not forget a charger, and back-up batteries. I always carry both batteries on me, fully charged, because if you're shooting for long periods of time, you don't want to be stuck with a dead camera half way through the day.

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Trusty tripod. This one is great because it can be taken apart and used as a monopod, perfect for travelling, as some places don't allow tripods, so it's a lot easier to pack it up small and carry it around.

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Secondary lens. I'd say 99% of the time, I use my 50mm, but occasionally I'll need a wider angle or zoom, so I can just switch to this one.

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Backpack. Very bright, I didn't realize it'd be this bright when I ordered it, but it's pretty good, because I know I'll never lose it. It's the perfect size for fitting all my equipment, which frees up my hands for eating, or travelling around.


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Audio recorder and clip mic. I usually just use this for interviews to make sure I get clear audio.

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Ring light and DSLR mic. I rarely use these, but I thought I was better to take them just in case. I normally use the ring light for portraits, or if I'm filming at night. The mic is good for general filming and ambient audio.

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Extra essentials. Headphones, remote, universal plug, and mobile phone. These are all pretty self explanitory. My use the Nikon app on my phone which makes it work like a second screen to remotely film or take photos from my camera.

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Waterproof camera case. For shooting under water, obviously. There is so much cool fish and sea life here, that I wanted to make sure I could capture footage of them if I get the chance.

So yeah, that's just about everything. I also have a graphics tablet for editing, and a small point-and-shoot as a backup camera.

I really wasn't sure what to take, whether it'd be too much or too little, but it's worked out pretty well. I can fit everything I need in my rucksack, fling it on my back, and go. No hassles

If you have any other tips, let me know.
Hope you all have an awesome week.
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Adventures in Japan | Kizugawa Firework Festival

Kizugawa Firework Festival

After a pretty relaxed week, we headed to the neighboring town of Kizugawa for the Hanabi Taikai (Fireworks Festival.) It's the first festival I've been able to go to since I've been here, so I was really excited when we were asked to help our local bakers to sell cakes from a stall. The cakes were  seriously delicious, it was so hard not to eat them all, haha. 

Everyone was so nice, and a lot of customers wanted to take photos with us, and learn some English words. I felt like a celebrity, some people (mostly little girls) would scream, giggle, and blush when we said hello to them. There are hardly any non-Japanese people in this area, so it was really exciting for them to talk to people from all over the world. A lot of parents would send over their small children to talk to us so they could practice speaking English. It was also really good for me to get to practice my Japanese, which is coming on slowly but surely, haha. 

The fireworks were amazing, it was one of the best displays I've ever seen. They had fireworks blow up in the shape of a cat's face! It was crazy. The festival was so busy and buzzing with people. There were stalls selling every type of food imaginable, some of which I could neither recognize nor pronounce, but it all looked so delicious. 

It was a really long day, and by the end of it I was exhausted, but it was really fun, and I'm so glad I got to meet so many people. Plus, we got free cakes to take home, so all in all it was a pretty great way to spend a weekend. 

Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival

What's the best festival you've ever been to?

Sending my love from Japan. 
Hope you all have an amazing week.

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Travelling Alone



The idea of travelling by yourself can seem really daunting. Initially, I kept thinking "I wish someone was coming with me." However, when I really thought about it, and put my doubts and fears to one side, I realised that it was actually better for me to go it alone. 

If I had taken someone with me, I wouldn't have experienced it in the same way. When you're alone, doing something scary, or that you've never done before, you learn what you're made of. You learn a lot about yourself when you have no-one else to rely on. If I brought my parents, or my boyfriend, or even a friend, I'd have been in 'daughter' mode, or 'girlfriend' or 'friend' mode. I'd have been able to rely on them, so I wouldn't have been able to learn how much I am actually able to adapt and handle in new or a little scary situations. You can't grow if you don't challenge yourself.

The whole experience of travelling by yourself is amazing. Not only do you get to learn more about yourself, but it's also really freeing to not have to worry about what anyone else wants or needs, you can just focus on yourself. There's a sense of like "Okay, put on your big girl pants and just deal with it" whenever you start to feel scared or overwhelmed. As a solo female traveller, you're aware that you need to have your wits about you at all times, even in extremely safe countries like Japan, you're always wary 'just in case'. On the other hand, there's also a great deal of trust that you need to have in others. On my flights I had lovely conversations with the people sitting next to me, and when we got off the plane, they showed me where I needed to go next. When we were at the station, lost, a man stopped to help us get train tickets, and guided us in the right direction. When you're alone in a totally alien environment, it's good to be able to trust in the kindness of strangers to help you out. 

I am lucky enough not to be completely alone all the time. I'm living with six roommates, and we do quite a lot of stuff together, so I haven't really been lonely. It's good to meet new people when you travel, because it becomes a shared experience, and you can all learn from eachother. 

Don't get me wrong, I miss my friends and family and Scott, but this has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and something I never thought I'd be capable of. To go somewhere you've never been, and live with people you don't know, it gives you the freedom to grow, and become someone you've never had the chance to be.  


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Adventures in Japan - Visiting Nara

Nara

During the week, we're kept pretty busy with work, so we really like to make the most of our weekends off. This weekend we decided to take a wee trip to Nara. It's only a 10/15 minute train journey from the house, so it was too good an opportunity to miss. 

The city of Nara is famous for two things - deers, and the big Buddha. However, the city itself is really beautiful too, with lots of side alleys full of interesting shops and cafes. 

It was very very hot, and having come from the North of Scotland, I'm really not used to this kind of heat and humidity. So it was really nice to reach the deer park and be able to sit under the trees, eat, and relax. Although, you can't eat and relax at the same time, because as soon as the deers see/smell food, they'll come over and basically wrestle it out of your hands or into your bag (deers are strong, yo.)

Seeing the deers was amazing, like nothing I've ever experienced before. They are treated as Gods, and are so used to human contact that they'll just walk right up and headbutt you. They are also very sweet and gentle creatures. Most of the site is full of tourists, desperate to feed and get photos with the deers, but we went off the path a bit, into the woods, and managed to have some lovely moments watching the deers relax and play in the rivers and forests, which was really beautiful. 

We also did the tourist thing, and bought a ticket, then waited in line, to observe the beautiful big Buddha statue. One of the biggest Buddha statues in Japan, it's definitely worth visiting while you're in the city. However, the whole place is packed with tourists so it's best to go earlier rather than later. 

Walking through the city, we stumbled across a couple of ponds, and stopped to watch the koi and turtles swimming around. Before we left we managed to grab some Japanese curry for dinner, and get our photos taken in a Purikura machine (we couldn't resist.)

Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara

So despite the busyness and heat, it was a really magical experience. I think if you're not afraid to go off the beaten path a little bit, and keep your eyes open for unique places, and new experiences, then you can appreciate the city and all it has to offer, beyond the big tourist sites. Because it truly is spectacular to be so close to nature, and surrounded by so much beauty. 

If you have any suggestions for places to visit, or advice, then let me know.
Hope you all have a great week. 
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