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HOW TO PREPARE FOR PHOTO TREKKING


DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking are informative, fun and inspiring. To prepare yourself so you can make the most of our time together consider:

  • your physical preparation;
  • if you are comfortable with using the camera;
  • if you have all the necessary equipment and clothing.

PHYSICAL PREPARATION LEVEL

 

 

Having a good physical workout is always important when we walk in nature.

Adequate preparation, at any age, allows us to have fun without being overwhelmed by fatigue and we can therefore enjoy all the benefits that aerobic physical activity reserves for us both at a cardiovascular and pulmonary level and at a psychological level.


DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking wind along tracks, paths, mule tracks, forest roads and can be classified as "Excursions" (E) in the scale of hiking difficulties of the Italian Alpine Club (C.A.I.).

 

The altitude, the type of terrain, the difference in height, the duration and the distances traveled can also be very demanding.

Often we will be outdoors from before sunrise to after sunset and we will walk for several kilometers also facing considerable differences in height on uneven ground, slippery rocks, ice and deep snow. 

 

It is therefore essential to be honest with yourself about your real abilities and physical preparation, in order to make the photographic trekking experience truly enjoyable and rewarding.

 

If necessary, you can start training regularly at least twice a week, just in view of your participation in the photo trekking, carrying out activities that enhance cardiovascular efficiency, muscle strength and flexibility.

In addition to trekking and walking, you can also choose other aerobic sports such as swimming, running, cycling or cross-country skiing. You can train the muscles of the lower and upper limbs in a more targeted way to gain more muscle tone by using weights, doing push-ups and squats.

 

Also try these simple exercises:

 

 

  • easily go up and down with the backpack of the photographic equipment on the shoulders, at least three flights of stairs five times, repeating three times a week;
  • remain balanced on one foot for at least one minute;
  • perform twenty pushups on the legs with the backpack of the photographic equipment on the shoulders, repeat three times every day;
  • sit on the floor and stand up without using your hands;
  • cycle 20 km twice a week;
  • do some stretching and/or yoga. 

 

After each training or trekking it is important to give the body time to recover at the muscle level to avoid overexertion, which is harmful to both the body and the mind.

 HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE READY FOR PHOTO TREKKING

 

You may realize that you are able to tackle the DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking if you are able to:

 

  • stay outdoors for most of the day, even walking at high altitude for long periods on steep and possibly slippery trails or paths, and carrying your equipment;
  • spend many hours dealing with different weather conditions and very cold or very hot temperatures;
  • overcome obstacles that may be found on a path;
  • walking on wet and slippery surfaces;
  • crossing small streams without assistance, using rocks as a support;
  • do not suffer from vertigo and keep balance on narrow, steep or exposed paths;
  • walk through deep snow;
  • sleeping in a bunk bed;
  • get up off the ground without difficulty. 

I am always available for any questions or concerns you may have and will do what I can to help you. So don't hesitate to contact me.

 

Remember, however, that in the end you are responsible for your health and well-being: make sure you are fit to face the photo trekking serenely.

CLOTHING

 

 

When we are in a mountain environment, the weather can change very quickly in every season.

 

It can also happen that you have to cross small streams or during photo trekking in winter you sink into the snow. We must therefore be prepared to face the unexpected both on a material and emotional level, without alarmism but with serenity, a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect.


 HOW TO PREPARE FOR EVERY WEATHER CONDITION

 

The principle of dressing in layers is always valid for dealing with any weather condition: use multiple thin layers of clothing that keep the body at the right temperature and dry, and that you can easily take off according to your needs.

To protect yourself from the cold and humidity, wear:

 

  • base layer: in contact with your skin, the shirt must be breathable and not retain sweat. There are different types of thermal sweaters on the market, including those of merino wool which are particularly suitable for absorbing sweat without retaining odors. You can make a responsible choice by checking that the wool comes from certified farms that respect animal welfare;
  • midlayer: that insulates the body from outside temperatures and retains heat. You can use fleece or microfleece for greater lightness, or a down jacket;
  • outer layer: protects you from the elements. During the photo trekking it is possible to encounter rain and it is important to have a waterproof outshell or a windproof and rainproof jacket that takes up little space when folded. You can also pack a pair of lightweight waterproof overtrousers in your backpack;
  • trekking pants: they must be comfortable, resistant and dry quickly. I advise you to use long trousers as temperatures in the mountains change a lot during the day, depending on the altitude and due to the wind;
  • trekking socks: in technical fabric or merino wool, they must be able to eliminate moisture and dry quickly;
  • hat: during the day the temperatures change a lot and it is always convenient to have a wool cap or a fleece headband close at hand to keep the forehead warm;
  • gloves: they are indispensable. There is nothing worse than having cold fingers when handling photographic equipment and waiting to shoot for a long time! The gloves must be suitable for the temperatures you will face, possibly with an outer layer in windproof and water-repellent softshell. There are various solutions on the market that allow you to combine multiple layers of gloves for maximum versatility.

 

You always need:

 

  • trekking boots: they must be sturdy, fit well and have already been used several times. You can also choose trail running shoes that protect the ankle. It is important that both shoes are coated with a breathable and waterproof layer (for example in Gore-Tex).

 

To cope with warmer climates, dress equally in layers, bring a hat with you to protect yourself from the sun and always plan to have a fleece and a windproof jacket.

Remember that in the mountains the weather can change very quickly and the temperature drops significantly as you go up in altitude, even in summer.

 

If you have the option, always choose certified clothing that has been produced respecting the environment. You will feel even more in harmony with nature during photo trekking knowing that what you wear has a very low environmental impact! 

We all want to move light and carry only the essentials in the backpack. Sometimes, however, it is good to have some extra clothing with you that can help in difficult situations, without overloading the backpack too much.

Today there are solutions with low weight and high performance, without having to spend a lot. For example, you can bring an extra pair of gloves, socks or briefs.

Also remember to have a change of shirt and an extra fleece and put them in a dry bag, preferably in recycled material, instead of leaving them in bulk in the backpack: they will keep dry, clean and ready to give you a pleasant feeling when you wear them.

In the same dry bag you can put wet clothes and carry them home without consequences for the equipment in the backpack.

IN THE MOUNTAIN HUTS

 

 

When we stay overnight in the shelters there are some simple hygiene rules to follow:

 

  • sleeping bag liner: it is mandatory! You need it as a sheet and as a pillow case. Some mountain hut sell it for a few euros, but you may prefer to bring your own by choosing from a variety of models and materials. The silk models are the most expensive but also the lightest (about 100 g) and take up very little space, those in polyester or cotton are cheaper but heavier (about 300 g). There are also warmer versions in microfleece. Blankets or duvets are provided by the mountain hut;
  • microfiber towel: in the mountain hut you have to bring your own personal towel, so choose a microfiber towel that dries quickly, is light and easily packable (if you want to take a shower you will need a larger size);
  • slippers: to access the sleeping area of the refuge you must take off your hiking boots and wear clean slippers. Bring a lightweight, packable pair with you;
  • comfortable clothing or pajamas: choose light and comfortable clothing to sleep, often a t-shirt and a pair of leggings or shorts are enough.

 

Remember that you will also need to bring your toiletries and the accessories you need. I advise you to use travel-sized items.

Put your change of clothes for the night and everything you need in a small dry bag that you can carry with you more comfortably.

 

Here you can read other tips for staying overnight in a mountain hut.

On the page dedicated to each DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking you can find any particular trekking equipment required.

 

Also, you can download the general list of trekking equipment:

If you have already registered for the DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking you will receive an informative email with updates on the required trekking equipment and any additional requirements.

Light bulb icon that means good tips to follow

 

During the photo trekking it can be very useful to have a foldable foam insulation mat to sit on or kneel on, both during photo sessions and during lunch, especially when the ground is wet or covered with snow.

You can find it in sports equipment stores: it's cheap, weighs even less and can make a difference when you're outdoors.

 

KNOW YOUR CAMERA

 

 

The camera is your companion during DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking. To be always ready to take and make the photo that express your feelings and your vision, it is necessary:

 

  • that you have basic notions of photographic technique;
  • that you know the features of your camera.

It is therefore important that you are capable of:

  • smoothly select aperture, shutter speed and ISO values in manual mode;
  • use Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority mode;
  • adjust exposure compensation;
  • move easily through the various camera menus;
  • switch between autofocus and manual focus;
  • change the number of autofocus points (AF);
  • view and understand the exposure and RGB histogram in live view (if your camera allows it) and/or exposure metering;
  • display the grid lines in live view;
  • set the self-timer, if you do not have a remote control;
  • enable auto bracketing;
  • knowing how to use both the viewfinder and live view;
  • activate focus peaking in mirrorless cameras.

You should be comfortable with these settings that you can perform them even in the dark.

PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

Prepare the photographic equipment

Prepare in advance everything you need to participate in the DELPHICAPHOTO photo treks and pack it in your backpack.

You can follow these simple tips:

 

  • make sure the lenses and camera sensor are clean;
  • make sure that the electrical contacts of the lenses are intact;
  • if you have photographic filters, remember to clean them and bring the cleaning kit with you;
  • insert the memory card into the camera slot, possibly free from previous photos and the charged battery;
  • arrange your gear so that your favorite lens is already on the camera body or close at hand and ready to use;
  • check the list of recommended equipment in the dedicated paragraph on this page and on the page of the photo trekking you have chosen, in case special equipment is required.
Light bulb icon that means good tips to follow

 

If the photo trekking takes place in very cold weather, it may be useful to have a small warmer (like this one) to store next to the spare batteries you keep in your backpack, in order to preserve its charge for longer. You can also choose to put batteries in the inside pocket of your jacket to keep them warm. Of course you can also use it to warm your hands!

 

Required photographic equipment

To participate in the DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking and enjoy this experience to the fullest, you need to have the following equipment with you:

  • camera: digital reflex or mirrorless camera, preferably with the possibility of shooting in manual mode and in RAW format, and that allows you to change lenses;
  • memory cards;
  • charged batteries: bring spare batteries for both one-day and multi-day photo trekking. It is not always possible to recharge the batteries in the mountain hut;
  • lenses: you can bring all the lenses you want, taking into account the physical effort of the trekking and the weight you want to have on your shoulders. If you only have to choose one lens, I recommend a wide-angle zoom lens (e.g. 14-24mm, 16-35mm or 17-40mm) or, if you prefer, a normal or medium-telephoto lens (e.g. 24-70mm or 24-105mm) . I also recommend a telephoto lens like the 70-200mm and, if you have the possibility, in many cases a 100-400mm can be useful. In the case of trekking dedicated to macro photography you can bring a macro lens or extension tubes;
  • tripod: choose a sturdy and stable tripod that is also light to carry and easy to handle (even with gloves);
  • tripod head: preferably ball head, but you can bring the one you feel most comfortable with;
  • backpack: a comfortable camera backpack of adequate size to contain your photographic and hiking equipment (in addition to personal items, clothing, food, drinks). The backpack must also allow you to attach the tripod to the outside or have enough space inside to put it. If you don't have a camera backpack you can use a regular trekking backpack with a padded insert for your photographic equipment. Shoulder bags are not allowed. If the photo trekking includes  one o more overnight stays in a mountain hut, you need a larger backpack (50-60 liters or more) to carry the necessary.

Recommended photographic equipment

The following list includes the equipment I recommend to participants of the DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking:

  • L-bracket;
  • second camera body: useful in case the main camera fails or is damaged;
  • USB power bank: remember that it is not always possible to recharge the batteries in the shelter, so having a power bank can be very useful;
  • teleconverter: if you want to photograph with longer focal lengths but don't want to carry the weight of another lens, you can opt for a teleconverter that allows you to take the shots you want;
  • remote control: it allows you to shoot remotely avoiding vibrations in case of long exposure times in Bulb mode;
  • photographic filters: to take shots that require greater control of light and exposure times. I especially recommend a polarizing filter (circular or plate) that helps improve color rendering and cut unwanted reflections. Neutral density (ND) and graduated neutral density (GND) filters can also be very useful: the former for long exposures, the latter to balance the difference in exposure between earth and sky;
  • rain cover for backpack: I strongly recommend that you have a rain cover for your backpack in order to protect your equipment in the event of a downpour. Alternatively, you could bring a poncho large enough to cover the backpack;
  • rain protection for the camera: in case of rain, sleet or high humidity you can continue to photograph without losing the incredible and precious atmospheres that landscapes offer in these conditions. There are many cheap versions on the market, but you can recycle a sturdy plastic bag and cut a hole for the lens;
  • cleaning cloth for lenses and filters.

Optional photographic equipment

At this point you just have to choose what else you want to bring to meet your particular expressive needs or simply to have with you what you think may be useful.

For instance:

  • extreme wide angle lenses (fish eye), Go Pro or other action cameras;
  • camera strap if you want the freedom to shoot on the go;
  • camera manual in .pdf format saved on your smartphone;
  • intervalometer for taking time-lapse;
  • external monitor.

DO YOU NEED HELP?

You can find all the information relating to specific items of photographic equipment to take with you on the page dedicated to each photo trekking.

 

For further information

For any doubt


You can have the Regulations for partecipation in the DELPHICAPHOTO photo trekking and the list of trekking equipment always at hand.

Download them now:

To help you organize the necessary equipment for photographic treks, I have prepared a checklist that you can download freely.


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VALSASSINA

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