What’s Inside My Camera Bag | My Ultimate Travel-Photography Equipments

For the past days, ever since I posted my first post on this blog, I’ve been thinking of writing about the essentials I bring whenever I travel since a lot of people has been asking what camera body and lens I use- I’m not an influencer! There really are several people who have asked me this, lol. So here is what I came up with. But first, let me start with what camera bag I use.

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National Geographic Rucksack

I instantly fell in love with the design of this bag. It has a lot of compartments including a laptop compartment and several pockets which is ideal for photographers who has a lot of accessories. It’s comfortable and fashionable to carry around and It can accommodate one big DSLR Body with up to three standard-size lenses plus a 13-inch MacBook computer as well as one speed light together with other accessories. I have this bag for a year now, so far it’s still in-tack despite being used all the time and carrying almost 12 kilograms of weight each time. I can say that it will still last for the coming years. 

Click here for the latest price of the National Geographic Racksack

Camera Body Nikon D850

This is my main workhorse as of the moment and basically the best camera body I’ve ever used. Prior to this, I have been using a Nikon D610. The Nikon D610 is a great machine, its just that I needed to let it go since it’s so difficult to be bringing two full-frame camera bodies when traveling(just imagine the weight of the Nikon D850 and the Nikon D610 combined) and I don’t think I would ever need to use two camera bodies in my travels, only maybe when I have some gigs like an event or a wedding to avoid changing lenses all the time.

Click here for the latest price of the NIKON D850

Going back to the Nikon D850, I had this camera for almost a year now. So far I never had any complaints with it, basically living up to its name as the best DSLR camera in the market. If ever I would reach its shutter expectancy, I think I would still opt for the same model. 

Camera Lenses | Sigma 35 and 85 Art | Tamron 24-70 G2

Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art

Sharp, fast and just the perfect focal coverage. The Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM is a state of the art lens designed for full frame cameras but can also be used with APS-C sensors as well. It is also my very first ever full-frame lens. It accounts to most of the photos of my travels. Definitely one of my favorite lenses for Travel, portraiture, etc. 

Click here to check the current price of this lens.

Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art

As a portrait  and travel photographer, this lens is definitely one hell of a beast! Ultra-sharp, fast and beautifully designed. The Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art is an ideal lens for a variety of photographic subjects, particularly portrait photography, both in-studio and on-location. For me, I use it mostly outdoors and I’m always impress by the way it performs. The only issue I have is the weight of the lens, plus most of the time, it’s mounted on my Nikon D850 which is already a very heavy camera body.- So imagine my neck and my shoulders at the end of the day. Those are only minor issues, as long as I’m happy with the images I take with it, then I can endure the pain. haha

Click here for the latest price of the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art Lens

Tamron 24-70 f2.8 G2

 I bought this lens to solve my problems of changing lenses all the time when I’m covering events. It looks amazing when it’s mounted on the Nikon D850. Performance wise, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s widest angle coverage is great for landscapes and interior photography. The highest zoom coverage can deliver sharply focused subjects with amazingly blurred background. Definitely a must-have lens for Travel and event Photographers.

Click here for the current price of the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 G2 Lens

See full technical specs here. 

Gopro Hero 5

I have this action camera for like almost three years now. I needed to have it since I have been traveling solo most of the time before, and you can conveniently take wide angle selfies with the Gopro attached to a GoPro stick. 

So far I’m not planning to upgrade it anytime soon, I’m still happy with the quality of the images it provides- not much of a difference from the latest model. 

Click here for the latest price of the Gopro Hero 5 Black

Tripod

Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Travel Tripod 

Light, compact and heavy duty, basically one of the best tripods I ever owned. I always bring it when I travel as it is so portable and doesn’t add much weight on my luggage. It also comes with a very nice bag. A must for every travel photographer. 

Click here for the latest price of the Vanguard VEO 235 AB Aluminum Travel Tripod

Computer

Macbook Pro 13 2017 without touch-bar. 

I opt in with the 13-inch version since it’s more portable when traveling. I process pretty much all my images here through Lightroom and photoshop. I have this for almost two years now and I haven’t had any issues of it lagging, just overheating a bit- but that’s only when I run several application at once or deal with really high data media files, just like a normal computer which overheats when running multiple applications. I highly suggest that if you plan to buy an apple computer, better buy this than the latest Macbook Air. Though it has been released few years back, it still performs better than the new MacBook Air. 

Click here for the latest price of the MacBook Pro 2017 without touchbar

Accessories

128 GB SanDisk Extreme Memory Cards

I have three of these ultra-fast memory cards. It’s a necessity to have ultra-fast memory cards to keep up with  huge file sizes of DSLR images nowadays. As a photographer, we cannot let any delays to happen, especially when we are photographing crucial moments. 

4TB WD Passport Hardrives

I have two of these external hard-drives. I have been using them for almost a year now, and believe it or not, I think I will be needing another one soon. I love the portability 

Camera Flash V860II

An external flash like no other. Easy to carry along my travels. I use it most of the time when I’m covering events when the ambient light is not sufficient. I love its performance, I have been using it for a year now and no complaints so far. 

X1T TTL Wireless Flash Trigger

One of the most used accessories I have- I use this to trigger my flashgun wirelessly when I’m trying to be creative with the lighting. The same as my comment on the Godox Flashgun, It’s easy to bring when I’m traveling and I have been using it for like a year now and I have no complaints so far. 

So what are your travel essentials? Share it with us through the comment section below. 

New to this blog? Click here to get to know me. 

Top Reasons to Visit Assisi | Things to See in Assisi | Best Day-trip to take from Rome

Few months back, I traveled with my friend across Italy for two-whole weeks. One of the most unforgettable place we’ve been to is in Assisi. Assisi wasn’t in our itinerary originally. We were currently in Rome then I found out that one of my very good friend was in Umbria, Italy together with her daughter. So we decided to meet-up, and Assisi served as our meeting place.

 So we left Rome the following day, we had a rent-car so basically we drove from the Italian capital to Assisi. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect in Assisi, except that I know that is the birth-place of St. Francis and of course, that It is a town located on top of a hill. So when we were arriving and started to see a glimpse of Assisi from afar, I was totally surprised as to how vast it is.-I was expecting a smaller town, and when we arrived, the beauty of this town just took our breath away, like literally. 

So in this article, I will be sharing some things I compiled as to why you should visit or include Assisi in your Italy-Travel Itinerary. As well as some photos to illustrate the beauty of this gem. 

Here are few facts about Assisi: 

It is a majestic town situated on top of a hill in the region of Umbria and it is famously known as the birthplace of St. Francis, Italy’s patron saint. 

For centuries, religious pilgrims have come here to visit two main Basilicas, the Basilica of San Francisco and the Basilica of Santa Chiara, two beautiful vast churches where each saint is buried. 

Assisi was founded on the 12th Century. Yeah, it’s one of the oldest town ever. Most places in Umbria has tons of history, and history is a journey to discovery and Assisi is a good place to start. 

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Top Reasons to Visit Assisi

If you’re visiting Rome and has a day or two to spare, you can pretty much go to Assisi for a day-trip. It Is only an hour and a half drive from the Italian Capital. There are some speed-train options as well. Both will offer a scenic view, so either or.

If you want to go to a place where you want to feel a special spiritual connection, then Assisi is the best place. This town does exude a certain holy mysticism, and I have felt that when I visited the place. 

The Umbrian landscape as seen from the town is ultra-breath-taking. As a photographer, I was so happy with the landscape photos I took here. 

Umbria Landscape as seen from Assisi.

There are tons of really-good restaurants around, as well as cafes and pubs to dine in for a break, in case you’ll feel hungry and thirsty from exploring. 

Assisi is one of the most-photogenic places I’ve ever been to. Its old cobbled-streets and brick infrastructures built centuries ago will surely take you back in time. So make sure to take tons of photographs! 

My Friend and her daughter whom we met in Assisi.

Things to do in Assisi

Get lost in this beautiful town! This is the best way for you to actually discover it’s real beauty. Though I  advise that you begin your wanderings at the top of the town so you can enjoy the city going down the hill. You know what they say, it’s easier to go down than to go up. 

Visit The basilica of St. Francis.  One of the major highlights of Assisi, so make sure to pass through here during your exploration. From here, it also offers an amazing view of the Umbrian Landscape. 

Dine-in in one of the restaurants in Assisi. This is a must, for you to experience the goodness of Italian Cuisines at its finest. You can check some of the best restaurants here

Stay for the night! It is recommended to stay a night or two in this beautiful town for you to see its beauty during night time or see the sunrise on the following day. There are lots of accommodations to stay in Assisi. You can check some of the best places to stay in Assisi here

Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these, they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. -St Francis of Assisi

Have you ever been to Assisi? How was your experience?! Tell us through the comment section below. 

Check out my latest post about To Things to do in Venice by clicking here.

One of my favorite videos of Assisi on YouTube by Rick Steves.


Top Things To Do in Venice

Ever went to a place where it left you instantly breathless? -Well, recently, I visited Venice in Italy, and upon arriving there and seeing the place, it just took my breath away in the spur of a moment. A lot of people who has been to this place will always tell you that there is no place on earth like Venice, it is true, and I’m one witness to it. 

Venice is founded by mainland populations escaping from the barbarian invasions of the Huns led by Attila during circa 450AD- but I will not dwell into that. Going back, Venice is unique from most cities as it is built on waters, waters of the Adriatic Sea to be specific and since it is built on waters, this city has spectacular networks of picturesque canals, and basically, as a photographer and traveler, this is my main fascination with the city. 

In this article, I will be sharing the top things to do do in this spectacular city as well as my own share of photographs which I took from my last visit, just to give you a better idea as to how beautiful Venice is. 

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Explore Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is a channel in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city, that is according to wikipedia. But there is so much more about grand canal more than just being a channel, it is also a very picturesque place and a great place to see the sunset. So if you want a romantic place to take your other half, or if you simply just want to witness Venice’s signature sunset, then head over to the opening end of the grand canal, located just a few minutes walk from Piazza San Marco. 

Head to Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge is one of most picturesque bridges in Europe, it has became like a signature for Venice. I’m pretty sure everyone who has watched the movie: ’Spider-man Far From Home’ will recognize it as the setting of the scene where Spider-man and Mysterio first encountered each other while fighting the water element.

Rialto Bridge

Head to Accademia Bridge

This is my favorite bridge in the whole of Venice, it is one of the major bridges on the Grand Canal. Here you can witness magnificent sunsets. It is also a famous sites for photographers, so if you plan to do some long-exposure photography here, be sure to arrive a little early, as it easily gets filled with tripods from other photographers wanting to do the same. 

Gondola as seen from Accademia Bridge

Day-trip to Murano and Burano

Murano and Burano are two separate towns slash islands, but to get to Burano, you will have the option to pass through Murano. Murano is beautiful small town, a bit modern than Venice though, but its one beautiful town famous for its glass-blowing arts. Murano also has lots of Glass factory where you can watch different glass artists make their art. On the other hand, Burano is another town, you can reach it through riding a 45 minutes ferry-ride from Murano. Burano is a small island town famous for its brightly colored- fishermen’s houses. A must visit town when in Venice. 

Take a Gondola-ride

This is a little bit cliche’ but if you are traveling with family or your other half, then I suggest that you take  a gondola-ride. I haven’t taken the Gondola ride myself, but people who has experienced it are saying that it gives you a completely different perspective of the city. Well for sure, I bet the view from the Gondola will let you take amazing images as well. 

Visit Basilica San Marco

Venetian architecture at its finest. The basilica San Marco is a famous sight situated on one side of the Piazza San Marco. It is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture, which boasts an amazing exterior as well having a jaw-dropping interior. 

Basilica San Marco

Explore Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco  or commonly known as St. Marks Square is Venice’s main square. The Piazza San Marco is the most important and most famous square of the city of Venice. A great place to explore and take photographs. From here, you can pretty much access different attractions easily. 


Discover Venice’s Picturesque Canals

The most thing I get fascinated about Venice are its amazing picturesque canals. There is just no bad angle whichever angle you take your photos from. Venice is almost defined by its canals, with more than one hundred-fifty waterways veining through the city and traversed by over four-hundred bridges. Definitely a great place to get lost for travelers and a great playground for photographers. 

Have you been to Venice? How was your experience?! Share it with us through the comment section below.

How To Apply For A Schengen Visa for Philippine-passport holders.

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How to apply for a Schengen Visa (Step by Step Procedure, Documents required and Tips on how to successfully obtain a Schengen Visa)

Applying for a visa can be one of the most-tedious task to do, especially with visas for highly-industrialized countries. Aside from the inch-thick documents we need to collect & submit and the time it takes for it to be processed, there is also a certain amount we need to pay. And above all these, there is still no guarantee that our application will be approved.

Anyway, in this article, I’ll be discussing mainly about the different procedures and documents required  in obtaining a Schengen Visa.

First, what is a  Schengen Visa? Well basically, a Schengen visa is a short stay visa allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen area. The Schengen area covers 26 countries (“Schengen States”) without border controls between them.

Below are the Schengen States:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,Finland,France,Germany,Greece,Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Aside from the Schengen States, you can also use your Schengen visa to visit other countries like:

Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia,Cyprus, Georgia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey

Documents Required:

Fully Completed and Signed Visa Application Form

Cover Letter Stating the purpose of the visit.

Original Passport and passport Info Page Copy

Residence Visa Copy (if you are based abroad)

ID Photos (Bring at least 2 copies)

Roundtrip Flight Ticket Reservation

Travel Insurance

Proof of Accommodation(hotel bookings, etc.)

Proof of Financial Means (latest 6-months bank statement)

Employment Certificate if Employed

Day to day Itinerary

Invitation Letter if you’re invited by Someone from the EU

Affidavit of Support if someone else is paying for your expenses

Enrollment Certificate if you’re a student.

Step by step guide in getting a Schengen Visa

Basically, the first step in getting a Schengen Visa is to choose your main country of travel or the country of which you’ll be spending the most time (if you’re planning to travel to several Schengen States) as this will determine which Visa Application Center you will need to go.

For Schengen Visa Applications, it is mostly handled by VFS GLobal, although there are some countries where the Visa application is handled by the country’s embassy itself, there are also those which are handled by a different agency. So it is important to make sure to decide which country is your main country so you can go to that specific Visa Application Center.

Book an Appointment Online. Well after choosing the country, you should set an appointment where you will submit all your documents for your application. As mentioned on the first step, you should book an appointment based on your main country. In my case, I applied for a Schengen Visa for the Netherlands, and VFS Global handles visa application for the Netherlands, therefore, I booked an appointment on the VFS Global Website.

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I highly suggest that applicants should apply for at least 60-90 days before their intended travel dates to have ample time to fix any problems if there will be any.

On your appointment day at the Visa Application Center, representatives will collect and scan your documents, they will also assess what else may be lacking from all the documents you have submitted. After this, once everything is ok, you will then be called for biometrics collection (fingerprints and photo). Once everything is finished, you will then be given a receipt for you to claim your passport once the result of your application is ready. A tracking number is also written in the receipt for you to be able to track the progress of your application online. You can also opt for an SMS message update with an additional fee.

Processing time takes up to 21 days, so I advice that you only contact the Visa Application Center if you haven’t received any result yet after this timeframe. In my case, I received my passport with a Shengen Visa after 8 days.

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Shengen Visa Fees varies from each country of Application, Since I applied for The Netherlands through VFS GLOBAL in the UAE, then here is the breakdown of all the fees that I paid in the local currency:

99 AED around 26 USD – Appointment fee paid at the VFS Global site

260 AED around 70 USD – Shengen Visa Fee to be paid during the day of application

30 AED around 8 USD – Courier Service (Optional) – the passport will be delivered to your desired address.

I hope you find this article helpful. For questions, feel-free to ask it on the comments below and I will try to answer as soon as I’ll be able to read them.

Thank you for reading!