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This is a series of posts with translation of my interview published in Russian at http://landscapists.info/vitaly-prokopenko. The question from the interview: “You travel a lot. Could you tell a little bit about organizing your trips: how do you prepare for a trip, how much time it takes?”

It depends on how far I travel. If it is somewhere close by car, I almost always have everything in the car. I can without additional preparation just go somewhere for weekend. (After my son was born I need to discuss with my wife ahead of time if I want to travel somewhere.)

If I travel farther away by plane (alone or with my family), preparations take a week or longer. It is typically include the following (always in the order below:

  1. Study the place I’m going to. What to expect in terms of photography. I look at photographs of the destination made by other photographers, read travel guides, study terrain from satellite photos. For example, if it is near the ocean, what’s the ocean shore line is like, interesting rocks, where I’ll be able to walk to the shore.
  2. Decide what to take (if flying by plane, if going by car I take everything). Since there is a limit on carry on and lately I also need to carry my son’s belongings (and sometimes my son himself), I try to take a bare minimum. I make compromises without doubt. For example, I’ll leave macro lenses at home and take macro filter instead to use on another lenses, or don’t take lenses for some focal length.
  3. Sunset and sunrise times. What can get into the sun way during sunrise or sunset, can it be blocked by mountains, do I need to get to higher elevation. Moonrise and moonset times. Tide table – especially important if some parts of the shore are crossable only during low tide.
  4. Cleaning up equipment: cleaning sensor on camera, cleaning lenses and filter. Charging batteries.