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What’s In Our Bags: Double Fully-Loaded Sony Alpha Kits For A Travel Photography Duo

David (@jdmtlm) and Tammie (@tnttown1) Maloney are a husband and wife travel photography duo who enjoy exploring the world with their Sony Alpha cameras. As repeat attendees of Sony Artisan Ira Block’s travel photography workshops, they’ve ventured to some incredible places while learning photography techniques from one of the best. Over time their love of Sony gear has strengthened, and they continue to add to their arsenal of cameras and lenses for the ultimate in creative versatility. We connected with them to learn more about the gear they include in their kits for travel photography – keep reading as they explain what’s in their bags and why.

Photographers Tammie and David Maloney give us a look at the Sony Alpha cameras, Sony lenses and more they rely on for documenting their travel adventures.

Tammie’s Kit

Tammie Maloney's Sony Alpha travel photography kit

Cameras

Sony Alpha 1: This is the best camera I have ever owned. It’s excellent for the times that I’m trying to catch an action shot with its burst mode shooting up to 30 fps. Its low light capabilities keep me in the moment without worrying about whether I’m getting a usable shot.  With so many programmable options I don’t have to worry about going to my menus to make a quick change. A full frame mirrorless camera was a real game changer for me.

Photo by Tammie Maloney. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 24-105mm f/4 G. 1/500-sec., f/9, ISO 200

Photo by Tammie Maloney. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 24-105mm f/4 G. 1/500-sec., f/9, ISO 200

Sony Alpha 7 III: You always hope that your main body will perform, but it’s smart to take a second body with you just in case. This body is great and is easy for me to switch to if needed.  It also sells at a price point that works well as a second body. We’re heading to Africa this fall where we won’t want to switch lenses when we’re out on the savanna, so the Alpha 7 III will hold a second lens that will allow me to do landscapes in between animal shots.

Sony RX100 VI: At night when we’re going out with our friends we don’t always want to carry a big body so this camera is perfect. It takes great photos and is light enough to throw in my purse.

Lenses

Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master: I love this lens for its great reach while still remaining light weight. I can hand hold it and still reach out to 400mm with sharp results. Having the ability to compress the shot gives me a nice option, especially when I need to cut out some clutter on the fringes. This is my favorite long lens. 

Sony 24-105mm f/4 G: This is my go-to lens. The range works for most of the situations I find myself in and the photos are nice and sharp. It’s light enough that I can carry it all day without feeling tired. If I could only bring one lens, this would be it.

Photo by Tammie Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 24-105mm f/4 G. 1/125-sec., f/4, ISO 4000

Photo by Tammie Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 24-105mm f/4 G. 1/125-sec., f/4, ISO 4000

Sony 16-35mm f/4: While my real love is street photography, we also find ourselves doing a fair amount of landscapes which call for a wider lens. The 16-35mm gives me some great options, giving me the option of a wide shot while keeping the ability to zoom in to a degree. My husband has the 12-24mm f/4, so I can always use it if I need to go very wide or get a little of the distortion that goes with a 12mm shot.

Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master: A nice compact lens, there are times when a fast lens is the only thing that can capture the detail I need in low light conditions. I can get in close and still capture what I need with a 24mm. I won’t leave home without it.

Accessories

Sony 1.4x Teleconverter: This is a new piece of gear to me. I can pair this with my 100-400mm and take it to Africa and have the range needed for photos of animals

Sony Wireless Remote: On some of our trips we find ourselves in remote locations that are ideal for night photography.  The wireless remote is a must have in these situations. It’s also great for any shot that requires a little longer shutter speed such as shooting light trails in cities.

Small Tripod: This tripod is a great stand-in for a full size one. It allows me to take longer shutter speeds without having the extra weight of a larger tripod.

Flashlight: From lighting my way in a dark room to doing light painting at night, this flashlight has the option of different colors and light intensity and is great to have around.

Batteries: I always try to have a couple of fresh batteries just in case we have a long day of shooting.

Photo by Tammie Maloney. Sony Alpha 7 II. Sony 70-200mm f/4 G. 1/1600-sec., f/7.1, ISO 200

Photo by Tammie Maloney. Sony Alpha 7 II. Sony 70-200mm f/4 G. 1/1600-sec., f/7.1, ISO 200

Memory Cards: It only takes one time going out and finding yourself with a full memory card to know how important it is to have extra. I particularly like the Sony TOUGH cards that take full advantage of of the speed capabilities of the Alpha 1 while also holding up in extreme conditions

Rain Cover: While the Alpha 1 is built to withstand some misty conditions, I like to keep a cover with me just in case I get caught in a heavy downpour.

Reflector/Diffuser: This compact reflector fits in my travel bag and gives me some options to add a little light to a shot or diffuse intense afternoon sun.

H&Y Polarizer/ND Filter: The unique design of this filter allows me to have both a polarizer and a variable neutral density filter that fits most of my lenses.  

Evian Mister: Flower shots have a nice look when they have little water drops on the petals, so I keep this in my bag to add water when needed. It also helps keep me cool on a hot day.

Kind Bar: There are times when we are in the middle of prime shooting and don’t want to take a break to eat. A protein bar will tide me over until our next meal.

Business Cards: I’m often asked if I can send photos to a person I have photographed. Having business cards handy allows me to do this without taking too much time to write down contact information.

David’s Kit

David Maloney's Sony Alpha travel photography kit

Cameras

Sony Alpha 9: This camera has the feel of my former full size mirrored camera which helped me transition to both a new brand and mirrorless format. Since my wife also shoots Sony, I immediately had access to a range of lenses to use until I could acquire my own.  It’s great in low light conditions and also is fast enough to take photos of my track days with my car buddies. My back up camera is my wife’s Alpha 9 that was available when she upgraded to the Alpha 1.

Photo by David Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 16-35mm f/4. 1/400-sec., f/6.3, ISO 400

Photo by David Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 16-35mm f/4. 1/400-sec., f/6.3, ISO 400

RX100 V: I carry this lightweight camera for when I go out on the town and want to have something I can throw in my pocket.

Lenses

Sony 24-105mm f/4 G:This lens is always on my camera so I can pick it up and go. It’s nice and sharp even on the edges and can work for both a landscape and close-ups when needed.

Photo by David Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 24-105mm f/4 G. 1/6400-sec., f/4.5, ISO 640

Photo by David Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 24-105mm f/4 G. 1/6400-sec., f/4.5, ISO 640

Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II: I recently added this lens to my bag. It’s lighter than my old 70-200 and has great performance. I pair it with the 24-70mm for a light on-the-go kit.

Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G: We’re heading to Africa this fall and this lens will be on my camera the entire trip because I will be able to get up close to all the animals.

Sony 12-24mm f/4 G: Nothing can take the place of a wide lens when traveling to a great landscape heavy location. I also like the fisheye effect you can achieve on the wide side of the range.

Photo by David Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 16-35mm f/4. 1/250-sec., f/10, ISO 200

Photo by David Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 16-35mm f/4. 1/250-sec., f/10, ISO 200

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master: I love this lens because of its speed. The f/2.8 is really valuable in low light conditions and because it’s a GM lens it’s tack sharp. I often carry this and the 70-200mm so I have a nice range of 24-200mm with just two lenses.

Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G: When I want to get in close for a flower shot and also if I’m taking portraits, this lens is a great option.

Accessories

Sony 1.4x Teleconverter: I can pair this up with my new 70-200,, and have a very nice long lens.

Headlamp: When we’re doing night shoots, having my hands free while still being able to see is important. This also has a red light to keep me from blinding others in my group.

Cleaning Cloth: Nothing is more annoying than a fingerprint on a lens and this will take care of that in an instant.

Small Tripod: While not a substitute for my full-size tripod, this little one will do in a pinch when I need the camera to be absolutely still.

Batteries: We sometimes have long days out shooting where I need more than one battery.

Rain Cover: Just in case we get caught in a downpour I can protect my gear.

Screwdriver with heads and Leatherman: I’m the go to guy when someone needs their gear fixed and this small set has come in handy on more than one occasion.

Photo by David Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/11, ISO 400

Photo by David Maloney. Sony Alpha 9. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/11, ISO 400

Flashlight: I like to take Milky way shots and that often entails light painting something close by.  This variable beam flashlight is my go to in this situation.

H&Y Polarizer/ND Filter: I just discovered this in the last year and fell in love. It fits a variety of lens sizes and has the two filters I use the most.

Remote Shutter Release: Makes sure my camera is nice and steady for some of the longer shots I like to take.

Business Cards: I always pick up new friends during my travels and this is a quick way of giving them my contact information.

Memory Cards: I love this case that allows me to have  a trip’s worth of cards with me at all times.

Thumb Drive: To facilitate class critiques we utilize thumb drives to transfer the photos for class.

Pen: From signing a charge receipt to writing down directions, I never leave home without one.

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