How To Travel Lightly – My travel photography equipment

Every year, I consciously take longer breaks from travelling. Such trips are not just a relaxing holiday for me. Apart from the normal photo jobs I’m booked for in Berlin, I work on freelance projects. I’m looking for stories. In the summer months, I’m travelling with my camper. In the winter months, however, I sometimes spend several months travelling outside Europe without the comfort of being able to simply load all my things into my van. It is essential for me to keep my camera equipment as compact and handy as possible. This is in stark contrast to the pile of stuff that can fill an entire van when I’m booked for a big shoot.

Over the last two years, I have completely swapped my old clunky SLR cameras with their very heavy lenses for the Nikon Z series. When travelling, however, I only take the Z6II with my travel zoom, the Z24-70 mm/4, and my Z85 mm/1.8 for portraits. In addition to photography, moving images are also becoming increasingly important to me. Last year I photographed and filmed my multimedia project ‘SO MANY WAYS – VANLIFE STORIES‘ in Portugal and Tenerife with a rucksack full of equipment. Here are a few thoughts on what I consider to be the most important aspects of my travel set-up.

A small pack size and light weight are particularly important to me, as the first hurdle has to be overcome at the airport. On long-haul flights, the maximum weight of checked baggage is usually 25 kg, plus hand luggage weighing approx. 8 kg. In addition to the photographic equipment, there also has to be room for my personal items, which I need for two to three months. A suitcase full of equipment is therefore not an option. My camera and lenses always travel in my hand luggage, although the less expensive items, such as tripods or flashes, do end up in my checked baggage.

I don’t use a photo backpack, but have bought a bag insert that fits exactly into my private rucksack, in which my camera and lenses are safely stored. You can’t tell from the outside what the rucksack contains. I like this inconspicuousness. If necessary, I simply remove the insert and take the rucksack to the beach. A lightweight setup also has its advantages when I’m working alone. I don’t want to restrict myself with heavy, unwieldy equipment. I can carry everything I need for my freelance projects on me, hike with it, or even ride it on a scooter.

A carbon fiber travel tripod, weighing just 1 kg, also belongs in my luggage. Admittedly, the tripod is not as stable as my large Gitzo carbon tripod, which I use for jobs in Berlin, but it fulfills its purpose for both photo and video recordings.

For my last big project, in addition to the photos, video recordings were an important part and that includes good original sound. I didn’t want to rely on the camera’s integrated microphone, so I bought two different Rode microphones. For interview settings, I use the Rode Wireless Go with a wireless transmitter and receiver, plus a small lavalier microphone that I can attach to the transmitter. This can be attached to the interviewee more inconspicuously than attaching the transmitter directly to the collar. For editing scenes or spontaneous conversations, I have a Rode Videomic Go mounted directly on the camera on the hot shoe.

Depending on which country I’m travelling to and what I’m planning, I also pack my DJI Mavic Air 2. I still find drone shots exciting, especially for landscape shots and videos or for a change of perspective during a reportage.

For the rare occasions when I need more light for my reportage, I have a Nikon SB900, a small foldable umbrella and a lightweight light stand that fits perfectly in my travel bag.

My travel photography equipment makes all the difference for me. In the past, I didn’t even take heavy cameras with me because they restricted my activities. Now I can relax and concentrate on my project and creative work, remaining flexible without compromising on the quality of the shots.
You can find more pictures and reports from my travels over the past few years here.

My travel photography equipment makes all the difference for me. In the past, I didn’t even take heavy cameras with me because they restricted my activities. Now I can relax and concentrate on my project and creative work, remaining flexible without compromising on the quality of the shots.
You can find more pictures and reports from my travels over the past few years here.

Travelphotography; Reisefotografie; Kameraequioment; Fotoequioment; Saskia Uppenkamp; Portrait; Fotograf; Fotografin; Berlin; Friedrichshain; Studio; On Location; Reportage

My perfect photo equipment for travelling – I use it to take photos and film on my trips!

SO MANY WAYS – Vanlife Stories Magazine

I wanted to know what life concepts and motivations are behind the people who live in the van for longer periods or even permanently? What experiences lead to the decision to travel in a van, maybe even to give up life in ‘normal society’ with their own flat and a permanent job? What is special about this way of life? For my series ‘SO MANY WAYS’ I met van dwellers in Portugal and on Tenerife.

All the stories and pictures are now in the magazine. Email me to get your copy.

Sponsored by Stiftung Kulturwerk

SO MANY WAYS – Vanlife 2022 Teaser

Since the beginning of 2022 I am now working on my personal project ‘SO MANY WAYS’.
Soon it will be released…
Here is a little teaser about my work on Tenerife.

What makes someone give up their “normal life” in society?
For my documentary series “SO MANY WAYS” I met people on Tenerife, Spain and in the south of Portugal whose centre of life is their van. The series sheds light on each person’s alternative concept of life. What is the motivation and what events led to this decision?
26 life stories

Camera & Edit: Saskia Uppenkamp
Music & Lyrics: David Barbens
Supported by Stiftung Kulturwerk

Peace Of Land – The buzzing of bees

Guided tour by Silke Meyer/SALZUNDHONIG in the community garden ‘Peace Of Land’ – Berlin September 2020
The buzzing becomes louder the closer you get to the beehives… Starting with the history of bees, their development up to our present situation, which is characterized by insect mortality, we will explore our relationship to them and discuss the scope of action. We will dive into the world of bees with our senses.
We will observe them at the flight hole and on the meadows and take a look into the beehive where the bees have brought in the nectar of the summer flowers in spring and summer – and we will taste the surplus honey warm from the hive!


New series online – SAFARI
Click to see all pics!

One of the reasons why I love traveling Africa is nature and the wild animals.
This year we spent 10 days in a row in a national park, always curious what to expect next along the way…⁠⠀

impressions South Africa 2019

Everybody always thinks I’m just on holiday, but I’m just very slow in editing my pictures and then publishing them during the year. Here are some impressions from our road trip through South Africa in early 2019.

Yasu – Animation Producer, Tokyo

A few years back, when I was traveling during the wintertime, I rented out my Berlin apartment to Alison, a DJ from New York. Last summer, before I flew to Japan, she connected me with Yasu, an old friend of hers, who lived in Tokyo.

He and Alison met, when Yasu was studying music business in New York back in 2000 , while working as an intern at a record label called ‚Turntable Lab’.

On his return to Tokyo after finishing his studies in 2004, he opened up his own record label and store called ‚Moonwalk Records‘ as well as a Tokyo branch of ‚Turntable Lab‘.
But the music business in Japan was not going as well as expected, so Yasu switched to advertising. He worked for clients like Audi, doing brand promotions including parties and popup stores, where he could combine his love for music with the job.

A friend of Yasu started an animation company and asked him to join as a producer.
For animation you need a story, graphic design and music. Working as a producer, has enabled Yasu to integrate his many previous life experiences.


Shooting with the traditional Japanese Band Japan’s Elegant Breeze 凛と風 in Tokyo during my trip in June. The band members are playing the traditional instruments koto, shamizen and shakuhachi. JEB is invited to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We shot at the Nezu Shrine and a original Japanese tea house in Ueno to produce a portfolio of pics that can be used for public relations.