Czech-born Martina Gebarovska entered the film production industry in 2010, excited about the possibilities suddenly opening up to her. It didn’t take her long to become disillusioned with the hours she spent in front of a screen, realizing that her true interests lay anywhere but within the four walls of an office space. An extended trip to the United States put an end to Martina’s pursuit of a film career, kindling a desire for further travel that sent her on a leap of faith to New Zealand. There she job-hopped, communing with other travelers and launching a new way of life that nurtured her true passions.
Martina has since traveled to Tonga, Southeast Asia, Spain, and Canada, capturing some truly stunning images along the way. When you’re sleeping in a camper van, it’s an absolute necessity to travel light and Martina has become adept at shaping her photography technique to her nomadic lifestyle. Today, she talks about the kit that travels around the world with her to get detailed natural light photos that awaken the traveler in all of us!
Tell us how you go about deciding which gear is essential to your work.
Honestly, I’ve always struggled with efficiency when packing my camera gear, especially for multi-day backpacking trips. I always carry my 16-35mm lens with a polarizer filter, but other gear depends on the length and intensity of the trip.
I usually add other lenses, a tripod, and neutral density filters. Often I leave behind my 70-300mm telephoto lens, but when I was on a five-day trip along the west coast of Vancouver Island, I knew if I was lucky I would encounter humpback whales, eagles, sea lions, and maybe even cougars and black bears, so I also packed my telephoto for that trip.
Canon 6D Mk I
20.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor, Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
Canon EOS 6D: This has been my only camera for the past three years and what I love about it, especially, is how durable it is. I bought it second-hand and it goes through a lot during my travels, yet it is still working perfectly. The battery life is just amazing!
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22, Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System, Weather-Sealed Construction
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM: I never go anywhere without this lens. The sharpness and contrast always blow my mind. It is perfect for landscape photography, astrophotography, and architecture.
Sigma Art 24mm f/1.4: I love the bokeh and sharpness of this lens. I use it especially for my landscape self-portraits but it is also my all-around documentary lens. It’s my must-have lens for shooting weddings and portraits.
Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4: Another amazingly sharp lens that is great for portraits. I also use it for landscape photography. It is a quite heavy lens though, so often I leave it behind when I go hiking or backpacking.
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM: I purchased this lens half a year ago, but have already used it many times for landscapes and wildlife in Canada. It is affordable, sharp, and quite light for its well-built quality. I like how versatile this lens is because I also find it great for portraits.
I only use natural lighting.
Lowepro Whistler 350: I have a couple of camera bags and I’ve recently been using this one. Despite finding it quite heavy and bulky, I love how durable the bag is. I can fit all of my gear plus extra pieces for day hikes, like food, water, and extra layers. To be completely honest, I am still looking for that perfect camera bag.
I also carry a tripod, neutral density filters, a polarizer filter, a remote shutter release, a remote switch, an L-plate, an external hard drive, and a little camping pad for sitting in the mud, ice, snow, or simply waiting hours for the right light.
Martina’s portfolio is proof that the newest equipment on the shelf is not the only key to great photography. Her adventures are documented in colorful waterscapes, pensive mountaintop self-portraits, and mystical, star-studded auroras that almost defy reality. It’s enough to bring out the traveler in even the most established of homebodies.
For more phenomenal travel photography visit Martina’s website or Instagram page, and take a look at her blog for stories about her travels and great information for aspiring wanderers!
Maggie King is a freelance writer, photo editor, and mother of three. She specializes in product photography retouching and creates regular content for several blogs and social media presences.