Saturday, 4 February 2012

Travelling Light (Part 1)

Travelling light

I'm fortunate enough to get to do a fair amount of travel, not just in the UK but also around the world. As a keen photographer I like to travel with my camera but personal safety, weather and national security all play a part in every photo I take.

Developing style

Over the past few years and as documented in this blog I've started to play with off camera lighting (in the form of small speedlights). The beauty of this style is that 80% of the time you can set up an ad-hoc studio right about anywhere you like. At home, at a concert, in a museum, in the back of an ambulance, on the street or just sitting in your garden you can make a photo that looks like it was taken in a professional studio but at a fraction of the cost.

Weighing up your options

Last week I found the downside to this as I travelled to the Philippines. One of my domestic flights in the Philippines had a hold baggage limit of 10kg and I was away for two weeks so didn't just have an overnight bag. This in itself isn't too much of a problem my camera weighs (CAMERA WEIGHT) but I don't have a flight case that I could put in the hold so it goes in my normal Lowerpro camera bag - Hand luggage. So here is the problem, on domestic flights in the Phillipines they also weigh your hand luggage (and you) so you still risk an excess baggage charge. I also realised that a lot of people pack some of their clothes etc in their hand luggage, but by the time I've packed a DSLR, two lenses two speedlights, spare batteries and assorted cables/wireless triggers there is bearly room for the latest John Grisham or Lee Child let alone some extra holiday clothing. Having seen bags fly off carousels and be thrown into cargo trolleys I have no intention of checking in my dSLR as hold luggage.

Life Priority Mode

I got some great snaps in the Philippines and Hong Kong and do you know how many times I used a speedlight or refector? let alone my wireless triggers? None. Not once. In my eagerness to ensure I had everything I might need I failed to identify what it was I actually did need. I could have stood on the beach taking shots of beautiful women laying in the warm, gentle and relentless waves set against a backrdop of fading orangey red light mixing with royal blue skies - I even had two beautiful women with me and could have found a few more on this particular tropical Island. But I didn't. Why? Because I needed a holiday not a Photography trip, I hardly took out the dSLR - holiday snaps on my iPhone sufficed.

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