Retrospective 50 shoulder bag

So now vacation time is over us and that means travel for many of us. If you travel with car it is no problem, the challenges arise when you need to pack a limited amount of things. So for my vacation this is the case I am flying to NYC, and will spend vacation in the Capital region of NY State. Since I fly economy I cannot take limitless of stuff with me. For a photographer what counts is to be able to get the equipment you think you will need with you in a safe as possible way. I do only pack tripod and  chargers in my checked in luggage. It basically drills down to, what can I live without and what can I afford to replace. It isn’t given that the travel insurance covers unlimited amount of pro grade equipment lost in the luggage.
So I have purchased myself a bag with the intention of travels. Well that was the intention, the result is that it is the main bag I use for everything. I went with a larger bag, and I read some reviews of it before buying it and one of the cons with it was that it was to easy to fill it, which again will hurt your back. For me it is genius when it comes to travel, I can have it with me on the plane, it takes most of what I would consider brining on a travel, it doesn’t scream photographer, and it has good space for other stuff I need, like sun glasses, my Bose Headphones, a novel to read, a notebook (analog) to write on, some pens, some food, some water bottles, a laptop. In addition I have for this vacation packed my main camera body Canon EOS 1D Mark IV attached is the Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS, and I have also with me the Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L lens. I have some filters from Lee and the brackets for this. I could also have packed some flashes, but decided I didn’t need that this time, will see if I am right there. I think it takes things really nice.
bag
The camera bag packed, with camera, lenses, filters, food, water, book and so on
The bag I have bought  myself is the Think Tank Retrospective 50, I got it in the black color. I would highly recommend this bag for others that need a bag for similar tasks. And yes the review I read that time that said it could make your back hurts is right, I can easily pack it that heavy.
The problem I saw with going with a too small bag was exactly the same reason it said many places not to go for a bigger bag,  “You will never use it” And I feared choosing a too small bag would just make me end up having two bags when traveling.

Iceland – The Saga Island Part II

Iceland – The Saga Island Part II

Now I am back home from a weekend on Iceland. My first comment is that it is an amazing place on earth. The landscape is like never seen before; Very much affected of being an Volcanic Island, placed far up north with strong wind, strong currents in the ocean and a place where the weather shifts fast.

There where layers of clouds with the sun behind it, there where mountains and hills, there where flat landscape as long as the eye could see. I have no problem understanding why painters like Odd Nerdrum and others find this place to be inspiring.

One thing is for sure I want to go back, and then I will use time to wander in the wilderness, and be there several days exclusive for photography

Iceland

This weekend I didn’t get the chances for that, so most of my photos from this weekend are taken trough a bus window, which sadly makes the great moments from landscapes useless for anything else then dreaming of this magnificent place and to remember why I should go here again.

On the first day of the weekend we visited the Bobby Fisher Center and the blue lagoon. The Chess Center was interesting, it is however more coined towards the climate in which he played and why he moved to Iceland instead of his achievement and development as a player. The Blue lagoon was not so great, an expensive tourist trap I would call it. You bath in warm water, that is actually spill water from a geo-thermal power plant. So it is a warm bath in a very salty water.

Bobby Fisher

Lagoon

The experience of this day was the view back and forth with the bus to and from these places. The stop at some springs, these where special as there was a lot of different colours, based on the minerals of the ground. With a strong Sulphur smell in the air.

iceland II

In regards to my camera equipment I didn’t use the Canon EF 70-200mm F4L lens this weekend either. Perhaps if I stop bringing it I will have use for it ?

I used the some of the filters, and shot many of my photos with the gradient ND filters, as the sky was much brighter then the ground and many of my photos ended up being in the direction of the sun.

Iceland IV

We also had a stop at a interesting beach, where I took some photos with Lee Big Stopper and tripod.

Iceland III

Iceland was a great experience. And as stated above I will be back.

Iceland V

Iceland – the Saga Island

Today I am going on a travel for an organisation I am the Chairman of to Iceland.  There is a official program where some guiding is part of it. I will of course not pass on this opportunity and will bring some of my camera equipment to be able to take some landscape photos there.

Both on the guiding. Hope the others won’t hate me when I set up my rig and used 15-20 minutes each place I want to get a good shot. I am also hoping that there will be a hill or open area close to Reykjavik where I will be able to get some night shots of Northern Lights. I saw some really nice Northern Lights when I was in the army 18 years ago, but then I didn’t have camera with me.

Thinking of bringing

Benro Tripod with Ball-head
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L
Big Stopper by Leefilters
Gradually ND filters by Leefilters

Considering also brining the lens I always pack but seldom use, Canon EF 70-200mm F4L.

At the foothills of the Adirondacks

When traveling to see other places of the world there are several things that are important to consider:

  • Equipment, what should I bring
  • What do I plan on photographing. This dictates or is being dictated by the equipment I bring.
  • Bring a good rucksack for equipment, that also enables you to carry water, food and some clothing.

As I was going to visit the love of my life and she knows I enjoy being out in nature, hiking and taking landscapes I decided to specialise on that. For camera I brought my Canon 1D Mark IV with only Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L lens. I brought the tripod in the suitcase, as well as some filters. Lee Big Stopper, Little Stopper, a pack of gradient ND filters as well as a coloured sunset filter pack. In other words a light little package, that is specialised towards taking landscapes, but offers the versatility to take other photos, like generally holiday photos as well.

She took me to a Summit called the Sleeping Beauty. Not sure where the name comes from. It is at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The Adirondacks is a massive mountain range north in NY state.

We had a great walk trough forrest terrain first at a dirt road, later on steep single track. I carried everything in a durable Norrøna 45L rucksack. I like this as it provides both good carry comfort and enough space to have with whatever needed. It has been a travel companion of me since I bought it in 96.

After close to two hour walk upwards being much alone in the forrest, seeing chip-monks and some different birds we came out on a clearing that was the summit. The view here was both surprising as well as fantastic. A tight layer of forrest in many different green colors, and hills upon hills as long as the eye could see.

As there where a few clouds I decided to go for a long time exposure both with the Lee Big Stopper and the Lee Graduate ND filter, chose the 0.9 version and took this shot at ISO 50 with aperture of f16 for 25 seconds.

Took a panorama with my iPhone to get the feel of the landscape as well.

IMG_1839