Home from the holidays


I found it pretty easy to pack my suitcase for my big trip this year: five pairs of identical black yoga pants, six interchangeable t-shirts, something for cold days, something for the occasional flash restaurant, walking shoes and casual shoes, toothbrush and sunscreen and done.  But choosing which camera and which camera lenses to take is difficult.  Trading off considerations such as “what if I see X, and I don’t have xyz”, against the weight of good lenses and a laptop.  And security: travel insurance doesn’t cover you if electronics is stolen from your car, and expensive, visibly expensive gear is going to make you a target for thievery in general.  Also, my husband was taking a camera and was going to be standing beside me so . . . I didn’t want to be taking too-similar photos.

So, this time: not my best camera, not my best lenses, which are either expensive or heavy.  No laptop.  Instead, I took my IR camera (which is a modified A6000), with just basic lenses, a pancake 16mm for landscapes, and 55-200mm zoom for the rest.  My husband’s camera is an unmodified A6000, so we could share spare batteries and the charger.   I also took a small but very good compact (an RX100iv) for ‘normal’ photographs and collecting images in museums (ie, stock to use in future projects), and for days when the weather was clearly not going to work for IR.   I used an android tablet for some basic processing of images to share on Facebook during the trip, using the jpgs that Sony creates when you use their app to transfer photos for uploading and Snapseed to tweak ’em.  I took an usb harddrive and a Filehub so we could back up our SD cards.  One exceedingly useful gadget was a $30 5 port travel USB charger that came with adapters for the UK and Europe and Australia, and high powered slots for phones and tablets, so that we could charge our ridiculous number of electronic devices (fitbits and camera batteries and phones and all).  And, as just a small backpack’s worth of gear this setup worked together pretty well.

Except of course, now I’m home.  And I have . . . a lot of files to process.  So many castles.  And amazing landscapes.  And wild stormscapes rushing up dramatic cliffs.  And all the rest.  Expect this blog to groan under the weight of some ancient European monuments in the next week or two.

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