"Moishe’s going to miss you. He’s going to ask for you constantly", said Sarah in the car on the way to the airport.
"Tell him daddy’s on safari to get him pictures of buses and trucks", was my response.
As you probably know my last trip to Pakistan two years ago was a photo bonanza. I took almost a thousand photos and really learned a lot about my camera. I learned a couple of great lessons, including:
- At my skill level you don’t always know when there’s an amazing photo in front of you, just shoot a lot and sort it out later. One of the very best photos I’ve ever taken was taken on a whim when I happened to wander into the back hallways of the Great Mosque in Lahore.
- Always shoot, even when the subject isn’t really right, especially when shooting people candidly. I took this photo at a protest at Jinnah’s tomb. Though my subject wasn’t entirely in the frame, I really liked how it turned out and have come to love it for the combination of flags and protester.
My gear for this trip is as follows:
Canon Digital Rebel
My Canon Digital Rebel, which is a 6.3 megapixel digital Single Lens Reflex. I use the stock lens
because it’s pretty good, but occasionally drop in the telephoto. A big difference this year is that I’m going to shoot exclusively in RAW mode instead of JPGs. I’ve picked up the BreezeBrowser tool for downloading and manipulating my images before cutting them to JPGs. I’m very excited about the potential for really improving my photos. It uses Compact Flash cards, and I’ve got two 2GB cards on me, and a laptop to back them up to. For lighting situations I have a Speedlite 550. I’m still learning how to use it.
(As an aside, isn’t that awesome? I love learning how to use my gear. I’ll probably be on my deathbed at the age of 80 admiring the functions on my new cellphone…)
There’s actually a newer version of this camera out, but honestly, I haven’t hit the edges of performance for this camera yet, so it would be stupid to upgrade.
Sanyo Digital Camcorder C40
This is a new addition to my arsenel. I really wanted a small camcorder because I feel that I’m
missing opportunities for some things that can only be captured via video. In addition because of YouTube, hosting video won’t cost me a dime. I picked this up at RadioShack for $200, which is the way low end for a camcorder. The device is tiny, about the size of a deck of cards and uses SD cards for storage. I have three 1GB SD cards, and I am able to store 40 minutes of video on each.
I’m also carrying an iGO Juice. This is one of those Universal Power supplies that has
interchangeable parts for charging everything I carry including cellphones, camcorders, laptops, iPods and a bunch of things I’m not carrying. It’s really well designed. On one end of the device you have an appropriate power cord. I’m carrying the cords for American outlets, European outlets, cigarette lighters, and inflight Empower plugs. On the other end I’ve got these little interchangable tips that you buy for every new device you get. When I bought the Sanyo camcorder abvoe, I immediately tossed the power brick that came with it into a drawer, found the right iGo tip to charge it up, and saved myself a pound of weight in my pack. It’s awesome.
Brookstone Noise Cancelling Headphones with iPod Shuffle Dock
I’ve got the headphones I purchased on the last trip with a Shuffle stuck in it with Tom Waits’ new three disc set loaded up. I love the fact that these are cordless. It really makes it easier to deal with. Sadly they don’t appear to make them anymore.
The one great flaw in my packing has been my decision to not include my camera case. I felt it was bulky, and that my gear would be just fine wrapped in clothes in my backpack. That has since proven false as my telephoto lens and flash are bouncing around my backpack. Nothing will get broken because I’ll be extra gentle, but it’s still a pretty idiotic oversight.