One of my favorite current photo quotes...


"As photographers we are only as good as the opportunities we create." 

-- Kristian Dowling, Photographer

One of "Murphy's Laws of small business." And ruminating about packing.


It's tough getting out of town for a week. One of Murphy's many laws that covers small businesses is that all clients will wait until the very last day you plan to be in the office to finally choose folders full of images that they desperately need post processed right away in order to meet some deadline that didn't even exist when you actually photographed for the job.

The requests will be couched in such a way that one couldn't disagree with the need. "We just got the CEO's selections and the annual report is due at the printer in days..." So you look at the options. Send the material to a good retoucher and hope all goes well or burn the midnight oil and finish out the project as you intended it to be. If you pick the first option there's little recourse should things go wrong while you are out. If you pick the second option you start your out of town adventure tired and already a bit burned out.

Fortunately I have a trusted retoucher and I don't mind if they work with the client directly. I'm just too busy deciding on which flashes to pack for my next project. 


Many of you have offered advice as to which cameras and lenses, etc. I should pack up and take with me to Santa Fe. All are good suggestions but I know myself pretty well; I'll have a range of options picked out and lined up on a table in the studio and I'll vacillate over and over again between now and Sunday night but by the time I head to bed I'll have made my choice and solidified my determination to see my decision through. It's a silly problem to talk about but there it is. 

The leading candidates in the running this morning line up like this: The Panasonic S5 combined with the 24-105mm Panasonic zoom and the 70-200mm zoom. The S5 with the longer zoom lens gives me a good option for the inevitable podium shots while the 24-105 is just coming along for the ride as a back-up for my other choices. The other two cameras currently in the pole position are the GH5ii and the GH6. I liked the files from both when I shot them last week and I'm happy with the small range of lenses I'm pairing them will. I'll mostly stick with the Panasonic 12-60mm f2.8 on the GH6 body and the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f1.4 on the GH5ii. Small and light for all the non-speaker at the podium shots. And for tromping around town with event participants.

But no trip is complete without an irrational "outlier" camera for recreational use. For that role I'm contemplating bringing along the Leica CL with the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 and the Sigma 56mm f1.4. My rationale is that I need a "front seat" camera for the drive over and, if I decide I really need to get even closer to a speaker at the podium during the conference the CL's APS-C sensor gets me a 300mm equivalent focal length with more pixel density than the S5 offers with a crop. 

The tiny CL, along with the Sigma zoom, is a perfect package for walking around aimlessly during my personal time in the town. And I additionally have the excuse that I'll need every advantage I can find since we'll be at seven thousand one hundred and ninety nine feet above sea level. 

When I was there in October with B. I was carrying around an SL2 with the 24-90mm lens and it wore me out quicker than I thought it would... Cut that weight down by two thirds and it's got to help. I guess I'm spoiled by an oxygen rich environment here at 400 feet above sea level. 

All the "work gear" fits into one Airport Advantage XT rolling case from Think Tank. I'm taking a small Domke bag for the "personal" camera and lens. 

The lighting gear is simple and no alternate choices are necessary. I'm taking a couple of Godox V1 flashes (dedicated to Olympus/Panasonic) along with a Godox X1-T flash trigger. Those, two stands and couple of umbrellas and I'll have what I need for on-camera flash (events) and the last minute requests for nicely lit portraits for people who.....forgot to submit headshots. I've also tossed in a favorite small flash. It's the Godox TT350 (O) which is a petite, light shoe-mount flash that takes two double "A" batteries and kicks out enough light for fill flash or higher ISO event work. I like it because it's "right-sized" for the smaller cameras. 

Clothing is easy. 3 X dress shirts for the event. 3 X dress trousers for same. One dark sport coat for events. Two ties in case any one event is more formal. One pair of black dress shoes. One pair of brown dress shoes. And with those we have the event covered. Of course there needs to be an inventory of underwear and socks but that's assumed. Everything else is comfort wear. Three pairs of REI all terrain long pants and a stack of breathable, long sleeve shirts with collars. Two pairs of lightweight hiking boots. And, looking at the weather reports, a warm jacket and a hat. That all fits nicely into a rolling case. 

The final touch is a small bag of swim gear. But it's hard to forget the swim stuff since it mostly lives in my car...

You can probably tell that it's been a while since I packed for a week long trip out of town. Writing this blog is analogous to creating a packing list. In fact it might substitute for one. Thank you for your patience as I work through my selection process. There is one thing that might cause a slight deviation to the camera mix... I was witless enough, while at the camera store yesterday, to handle a "like new" Olympus OMD EM-1 mark 3 for a few minutes. It's a lovely camera.... I've never owned one..... Yet..... Curious how owners of this camera like it....?

I have to say that after having been in very close quarters with my family for the last 2+ years I am feeling a guilty pleasure at getting away by myself. I have missed the days of those corporate trips if for no other reason than...autonomy.  YMMV. I don't mind driving and I enjoy staying at nice hotels. I even like the social atmosphere at good conferences. Sometimes it's nice to get away...


Above and below are more photos from the Iceland adventure. I guess one of the reasons I thought to post these photographs and others this week was to get myself inspired and revved up for the upcoming trip. A reminder of sorts that much photography can be accomplished in and around other obligations so long as you remain diligent and think in terms of a gestalt sort of speediness...