What gear should I take on a shoot? Usually I know. Sometimes I don’t and I take the wrong gear, which then makes me feel frustrated for being unprepared. Sometimes something just comes up and all I can do is be happy I have at least a camera with me. How I can I avoid this feeling of utter frustration?
The easiest way is probably to take all you can carry in your bag. That is what I was doing during Covid when I was robbed. I sure wish I didn’t have all my stuff in that bag at that time!
Other reasons not to take all is the weight. My back can’t take all that gear for too long, and when flying there is also a maximum weight for carry-on to consider.
So that leaves me with the only other option which is serious thinking and considering the probability of possible situations. That is not an easy task.
On my 2 months trip to Argentina this is what I thought I needed : my Leica M10R for daily use in the city, my Nikon Z6II with 14-24 (for night skies and thunderstorms) and 100-400mm ‘just in case’ there is some jineteada (check this article I wrote in 2011) or other event with horses and riders. I just love those events!
But when I left, I didn’t expect to be traveling to the Salta region with my mom and daughter. And I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful, so much nicer than it is in my memories.
On a trip like that I would normally take 2 bodies, 3 to 4 lenses, a tripod and a couple of filters. This time I’d have to do with one body, one tele and one wide angle, and nothing in between. I had to make do with what I had…
The Salta region is dry. It is dusty. It is magnificent. We had a driver bringing us to unseen spots where only locals come, where we were the only ones on the road and could stop right in the middle to take photos. Many parts we did walking, as it was so incredibly beautiful.
And in the meantime I was changing lenses, over and over and over again. From wide angle to tele and again to wide angle and tele. A tiresome job that I quickly grew tired off : 90% of my images are taken with my tele.
It was obvious that our driver wasn’t used to traveling with photographers. While my daughter and I wanted to leave early of arrive late, the driver wanted to have the full blazing sun in the middle of the day. When he was cursing that ‘the light was gone’, we were shooting at full force and ecstatic of nature’s beauty. Constantly stopping to quickly take another photo.
“Normally it would take us half an hour to get to the hotel, but with you girls…I really don’t know!”, he laughed. He didn’t complain and was patient, but it was obvious that he didn’t understand what we were seeing after the sun was down.
When I was ecstatic about the clouds he wanted to move on (and hoping they would be gone soon).
We reminded ourselves that we were not on a photographic trip. We were traveling with my mom. Photography came only second. But did it really? My mom is an avid amateur photographer. She is eager to capture whatever beautiful crosses her path so the 3 of us made a great team.
It was an absolutely fabulous 3 generations trip, the lack of camera gear not withstanding.
All images were taken around 2 moments : the one day we had clouds and the other that we were ‘too late’ and the ‘light was gone’. We did have a great time though!
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