Lessons from Orkney.

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Every year I make a plan for what trips I want to take.  The new adventure I want to have and the places I haven’t seen. Every year I get a little older and the aches and pains change from year to year.  So, every year I tell myself, I don’t need to bring everything in my bag and carry it around.  Well, I did it again.  I brought most everything I had for those just in case moments.  Those moments never happen and I am stuck with a bag that is too heavy for KLM carry on requirements.  Then KLM makes me check my camera bag because it is too heavy.  I literally pale at the check in counter and break out into a small sweat.  On the up side, the camera bag showed up in Detroit but my clothing, checked bag stayed in Amsterdam.  Oh well, I don’t let the at bother me so much like I used to.  A nice man delivered my bag by van the next day.

Except, I need to go back to the beginning and back to simple.  I need to take note of what I end up using out in the field.  Every time I end up using only two lenses:  the Fujinon 10-24 and Fujinon 50-200 zoom.  The filters are a must and I will you those plus the Big and Little stopper.  The rest of the bag will be batteries and the rings for the filters, plus cleaning clothes.  The extra camera body can stay in the room.  Done. Now, leave the bag alone.

Why might not take it all?  Orkney Scotland is a beautiful Island and most locations are not right next to the car park.  That means I am going to have to walk and in some cases climb the side of a gigantic mountain.  O.K. it was a medium mountain or at least it felt that way with a 20 lb. pack and tripod.  I was literally taking out all the junk I wasn’t using on the climb to the burial ground in my mind and swearing never again.  Never again.  The reasoning is that I concentrate on the burden instead of the view.  Oh the view, stop and take a breath!

The bag I carry is a Lowe pro back pack which is sturdy and efficient.  I did notice that I miss shots because as I travel because I don’t want to take the pack off my shoulders to get the camera.  I also don’t like carrying the camera in my hands out of the bag.  I have so many bags do I purchase a sling?  Yes, get a sling big enough but not so big I put too much stuff in it.  I have to try because I want flexibility that I am not getting.   I have another adventure coming up to Lake Superior and it might be a good place to try the bag out.  I will let you know.

Every trip I go on is different due to location and the people I am with.  However, if I keep the equipment simple, for what I need, I will find that I have more time to enjoy the view.  Traveling overseas is harder because I feel I might need something but, I usually don’t.  These trips are about being free for a week.  A moment in time to step away from the normal life back in the States.  I don’t have views like the above photo here.  I wonder what it would be like to have that everyday?

This trip I took with Glen Campbell and Lightstalkers Adventures.  I didn’t know so many landscape photography spots existed on one Island.  You did well with the 5 Americans and made us feel right at home in Scotland.


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