Ugly truths

I’ve known this for a long time, and would like to deny it because it’s a quality that I’d rather not have, but at the same time, I can see nothing to do about it, and simply have to face the music: but damn, I can pack a lot of shit for a trip.

Not clothes, oh no – I can get by with the minimum, and don’t care how I look so that’s just enough to cover the number of days I’ll be away – often less, really. Not sundries or snacks or whatever; I keep my overnight bag of toiletries packed and simply add an electric razor as needed, and snacks are purchased for the day of travel, if it’s by car. Not even emergency weather items so much, though I usually try to come at least a little prepared, but I’ll layer on shirts rather than pack a jacket.

But the photography equipment.

I hate being unprepared for a rare opportunity, and most times, it’s not a situation where I could ‘make do’ with some shortcut or repurposing or something of that nature. It’s the same reason why I can’t carry a light bag with ‘just the essentials’ in it, because these are all essentials. Possibility of macro work (and that’s virtually always a possibility)? That means a couple of lens, the macro flash and softbox, the flash bracket and arm, and spare batteries. Video work? That’s a cage with an arm for the video light, and if I’m the least bit serious, another arm holds the external monitor (because using the LCD on the back of the camera is stupid and annoying,) at least one mic but usually two because the shotgun mic picks up wildlife sounds a hell of a lot better, and at least one tripod, possibly the custom macro tripod. That part is a little amusing, because I’ll eschew it for most macro photo work, counting on brief exposure durations and the output of the flash to ‘freeze’ things – the flexibility of freedom greatly outweighs the benefits of a tripod – but for video work, a tripod is almost essential, and much of my video is of macro subjects.

female marsh crab Sesarma cinereum showing clutch of eggs within pleopods
We wouldn’t have this if I wasn’t loaded for bear
The large, heavy long lens virtually always comes along. The waterproof camera now of course, and this often means the snorkeling equipment too (no small bag, this.) The quadcopter, sometimes. Usually a laptop, only it’s not a laptop but a giant tablet, with memory card reader, and the ability to check e-mail and occasionally work on a post if it seems warranted. The headlamp, naturally, and often a UV flashlight for those esoteric subjects. Batteries and chargers for all of these. A spare set of water sandals because I’ve had them fail before and it’s not fun. Spare glasses now, too.

About the only plus to all this (aside from being able to get damn near all of the photographs and video that might provide an opportunity,) is that I can pack efficiently – all of this will be in the smallest possible space, organized and with ease of access dependent on its importance. But I still feel like a teenage girl when going on trips, though I’m probably much worse.

There’s a particular reason that I bring this up, and you’ve likely already determined what it is – you’ll see soon enough. Even sooner than you might think, because I don’t admit on the blog when I’ll be away, only when I’m back again. Sit tight.

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