Why Snapshot?

To my mind there is a vast difference between a photograph and a snapshot.
A photograph is made, the photographer has a vision for the image in mind and sets about creating it. Waiting for the right light or weather conditions and often visiting the scene several times to get it just right.
A snapshot on the other hand is taken as the opportunity arises, often with minimal thought. It is what we do on holiday, when out with family, it aids us in remembering those moments long past.
Having said that, many snapshots are perfect, just like the postcard, whilst some photographs, despite the time and effort, look like a hurried snapshot.
I take mainly snapshots, but occasionally, I get a beautiful photograph.

More of my images can be seen on smugmug and on flickr

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Travel Kit

One issue faced by nearly all photographers is deciding what gear to take when travelling.

The major factors to consider are:

  • photographic opportunities
  • family, business or photographic trip
  • size and weight of equipment
  • security of equipment

Once you have considered these questions you can then make the hard decisions of bags, bodies, lenses and accessories.

This weekend I head for Melbourne, just one night, to see an AFL game. As always I want to take a camera, not to photograph the game but some of the sights of Melbourne and, weather permitting, the area around St. Kilda pier. As usual less than 12 hours before my flight and I have no idea what to take.

  • The canon G6, compact relative to a DSLR, reasonable image quality, not very wide.
  • The K10D, my camera of choice, large and heavy, especially with the battery grip.
  • The K100D, smaller and lighter than the K10D, less features, ISO 3200.
  • Pentax ME with Kodak Ektar 100 and Fuji Superia 800.

Okay, the choice is made, K100D it is, but now what size bag do I want to carry. This impacts on my lens choices, I think the smaller the better, less hassle, less worry.

My favourite lens is the Sigma 10mm-20mm, f3.5-f4.5. It is not a particularly small lens but it is w-i-d-e and I have nothing else that comes even close to this focal length.

I also need a longer lens to compliment the 10-20. My choices for this are:

  • Pentax A 35-70 f4, manual focus, lacking between 20mm & 35mm, constant f4
  • Sigma 18-50 f3.5-5.6, average IQ, short at 50mm
  • Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5, big(ish), nice reach to 70mm, good IQ
  • Sigma 28-80 f3.5-5.6, average IQ, macro at 80mm

To travel light I really should be taking the the Canon G6 but I would rather an SLR so next choice would be the Pentax ME, a 28 / f2.8, 50 / f1.7 and a 135 / f2.5, combining this with Ektar 100 and Superia 800 is a quality kit, but, I want to go digital so the smallest and lightest kit I could put together would be the K100D with a Sigma 18-50 and 55-200. The best kit I have would be the K10D, Sigma’s 10-22 and 17-70.

Now I have finished this article I have talked myself into the biggest and heaviest of my available kits but only if I can fit it into a Snoot Bag.

Read next post to see sample images and find out what gear I really ended up taking.

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