The Preparation Continues!

Every year at this time I go through the same questions about what to bring and what not to bring.

Some of it is easy – at this stage in my life I am a real expert on clothing and toiletries – for those that know me it means a stack of identical blue lightweight shirts.

But the technology – that’s the problem.

So let’s go through this logically.

Obviously I need to bring a still camera and I recently upgraded to a 16.7 Megapixel Pentax K5.

Normally I only need 2 lenses with it – my very wide 10-20mm lens and my longer 18-200mm lens. This pretty much covers every circumstance.  Well except for studio work – and I will be doing studio work – so I also need my 70mm-300mm macro lens.

In the field I don’t use a tripod (though I just got this need tripod backpack) but since I will be doing studio work I will bring my new very light Vanguard tripod.  Last year in the studio I kept doing multiple angles so I will need a second tripod.  I also want a couple of matching heads for dual quick release action. So that’s 2 sets of legs and at least 3 heads.

In the studio I use a slider bar for 3D work, a laser measure and  turntable for VR work, and I am bringing a couple of small ‘cool’ light (and AC power adapters).  I of course also need my color block for color accuracy.  This should cover my studio work.  Oh if I could only pack a backdrop (I was very tempted).

Going back to the field work.

Do I need a 3D still camera?  I had one last year that I brought and didn’t use.  Plus I do have my slider bar so NO – I will not be bringing a 3d camera. Done.

Do I need a panoramic camera? I had one last year that I brought and sort of used. I took a few panoramas but while the rig was decent it wasn’t perfect and its VERY heavy.  In fact the best panoramas I took last year were the freehand ones I put together with the still camera.  And no I won’t even consider bringing my GigaPan rig.  So NO – I won’t be bringing a panoramic camera. Done.

Do I need a video camera?  This one is tricky.  Last year I brought 2 videos cameras and a stack of tapes only to find that it really wasn’t an ideal situation to shoot video.  Every time I put the camera down people would talk to me – and everyone was keen on the photography.  I took over 7,000 photos last summer but only walked away with 9 hours of video.  So NO – I won’t be bringing a video camera.  This is a huge load off my planning and packing. Plus my new Pentax K5 shoots really good HD video.  So do I bring a microphone for it? That is still in flux.

Accessories are going to be pretty much the same as last year. Lots of memory cards, cleaning kit, GPS Geologger, notebook, iPad, iPhone (for my tunes), headphones, backup hard drives, and my portable wand scanner. Don’t laugh but bringing that portable wand scanner last year allowed me to scan and send receipts from the field-house.

So after all this it looks like I am just bringing one camera. Kinda scary.

Let the packing commence.

It’s Thursday – I leave Sunday.