Less Gear, Better Travel
Like many other professional photographers, I have too much gear. Even though I tote the gear along with me, I don't do a very good job of using it.
On a very recent trip to Hanoi, I gave myself the challenge of using every single piece of gear that I brought along.
My Gear Kit
- Canon 5d Mark 3
- SMDV Flashwave 3 receiver and trigger
- Fujifilm Instax and film
- Canon 430 exii
- Canon EF 17-40 f/4L USM
- Sigma 24-70 f2.8
- Rogue flash gels
- Manfrotto MT293C4
I carried a bit more than half of my usual gear load leaving several lenses and multiple nick-nacks to collect dust in Tokyo. I felt both physically and mentally lighter. My back was feeling good because of the dropped weight in the Lowepro bag and my mind was feeling good because of the challenge (and because if I got jacked in the Nam, I would still have a lot of gear to come home too).
So how did it go?
I am very happy to report that everything, even the extra battery, was used on my short trip to Vietnam. Having less gear really was a back saver. Slinging my gear bag over my shoulder wasn't a burden and at no point did I feel like I needed to rest for a spell (southern Appalachian for sit down for a minute) . I also found that I didn't need "that lens" and "this tool" to get great travel editorial and street photography shots.
The challenge proved to me that what is necessary for great photography is patience, a creative mind and the desire to shoot, shoot, shoot. I have learned my lesson. From now on, I am certain that my bag won't be burdensome.