Packing for a Photo Vacation

A few months back my wife and I had to bail on a vacation we were planning to the Maldives.  We discovered the cost plus the time needed to get there combined with my wife's PTO made it less than ideal.  So, after a sad come-to-Jesus with our friends we started to talk about the top places in the world we would love to visit.  

Not surprisingly, we had a number of similar places we wanted to visit. So, we began to hunt for cheap flights and discovered that my dream location had direct flights from Minneapolis round trip for $600 a person.  Combined with my flight miles, we wound up flying direct international for 2 people for $400!  Needless to say, that trip starts this coming week and we are both ecstatic.  

We will be spending 7 days in a van driving across my dream photo location.   Starting to pack for a dream photo vacation with only so much room, meant a new Thule bag, numerous new memory cards as well as trying to figure out what to bring and what not to bring camera wise.  With a desire to take both film and digital photos, as well as capture video, it has complicated what may and may not fit in our new Thule bag.

Dream vacation equipment

Equipment above: 5dMarkiii, Rebel t2i, Pentax K-1000, Powershot S110, Yashica Mat 124g, Portra 160, Kodachrome 64, Velvia 100, Nisi ND1000, Nisi ND64, Nisi GND 0.9 and miscellaneous chargers, batteries, tripod, and memory cards.

Long Exposure Made

As of late, I have spent a number of days working out how to take long exposure photos.  To be honest, I became obsessed with photos of Iceland over the last few weeks.  With an impending vacation just around the corner, I had no idea how to create the smooth almost blanket like waterfall and ocean photos I saw from some of my favorite photographers.  I understood the concept of long exposure but how could those photographers not get over exposed even at f22 iso 100?  

Fortunately, the internet was working and I started scouring until I came across the details.  To my surprise, the process seemed like something I could have fun with and my next stop was a plethora of filter reviews.  Wow! Those things are expensive, in fact a good couple filters will cost you as much as a new lens and there is a significant delineation in quality.  In other words, do your homework if you want to start getting into long exposure photography, as you could pay a lot for a filter that reduces your photo's quality and ultimately doesn't provide the level of production you would hope to obtain with a significantly increased exposure.

So, with the help of the internet, I went with Nisi filters, a cheaper, well reviewed, glass slide filter.  Thanks to the Nisi slide filters I have been able to extend my exposures for significant lengths of time.  I have had the opportunity to use and test the Neutral Density Filter – ND64 (1.8) – 6 Stop and a Neutral Density Filter - ND1000 (3.0) - 10 stop as well as a Soft Graduated Filter- GND.9 - 3 stop.  

Don't worry a few weeks ago that sounded just as foreign to me but has as of recent, become one of my favorite tool to create beautiful photos.

Taking a long exposure at Iso 100  f/18  4.0 for 2 mins with Nisi ND1000 (3.0)

Photo taken of the Minneapolis Skyline from the long exposure above