Monthly Archives: May 2009

When the “best” camera may not be best for you…

Here’s a phenomenon I’m encountering more and more often these days on photo trips and workshops.

A well-heeled photo enthusiast (usually a middle-aged guy, not unlike myself—except, um, for the “well-heeled” part) shows up with tip top photo gear (i.e. two D3’s, 14-24mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm zooms, all the big f/2.8s, maybe a macro or fast prime or two, possibly a flash).

Before every stop on the tour or venture out of the workshop, he asks me, “what gear will I need today?”

When I gently point out that “clairvoyancy” does not appear anywhere in my resume, and stress the need to be prepared for anything, I get the lament “that’s too bad because I don’t want to carry the (fill in the blanks) if we’re not going to need them.” And something always gets left behind, and whatever you leave behind is what you’re gonna need. Yes, folks, it’s a drag to carry your whole kit if you’re not going to need it.

It also stinks not to know when the stock market will spike or tumble, which tollbooth line will move the fastest, or whether or not the Knicks will cover the spread in tomorrow’s game (well, okay, that last one is pretty much a slam dunk “nope”).

The point is, you can’t know in advance what you’ll see in most travel situations. So the question you have to ask yourself is this: which photo gear is better? The heavy “pro” outfit, half of which you tend to leave behind, or the smaller “amateur” outfit that is light enough to take with you and have ready at all times?

This photo below, for instance, would never have been made if I had a D3 instead of a D90 with me on Ibo Island in Mozambique. For the reason why, hit the jump.


Photo © Bob Krist

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Posted in Ironies, Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Travel, Workshops & Seminars

A Chip Off the New Block


One of the bittersweet moments of fatherhood is when your kids start outdoing you. On the one hand, it’s a proud moment to see them reach a new level. On the other hand, it’s a clear indication of your own descent into the diminished capabilities of middle age.

I’ll never forget those moments when it became clear that each of my three boys could whip me in one-on-one basketball (despite the heavy fatherly fouling and loving paternal elbows I would throw to try to keep up).

Or the time my youngest boy Jon, then 16, just picked me up during one of our wrestling matches (I’m 230+lbs.) and gently tossed me over the couch like a rag doll. Ah yes. Those were the days. But now, with one of my sons getting into multimedia, it’s like “deja vu all over again,” to borrow a phrase from Yogi Berra!

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Posted in Ironies, Multimedia