Category Archives: Travel Photography

Day 1: In Transit!

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Casey and I are on the first day of our newest travel adventure with our main destination of Marrakech, Morocco (NW Africa)! This day, as all adventures start out, is one of travel and transit. We are flying to Seattle and after a short layover we are taking a night flight to London. We are spending about a day in London then hopping on an EasyJet flight over to Morocco. We are very excited for this opportunity and both are looking forward to a vacation to rest and relax. Though this trip is to a new place and we plan on exploring what we can, we are definitely reserving time to take things slow, and enjoy the time in a calm meditative-like frame of mind.

This trip is not only an opportunity to learn, photograph and see new places, it’s also an opportunity to test out some things and push ourselves as travelers. First we are only taking carry-ons (something we haven’t done on a overseas trip before). If it doesn’t fit in the bin above and the space below our seats on the flight it didn’t make the trip! The other experiment we are implementing on this trip is not taking a laptop. If you know us, this sounds really crazy! We are trying to do the whole trip with our iPads as the main communications device. We will be using it to FaceTime, blog, do quick edits on photos, and act as our entertainment hub for the videos we watch at night and on the long flights! In fact right now I’m on the very first flight of the journey writing this mid flight on my iPad!

Wish us luck and stay tuned for future updates on this trip. Please leave comments if you find this interesting!

Our plane to London20120316-182338.jpg

Seattle Airport
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Snapshots from Arizona

This weekend I took a trip down to Arizona to visit some friends and get away from the rain and clouds in Portland. During the quick weekend trip I had the great pleasure to play golf with my buddy lance in the warm Arizona sun. It was a lot if fun but I also realized how much I love Portland the rain and the substantially less urban sprawl.

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Packing for Vegas

My wife and I are heading down to Las Vegas for a quick weekend getaway with some friends of ours for some fun and relaxation. Even on these short trips I like to bring my camera and photograph the journey. I wanted to show my thought process for packing my gear.

My philosophy on airline travel

When I travel via air my goal is to be light and nimble. On domestic flights my wife and I very rarely ever check bags, we always try to pack everything so it can fit in our carry-on luggage. Also note, when I say carry-on luggage I mean bags that easily fit inside a overhead bin, and not the over-sized gorrilla bags I see some travelers try to smash into the bins. The gorilla bag people really make me mad – they waste so much time hassling with their bags and panicking when they don’t fit that it causes the people around them to be anxious and frustrated and it also causes the plane to wait longer to get going. That is why we always try to pack within our carry-on bag limits! Plus, it also saves a bunch of time at the airport because you don’t have to wait for checked bags!

Now that you know my philosophy on air travel let’s figure out what gear to bring:

First, I always take my full sized SLR camera on trips. I have the “big” camera because I want the extra control and image quality in my photographs. Therefore it wouldn’t do me any good leaving it at home for the entire trip. In my case I’m going to be bring a 5D Mark II. The next question is, what lenses and accessories should I bring? Well that all depends on what I plan on shooting. I plan on shooting a lot of variety during this trip so to cover all the basis points I’m going to bring 3 lenses: My 50 f1.8, 70-200 f4, and a 17-40mm f4.

      • The 50mm: I used to travel more with my 85mm F1.2 for portraits, but am leaning more and more to the 50mm. First, at f1.8 it’s fast enough for a lot of light situations and capable of getting that shallow depth of field. Second, it’s so small and light! This is important because I can keep this lens on my camera in my carry-on – the small profile allows me to pull it in and out of the bag quickly with ease when I want to take a photo. The last thing I will say is it’s so cheap! At around $100 I don’t worry about it getting damaged to much because I know it’s a cheap replacement (that’s not to say I don’t take care of it – but rather I don’t worry about it if disaster strikes!)
      • The 70-200: is a great lens and will let me get the reach when I need it and also compress the scene
      • The 17-40mm: the wide angle will be good for landscape and scene setting shots

Lenses

So now that I have my lens choices made – what accessories?

I always like to take a shutter release, my 10-stop neutral density filter, and a gorilla pod for long exposures. The first two items are small and don’t take up much space and the gorilla pod has come in handy too many times to not try and fit it in my bag. The rest of my camera gear is pretty standard: extra batteries, memory cards, and a lens pen. As far as computer related consumption goes I’ll just have my iPad. I like to go iPad only because it is small and light, has great battery life, can accomplish 90% of the tasks I do with my computer, and doesn’t need to be taken out of my bag at the security checkpoints at airports (time savings!).

Accessories - Cards, Batteries, Releases, Filters, and Strap....

Now that we know what I’m bringing – here’s how I’m going to pack it:

For this trip my wife and I are sharing a small hard-cased roller carry-on for our clothes. She get’s one side, I get one side (approximately). This bag is mostly for clothes but I also stick my Gorilla pod underneath the clothes as it fits extremely well between some of the bars that make up the structure of the bag. The clothes bag gets classified as Casey’s carry-on. My carry-on is a small overnight duffle that I am sticking my gear in. I recently found a great little hanging toiletries bag at Target for $20 that I am going to use as a lens bag. This bag has a big main compartment that will fit the lenses snugly and numerous small zipper compartments for the other accessories. This lens bag will go into the duffle with my toiletries pouch, iPad and actual camera body. I keep the camera on top of everything with the 50mm lens attached to it, I can easily pull it in and out on the and be ready to go on the fly.

Overnight Duffle

Final Thoughts:

So there you go, my thought process for packing my gear for this trip. Casey and I have started traveling quite a bit and I hope seeing my thought process may help make your next trip a little more streamlined during the travel process. If you have any comments or suggestions for travel packing I would love to hear them.

New Canvas!

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Today we got a brand new canvas for our bedroom of a photo I took of the Eiffel tower from Artistic Photo Canvas. It came a day early so it was a nice surprise when I got home, my wife had it all unpacked and hanging above our bed waiting for me. It looks really fantastic and I wanted to share it with you guys!

This is my second canvas from APC and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I had a few worries about a some of the sections of the tower getting blown up with noise and clarity but i was pleasantly surprised and it turned amazingly. The colors are right on and the clarity and detail is better than I expected. The process of ordering our canvas was super simple you upload the full res standard file, tell them the size and they do the rest! I have nothing but good things to say about the company. I would recommend then highly!

update:
After seeing how terrific my canvas turned out. I have put it up for sale on etsy

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