To Schlep or not to Schlep, that is the question

It is seven AM and you have been up for an hour, showered, dressed and your heading out on this great Saturday to roam the streets of Old Town Alexandria and Georgetown.  You are determined to capture images of life as it happens in these great melting pot arenas.  The people, the stores, the smells (yes the smells), LIFE.

You have designated yourself the official historian for this day and it is your job to capture all the ones and zeros that your digital camera SD card can store.

What to do?  You are going to be out for at least 8 hours.  Riding the metro line, bus line, maybe a Uber ride here and there, walking the streets, enjoying the restaurants and coffee houses all in a typical humid, high temperature, ugly weather day in the Washington DC area.  And for a non native from New York, Atlanta Ga, and Cleveland Oh, Washington DC really has some of the worst summer weather.

So this is about you.

The one thing you know for sure is that you are going to create some incredible images.  Yes you.  Not your camera and lens or lenses. Just little ol’ you.

Because you have done this before you know how unbearable carrying too much gear is going to make you feel.  And because you have experience as well as talent you know just how much gear you need for an adventure that will keep you out and about  for hours.

The one thing I know from personal experience if you load yourself up with gear and it is hot and humid, it won’t be long before your enthusiasm has become quite diminished and with that your creative juices.

There is a solution.  Bring all your knowledge and experiences to bear and make a short list of gear you will need to get the job done.  I know the temptation is there to load up a large bag or back pack with everything you own just in case you may need it.  Never mind that it is going to weigh in at about 30 or 40 pounds.  At least you will have exactly the right lenses and accessories, just in case.  As we say in Brooklyn, FORGET IT…..

I know your common sense will prevail.

One camera, a couple of small primes or one good general purpose zoom to go with your one body.  A few memory cards and because you are shooting digital, a minimum of four batteries.  Normally one battery is good for about 300 shots.  But not always.

I have a Fuji x pro 2 body and I normally pair it with a 27mm(40.5) pancake lens and a 35mm(52) standard lens lens and that is it.  If I need to get more into the picture, I take a few steps back, and if I want to shoot tight I take a few steps forward.  In the old days, very old days that was called a zoom.
So at most I have about 3 pounds of gear.  Can you believe that?  It only took me 73 years to figure all of that out.

But this is your day out, so I know you want to be comfortable because that is the best way to enjoy your photography.  But let’s take that comfort concept a little bit further.

If you have been reading my blogs, you are aware that I have also adopted a brand new baby.  This very sweet child is what one might call the runt of the litter among my other adopted children.  Fits in a coat pocket, weighs maybe a pound, has a set of legs that take it from wide to tight in a split second, using it’s Leica Summicron 24-75 zoom lens.  It sees the streets and the world through this lens and records it’s world on to a 12 megapixel micro four thirds sensor.  It is actually a 16mp sensor but because it has variable aspect ratio abilities it uses 12mp in all of its formats

I can see the wheels turning in your head.  Fits in a pocket, great zoom range, 12 megapixel, full control of aperture and shutter speed and Iso as well as under and over exposure control, high iso capability and if you are really adventurous produces some outstanding 4K video.

It isn’t that my Fuji and lenses is big.  It is not.  It is not that it is uncomfortable to carry all day.  It is not.  It is a fact that it produces better imaging than this new little runt, but how much of that better imaging will ever really be noticeable?  So why not enjoy the day and take the runt on the adventure.

Oh!  The name of the runt is the Panasonic Lumix LX100.

Enjoy the day.

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