One of the great fears of any photographer is 'missing the shot'. You're at the right time, right place when all the components of the next great Cartier-Bresson 'decisive moment' unfold in front of you ... but you don't have your camera ready to capture it. You've left the camera behind, or you have it with you but you don't have the right lens for the situation. Seconds later the 'moment' has become another opportunity lost.
This was certainly a fear I had when heading off to Japan recently with my new small camera. Not only is the camera small, but it has a fixed lens with a fairly limited zoom range of just 24 to 70mm.
In the past I've always travelled with – and used quite a lot – a telephoto zoom out to 450mm. And I've captured some of my favourite pictures with that zoom. There was no way I would be getting most of those shots with the new camera.
I recently returned from a three-week family trip to Japan. Our approach to travel is to cover a fair bit of ground, spend most time out of big cities and try to stay a least a couple of nights in most places. On this trip (check out my travelog if you're interested) we combined a lot of walking in Tokyo with Shinkansen (bullet train) and local train travelling, car hire and even a couple of days of cycling.
I could write at length about the trip and the enjoyment of travel in Japan but that's not the job of this blog. What I will do is use this recent trip as a prompt to write in this and future posts about how I go about my travel photography.
For me, travel and photography are inseparable. I see the world through my lens and make no apology for having a camera with me almost all the time. My family are well used to this and I have strategies for avoiding being too much of a pain about it (for a future post).
In this post I want to talk gear* and discuss the one big change I made to my photography on this trip. I went small.