In about 5 days we leave for a 2-week road trip throughout the American Southwest. We leave California and head to Flagstaff, AZ, for a few days, then on to Four Corners in Colorado and Mesa Verde National Park. Then, a stopover in Colorado Springs. From there, we will be in Laramie, Wyoming about 4 days, to explore as well as to visit the University of Wyoming and Fort Laramie as there is family history related to Fort Laramie in particular. After that, on to the Teton National Park and Yellowstone, home of beautiful mountains and hot springs and geysers like Old Faithful. Then, Salt Lake City, Utah, and St. George, Utah, and finally, home.
There will be four adults, two of whom are photographers. We take up space. Then there is the need for technology, too. Not to mention knitting and drawing and reading (thank goodness for the Kindle!). Space needs to be considered very, very seriously. I’ve narrowed it down: I am going to take only my Nikon V3 and its small lenses – I can pack them up quite tidily. I am also going to bring the Olympus OM-1n and its 50mm and 35-70mm lenses, the latter of which has a close-focus element. I also want a point-and-shoot film camera, which will be either the Trip 35 or the XA4 – possibly the latter as it is more versatile and has a wider lens, having close-up and 28mm capacities. I will also tuck a medium format folder in amongst the camera selection, and maybe a tripod, though I seldom use them.
And then . . . there is the laptop. It pays to have a serious IT guy in the house. He restored the laptop to Windows 8.1 by doing some research and installing it as a bare-bones system. I need to still install Lightroom and such on it – but I’ve decided I am not going to spend the time on it between now and the day of our departure. I will bring my Chrome Book and use Pixlr and Polarr for post processing, and use an external 1.5 TB mini hard drive as storage. This should do. I would prefer to bring the laptop – thank goodness I have a genius of a husband! – but don’t want the time hassles at the moment.
Film is another decision which needs to be made. I have JCH B&W in the OM-1n at the present, and a yellow filter as I want to try my hand at b&w landscape and nature photography (and maybe some street). The 120 film decision can be either Kodak or Fuji . . . I chose the Perkeo as it has an automatic film stop that works, and with Kodak not having numbers dark enough to read through a red window, it’s important when choosing cameras and film.
By choosing the V3, I am going to give myself an opportunity to master some of its features that I have not yet done. I want to try long exposures with it, to smooth out waterfalls or just the rivers we will cross. I may need to bring a bushing for the Perkeo if I want to use it for landscape and a tripod . . . but that may be more than I want to think about! The OM-1n should be fine as it is, and the point-and-shoots are fine in the hand. The Chrome Book and affiliated software will be another learning curve, and it should be fun. Polarr seems to leave a signature on all the images, but it might be it can be removed. I haven’t had time to fidget with it too much, but like what I see. Pixlr is like Photoshop, and some of its key features should work well in conjunction with Polarr.
So, the technology and camera questions have been sorted. Now I have to do the bills and begin putting things in the suitcase, tech bag, and camera bag. So much to do! So little time!