Wednesday, 23 October 2019

What Do I Need To Care About?

Dusk at Big Chute 
Spillway at Big Chute

E-M1,  m.Zuiko 12-50 EZ

So if I'm going to take a badly needed break from obsessing about what camera I'm shooting, where and what do I need to spend some time considering?

First up is shooting technique.

There's some areas I really need to work on, starting with the use of filters. If I'm going to continue concentrating on landscape and wilderness work I need to up my filter game. I generally do not shoot with any filtration, aside from the occasional polarizer use. The first step here is to invest in some ND filters, and eventually a set of ND grads.

As I'm also doing a fair bit of detail/macro work while I'm out in the bush, I need to step up my game there. That means mostly improving my lighting work, which I've started on by getting an actual (almost) modern flash, the Olympus FL-36R, allowing me to do off camera flash to light small details. That also means getting (and carrying) a proper macro lens, probably the Sigma 150/2.8 in 4/3rds mount. Focus stacking is something I need to work on here as well, which means getting and learning Helicon Focus.

Third is using the tripod more. I've added a small Sirui Arca-Swiss ballhead to my Manfrotto 290 legs, which are small & light and ideally suited to use with my small Olympus bodies. I need to get L-brackets, a Platypod and heads for the Platypod & my larger Manfrotto 055XProB so I can get more flexibility. The Platypod is key, as I really like low-angle work and that will solve my biggest issues working down low which right now involves putting the camera on the ground or lots of crouching (an issue for a guy who already has bad knees)

Fourth is bags. I need two of them, initially I need a day hiking bag. This needs to have enough space for my basic kit as planned, some food, a camelback water pouch and assorted gear bits. I need this pretty quickly. Longer-term I need a larger pack for overnighting. That will form the basis of a overnight hiking kit so I can get further away from the car. Of course then I'll need a tent, sleeping bag, cooking kit & incidentals. The first bag needs to be photography-centric while I expect the second one will be a hiking pack with a camera insert.

I'm hoping to do more hiking & even some camping next year, so I'll likely steadily invest in the necessary gear for that to be done comfortably.

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