Westward Ho

In a few days we will be heading south to Arizona for a vacation break. First stop Toronto. Then flights from Toronto to Denver and Denver to Phoenix.

The weather will be hot in Arizona. During the hottest part of the day, we will stay close to the resort pool. Or inside an air conditioned building.

Fortunately for me, landscape photography is best performed very early in the morning or very late in the day. Less heat. The desert sky will also be more varied this time of year with cloud cover dropping in from time to time. I hope to see some new locations on this trip and I hope to capture some great images along the way.

We have been busily planning the trip and getting ourselves organized. Packing lists, budgets.

However, as much as I try to pack lightly, I fail miserably. Photography requires camera bodies, lenses, tripods, batteries, storage cards, laptop. To maintain electronic communication and to take advantage of digital media, the iPad and iPhone. Wandering and driving around requires a GPS. I have to take along cases, cables and chargers. Clothes and shoes for hiking, biking, exercising, swimming and walking. Reading glasses, sun glasses. And more. Hard to keep the luggage below 50 pounds.

But the memories will last a lifetime. We will be doing a few special things over the course of the week and a surprise just for my youngest son.

Really looking forward to the trip.

5 replies
  1. Allen Woolfrey
    Allen Woolfrey says:

    The host of one photography podcast that I listen to sends his cameras for cleaning and tune-up every year. He is a pro, so I understand that.

    Do you make a practice of having your cameras turned-up periodically?

    • Richard Cleaver
      Richard Cleaver says:

      I do go through a formal checklist before I head out on any serious shoots. I built my list from Michael Clark’s ebooks — google Michael Clark Photography and that should get you close to his ebook site. But in essence, I clean the body, clean the sensor, clean the glass, check the camera settings, format cards, prep secondary storage, etc.

      Not sure about a tune-up. The body I shoot with is very robust in build and the major mechanical — shutter — would need another 100,000 activations or so before I would send it in.

      Some people are reluctant to clean their own sensors and so will send their body in to the factory. I don’t find it hard to do so I clean the sensor myself. I guess sending it in to the factory would also allow a general mechanical check as well. I don’t hold on to camera bodies long enough to worry about mechanicals.


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