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Harsh lessons learned about photography on a recent trip to Sri Lanka

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by craniac, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. craniac

    craniac Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2013
    Orem, Utah.
    Mark Crane
    Disclaimer: I am a n00b with a Panny GX1 who mostly shoots in automatic mode. I am sure that everything on this list is old news to all of you.

    1. You will never be able to carefully compose photos when traveling with your spouse, four kids, and a tour guide. Attempting to do so will irritate everyone.

    2. Using the 14-42 kit lens is almost not worth it when the 20mm is so darn sharp in comparison. My ten year old daughter even told me to just shoot and crop later.

    3. You know how you self-righteously mock those guys with expensive Canons and 70-200mm lenses that look like giant codpieces? Well now you're at Yala game reserve, and all of the cool animals are really. far. away. So now who's laughing now, smarty pants? Also, it's quite dusty, and those Chinese tourists wearing surgical masks are perhaps not as silly as they seemed.

    4. You told yourself you don't need a viewfinder, but really, you need a viewfinder. It is just too bright most of the time and not having one for those times hurts the composition.

    5. Yes, taking 300 shots through the glass of the touring van window is kind of stupid, but five of those photos are AMAZING.

    6. If you take 1700 photos over nine days, you are going to spend three months sorting through them all.

    So anyway, I'm in the market for something with a viewfinder, and I am definitely getting a longer lens for my next trip.
    • Like Like x 26
  2. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    #5 and #6 rings very true for me :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  3. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    The LVF2 is nice. But, it may be time to go full upgrade. But yes, #4 rings very true.

    #2: I did the same thing with my old Nikon D40 and the 50mm Nikkor. The kit lens was a lot better in terms of focal range than a ~75mm prime, but the 50mm looked sooo much better..

    • Like Like x 1
  4. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    1 is so true, I've long since reset my expectations. If I get a few minutes to grab a shot or two with kids pulling on me, I'm happy. As a result of 1, most of my shots are of my family :) 

    I've often regretted not having my o75-300 in my bag, but due to the light weight I've not regretted carrying it and not having used it.

    It takes me forever to select, process, and publish my shots :(  I try to push myself to publish a yearly photo book to get this done.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. 1. Tour guide is my biggest problem - I've never used one :p  You should take a look at the travelling photographer series from David Hobby, he's got some great advice for how to balance photography with enjoying a trip. I also find that the more running and gunning I do normally (e.g. at local events, family outings), the easier it is when I'm on a trip to take a shot with only a few seconds.
    2. Doesn't work when you need to go very wide, or very long. Better to go with a very wide zoom, and a very long zoom, IMO.
    3. You can be the one laughing with less weight, space, price and better general discreteness. You can't go wrong with one of O40-150R, P45-150 or P45-175.
    4. YES. Caveat is, if you have glasses like me, even a view finder is very hard to use unless you shade over it with your hand or a hat...
    5. Find the cleanest spot on the window, see if you can clean it some more, stick your lens right up to the glass, then shade over it with a dark cloth. A polarising filter can also help a bit.
    6. Mark the crap for deletion in your downtime on your trip, be brutal. Sort them during your trip by date and place while it's still fresh in your memory.
  6. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    I've enjoyed reading that, sounded like me when I first started, here's what I would do regarding you six points.

    1. If you haven't done so already learn about composition and put those ideas into practice, use the rule of thirds grid lines and the level gauge to assist you. It all helps. an EVF might help too.

    2. I guess you are talking about the original 14-42, it certainly not as sharp as the 20, however the Panasonic 14-45 and the 14-42 MkII are much sharper, better built and both are smaller the the original 14-42. though the 14-45 is bigger and twice as heavy as the 14-42 MkII. Something to consider perhaps.

    3. May I recommend the Panasonic 100-300 lens sir? If you do get one of these for your next trip, you'll be able to carry on mocking those guys with expensive Canons and 70-200mm lenses that look like giant codpieces. You'll have a smaller and lighter lens with 2-3 times the reach.

    4. At least get an EVF, both my cameras have got an EVF for a reason.

    5. If that's the only opportunity you have got, just take the photo.

    6. Enjoy the photo's
  7. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I do completely opposite - wait while emotional attachment fade off and then I can delete obviously bad shots rather easy - e.g. 10000 down to less than 1000 for 17 days trip
  8. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    I can relate to #4 in particular. Started with a GX1 just around the time the GX7 was released - told myself I didn't to spend all that extra "just for a viewfinder". Later bought the LVF2 viewfinder for the GX1 and it hardly ever came off the camera. End result - sold the GX1 & viewfinder and bought the GX7. Guess it was worth the extra for the viewfinder :biggrin: That and focus peaking has rekindled my interest in adapted lenses.
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    On number 1 - just get a good alarm clock and get up early for a photo walk alone an hour before sunrise. You'll get the best light and be back in time for breakfast with the family!
    • Like Like x 3
  10. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    My kids are my 6:00 alarm clock :( 
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Taking 10000 photos in 17 days would make sorting through them a labourious task. I took over 10000 photos on a holiday a couple of years ago but that was over five and a half months. I'm still nowhere near to having looked through them all.
  12. betamax

    betamax Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 7, 2011
    Illawarra, NSW, Australia
    This is where the P20 really shines. Moving bus. Scenery screaming past. f/1.8 for the lowest ISO and fastest shutter speed, got me a few more than 5 keepers :)  I think I might have ended with a black eye if I'd used the EVF though (rough roads).

    I didn't think about the polarizing filter... damn... I'll have to give it a go next time!
  13. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Traveling with someone lugging around a bunch of camera gear sounds like the Holiday From Hell. Either go on a Specifically For Photography Trip...or not.
    • Like Like x 3
  14. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    Your first two points are what forced me to compromise IQ for speed, versatility and convenience when I bought a super zoom Oly 14-150 for my Hawaii trip. The images were good enough for a family vacation, and I would use that lens again, although I may swap it for the OIS-equipped Panny 14-140.
  15. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    1. True, it's imperative to have all the freedom and flexibility you need to compose and shoot in peace

    2. True, the kit lenses are good for general use, but a good prime of Pro quality zoom is best for a special photo trip.

    3. True, even the best MFT camera cannot equal the big FF bodies with their fast, long lenses for wildlife photography. I have had the best long lenses I could get for my Oly MFT and they are not as good.

    4. True, without a EVF it becomes a frustrating chore to take pictures in any but the best conditions. Think either E-M1 or similar or an optional EVF

    5. True, those few good shots are very nice to get and to learn from.

    6. True. sorting and organizing the photos takes a lot of time and effort

    The Zuiko 75-300 (4/3 with adapter or MFT) and the Pany 100-300 to be good, sharp lenses. What kills me is the terrible time using A/F (hunting, miss focus) and difficulty using M/F (technique?). Also, the small apertures really suck especially when adding the X2 factor of the MFT crop factor.

    I keep thinking that a decent long legacy lens with manual focus a f4 or better, might work best. I have not tried it yet...
  16. swede

    swede Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    I took my Pentax dslr kit to sri lanka 2010, it was a K-7, DA 16-45, DA 55-300, Cosina 55 1,2 and DA 100 macro. In hinsight it was to much even though it was a small kit for being dslr... My luck was that it was a 4 week vacation to visit family so there was realy no stress. Im glad it was Pentax though, i doubt a similar priced canikon kit would have cooped better with the heat and humidity of the wet season there.

    I would bring everything needed for a m4/3 system next time, even buy more lenses :D 
  17. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    So does the constant stopping to swap out prime lenses :biggrin:. The best case for using a "walkabout" zoom that I know of.

    The best case for not using a "walkabout" zoom that I know of :biggrin:.

    But back at the hotel they have to listen to their wives..."You look like a Dork with that codpiece hanging 'round your neck!!! Did you bring me on vacation just to embarrass me??? And don't complain to me about your sore back, I don't wanna hear it - that fella with the cute little Panasonic seemed to be doing O.K. with his camera and his wife didn't seemed embarrassed!"

    Nope, never told myself that. Told myself "Hey, where's the viewfinder???" when first looking at moving from DSLR's to Mu-4/3. The "stinky diaper hold" can even overpower the excellent IBIS of the Olympus E-M5 for those of us of a certain age.

    Don't try sitting on the hood or the roof of the van. Trust me, you're wife will NEVER let you live it down. :biggrin: MUCH smarter to shoot through the windows and settle for five keepers.

    Nope. Load 'em onto a card, take 'em to a local brick 'n mortar photography store and cut a deal on printing ALL of them on 4x6. Keeping them in order you can sort through the prints to get the gems and then spend three months trying to find the proper file on the computer :biggrin:.

    The E-M5 MkI, having just been superseded by the MkII should be available at greatly reduced prices, and I find the viewfinder quite usable. Last year I picked up a 14-150mm "walkabout" lens...and haven't used it more than twice. Too many compromises for my taste. Good for family get together with the in-laws. If you don't like your in-laws :biggrin:. The 40-150mm is a surprisingly good lens and quite inexpensive. However, I like your daughter's take on the situation - shoot the 20 and crop later :2thumbs:. That way it becomes a family vacation rather than "a photo trip with Dad". :biggrin:

    Sounds like you had a great time!


    • Like Like x 1
  18. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    I totally disagree. using small u43 is a great way to be able to practice photography while travelling with family. You just need to lower expectations. I don't have the luxury of photography-only trips these days...
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Is there a way to mark files in camera , as either keeper or not?
  20. Not sure about the GX1 but on Olympus you can mark ones as 'protected' which shows a tick and ptevents deletion unless you unprotect it. I normally don't bother doing it in camera though.
    • Like Like x 2
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