Dec 292012

Bag’s All Packed… well, camera gear at least

I dedicated a good part of today, one day before flying out, figuring out how to fit my camera gear into my brand new F-stop camera bag. At first glance, it’s a pretty awesome pack. They’ve designed a proper backpackers backpack you could hike with all day and fit space for camera gear inside. When I started packing however, I quickly became frustrated. It could barely take anything! I kept thinking, on their website they had loads of lenses, bodies and flashes all fit in. I kept trying. I even started considering which lenses to jettison. Eventually, after pulling out all of the dividers to try to come up with my own system, then forgetting how to put them back in, I logged onto the F-stop website. That’s when the words “those bastards” entered my mind. They’d cleverly removed all of the lens hoods from their lenses in their examples. Fortunately my fury was short-lived. I soon discovered that my lens hoods nest together quite neatly and fit in the handy upper compartment of the bag. Once I’d done this I had acres of space and numerous interesting configurations to play with.

Packed F-stop camera bag

Ready to go… just need clothes

For this trip, I wanted to keep my telephoto lens on my 7d-Mk II, ready for action, should a lion, penguin or whale shark cross my path, unannounced (it sounds like a joke, but I’m likely to see all three on this journey). I figured out I could lay it across the bottom of the pack. For a moment I tried to lay it across the top to keep it really handy, but the opening tapers at the top so this was not an option. With the 7d plus 70-200mm lens across the bottom of the pack I fit in the rest of my gear, lenses and bodies all separate. I sat back, pleased with myself. I even took a photo and sent it to my friend, who didn’t respond, funnily enough it was only exciting to me. Then, I changed my mind. One camera and lens ready to go wasn’t enough, I wanted my 5d-Mk II to fit with a lens attached as well. I don’t want to have to break it down every time I put it away. So, I settled on the configuration photographed to the right. There’s a startling amount of stuff in the bag, and I still have space in the top compartment.

I’ll write  a fuller review of this bag after I get back from my first trip, but for the moment I’m pretty happy with it, despite my initial frustration. I’ll also keep you posted if I have an issues with it on a day to day basis as I travel around Southern Africa.

 Today’s Photo: Icelandic Horses, Up Close!

I love these Icelandic horses, and if I go back this year. I’ll be spending a night in a field just trying to get photos of these guys under the midnight sun. I never really put any time into photographing these horses when I was there last time. We came across this pair on our way back to the hostel. I was with my friend, who’s a vet. This is an important point because as I hopped out the car she said, in all her vet-ly wisdom, “You better be quick ‘cos they’ll run away from you. You’ll never get close to them.”

Me taking a photo of 3 icelandic horses through a wire fence

Johnny Peacock: Better Horse-Whisperer than Charlotte

Little did she know that all animals love me, including cats, which I’m allergic to. As this photo shows, she soon ate her words. As soon as I walked up to the fence the horses trotted right over and began striking poses.

I’m visiting her in Africa soon and I’m hoping that, this time, any large animals we encounter there, particularly the cats, will be more attracted to her than me!

If you’re wondering why I’m not wearing socks, it’s because my feet hurt and I was riding back barefoot, to let them air out. When we stopped I just pulled on a pair of sneakers I had in the trunk.

Tonight’s photo wasn’t taken from the angle you see there, though I think that may be gracing your computer screen soon. I took this shot shortly after the horses came over. These two seemed inseparable. The dark one lead the way and the tan one followed along. They stopped for a little cuddle right in front of me and I fired away. I’m not really happy with this photo. I’d have liked it if their heads were a bit closer together and if I hadn’t cut off their hooves. But, I did a quick preparation of all the photos I have left to work on while traveling and discovered that, including those I’m not quite happy with, I only have 26 left!! I’m going to have to be pretty active on my stopover in London and my three weeks in Cape Town, Mozambique, Zambia, and possibly either Botswana or Namibia to make sure I get enough quality shots to keep me going until my next trip!

Close up of dark brown and tan small Icelandic horses.

  4 Responses to “Icelandic Horses, Up Close!”

  1. First of all your socks were off because they smelt so bad there was green cloud following behind you when you walked…..and second the reason the horses stayed there is because I was behind you resonating a “vet-ly” calming effect on them 😉

  2. I was most excited when I saw this photo, not necessarily because it was a great photo, but because it confirmed that I will be taking a trip to Iceland at some point! What a special place! Thanks for sharing…

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