The Smallest Saddlebag Possible

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I have embarked upon a personal experiment. No, not the one that involves putting your fingers in the pasta roller…I already know how that comes out…

I mean I am experimenting with camera equipment to see how any particular assignment can be done with the smallest possible amount of gear. This is a direct reaction to my own behaviour in the past few decades when I piled optical Ossa upon mechanical Pelion on every occasion and threw my back out lifting it all.

Some jobs will need redundancy – weddings and commercial shoots come immediately to mind. One needs to guard against the possibility of equipment failure by carrying duplicate gear – and it needs to be set to the same settings as the primary tools so that it can be picked up and used without pause. Redundancy need not be a four-deep rank of cameras but you must have a Plan B ready to substitute for Plan A.

Some jobs do not. I am going to try a small social coverage job with one camera and one lens -admittedly a medium zoom – and trust that the idea will deliver what I need. A flash will also go along in case the weather plays nasty.

Even here, with one of everything, there will be two of some things. Two memory cards, two batteries. There will be a lens wiper. It will be packed into a weatherproof bag. I will set the camera to take RAW in addition to jpeg but will try to be so precise with exposure as to avoid the need to use the RAW portion of the capture. Sure, it will use up more memory on the capture, but in a few cases it might save a shot. I long to delete it from the hard drive in the end.

Above all, I will try to set out in my own mind exactly what it is I am trying to do, and to do it is a reasonable number of exposures – rather than accumulating a thousand images that need to be inspected and rejected – I will be conservative in anticipation of the value of future time.

Wish me luck. Or rather wish me luk. I can save a consonant if I trim the language…

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