Alex’s Current Photgraphic Travel Set Up

I thought it best to begin this journey with my current photographic setup.  As I haven’t started travelling yet I plan to use this post as a base to document what I am starting with so that in the future I can comment on what worked well, what didn’t work, what I have swapped out and what I have kept.

travel-equip

Camera Bodies:

Canon 6D. I used to own the 5Dclassic and I loved that bad boy but unfortunately, the shutter box broke on me so the 6D became the replacement.  Full Frame, 20.2 MP, 11 autofocus points (the only bummer really) and an ISO range of 100-25600 (with usable ISO around 4000 in some circumstances)  You’re not selling any microstock at that high an ISO due to noise but if you’re snapping for fun then the higher ISOs of this body have been great! I carry two spare batteries EP-L6.

I also have a film camera – the Canon EOS 33 (Elan 7).  Ignoring using my mum’s point and shoot growing up, I didn’t start my photographic journey with a film camera.  I’m really enjoying the experience and hopefully it will make me a better photographer.

Lastly Candice owns the Nikon AW1.  This little camera is rugged as all hell.  Waterproof, shockproof and sexy looking!  It is also a lot lighter than a dSLR!

GoPro Hero2 with associated accessories.

Camera Lenses:

Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS USM:  This bad boy has replaced my 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM.  The 24-70 has great IQ and I don’t regret buying it for a second.  It has become my general walk around lens.

Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM:  The first L series lens I bought and I still love it.  It isn’t quite the f/2.8 but it is much lighter and therefore I’m happy to bring it with me wherever I go.

Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM:  Ok so I was a little naughty when I bought this lens.  I used to own the 50mm f/1.8 MkII, which is a great lens.  However, the 1.4 is just nicer than its cheaper brother.  The 1.8 is a great bit of glass but boy is it noisy during focus.

Samyang 14mm f/2.8:  This lens is fully manual. There are no bells and whistles and not even a focus beep to tell you you’re locked on.  The IQ more than makes up its lack of features.

Tripod:

Manfrotto 055CXPro3 with 3 way Pan Head.  This will be interesting to read in a few months/years time as to whether I have kept this tripod.  It is carbon fibre, so it is light but it is bulky.  The pan head only makes it bulkier and I have no comfortable way to attach it to my bag.  Still though, sturdy tripod and it has been a faithful companion for me.

Bag:

Lowepro Sport 200AW.  The AW standards for all weather, which basically means it comes with a rain coat over the top.  I’ve had this bag a few years and it too has served me well.  If you like taking your camera out as you enjoy adventure sports, then this is the bag for you.  I have taken this bag on the plane many times and most of those have been long haul flights between Australia and the UK. My only gripe is the lack of tripod attaching facility.  Lowepro have brought out a new model and a slightly larger backpack called the 300 AW II.  I’m fairly interested in upgrading as this may give me more space, and preferably a tripod space!

Flash:

Canon Speedlite 430EXII.  I only have one and most of my work doesn’t require a flash but occasionally I do tinker with it.  For off camera flash work I also own a pair of yongnuo wireless triggers I think they are the 602 model.  Simple and basic, but they do the trick!

Filters:  

At the moment I use the Cokin P filter system with various ND filters and GND filters. I also purchased the circular polariser, a MUST have for landscapes!

Computer:

I currently use a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina to edit and post.  I just don’t have the money for a large iMac.  However, we are about to embark upon a travelling adventure so it probably isn’t feasible. Oh, and they’re bloody expensive!


 

You may notice in my photo I have included a compass.  The compass is probably one of the most important bits of kit.  If you want to leave the well worn path, just take a compass reading and when you’re finished you can always return to the path you were on. I also highly recommend a topographical map.

Other important equipment include the Rocket blower and lens pen for cleaning and the Wacom Bamboo Tablet for editing.  I cannot tell you how much easier to use Photoshop or Lightroom with a tablet than a mouse.

Over time I may change some of this setup and I’m keen to find out what works best for travelling. I’ll post a review of any new equipment I get on this blog and try to keep it regularly updated.

 

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Dumplings…It’s a Melbourne thing

Dumplings in Melbourne

If you arrive in Melbourne and you have friends who live here then you are almost certainly going to be treated to dumplings at least once.

Melbourne’s China town has a delicious array of dumpling restaurants to suit all budgets.

Hu Tongs:  On the $$$ side but god they are good

China Red: Where you order your food on an iPad and then it is magically delivered to your table

Shanghai Village: Cheap and Cheerful…try the pumpkin cakes.

This blog post is not about any of these dumpling places.  Oh no.  This blog post is about the institution that is known as Camy Shanghai Dumplings on Tattersall’s Lane.  Anyone who knows what I’m talking about has just rolled their eyes.  For the uninitiated this place is quite literally the worst place in existence, and yet I keep finding myself here.

The food is not good. It tastes like a used jock strap wrapped in slime.

The wait staff have become less grumpy over the years. In the past they used to almost throw the food at you and hurry you through you meal. They don’t do this now.

The atmosphere is fine until some joker tells the staff it is their birthday and they play some happy birthday song at the loudest volume over crappy speakers.  Which is repeated after multiple people cotton on.  I hate you people.

Food on the walls in Camy Shanghai Dumpling
It doesn’t look like the place has been cleaned in years, there is even dried food on the walls.

Yet I keep coming back.  I don’t know why I think this time it will be different.  In the end I guess I just go back for the nostalgia.  It has never been good.  Rumour has it they have been closed multiple times for food safety or liquor law breaches, but it was where we used to go to have a meal with friends that didn’t cost the earth.  So it brings back happy memories and I’d be sad, but not surprised when it finally gets the push.

 

The Adventure Continues

Night Melbourne

What better way to start than of home?  Melbourne.

 

Night Melbourne

Melbourne at Night

 

Melbourne has a lot to offer, and once you arrive there is little doubt as to why it has been named the world’s most liveable city 6 years in a row.  Coincidentally that is the same number of years Alex has lived in the city, 5 and a half years of which were with Candice.

Melbourne is home, probably always will be, but the adventure originally started in 2007 in Kelowna, B.C. Canada. In this town at the base of a ski resort, within a backpackers, Alex meet Candice, flipping pancakes in rocket man pyjama pants.   Since that time we’ve figured out what that first meeting has come to mean, finally tieing the knot in November this year.

This blog kicks off just as we’re about to start another adventure.  An adventure to Alex’s original home, the United Kingdom.

Feel free to check back often to view our exploits.