Thursday, February 05, 2009

But what about the "travel?"

You've probably noticed that the descriptive subtitle at the top of this page says something about "travel." So far this blog has just been a bunch of whining about various nerdy photography topics. I mean, um, it's been a series of posts providing insightful and constructive analysis on a variety of captivating photography topics. Are you still lurking around here, hoping that it will turn into a travel blog? Today is your lucky day.

On the waterfront in Eureka, California, three days ago.

On February 1st I started traveling. When I say "travel," what I mean is, "quit my job*, put all my stuff in storage, give up my apartment, and head off for an indefinite period of time with no particular itinerary." I intend to spend the next few months driving around the US, visiting friends, and places in between, and then sell my car and leave the country, probably for Morocco. As I go, I will post periodic travel updates here, as well as the occasional travel "how-to." There are a ton of great books out there about how to undertake long term travel yourself (one of my favorites is "Vagabonding" by Rolf Potts, linked on the right). But to one degree or another they all seem to omit some of the nitty gritty, so I'll try to fill some gaps for anyone who's interested. From time to time I may post a little piece about past travels as well. You know, if I'm scraping for material.

To segue nicely from the "camera nerd" posts to the "travel" posts, this post will be about the camera I have with me. I mean, um, cameras. I just counted, and I have five. Oh, six, if you count my video camera. Um... seven, if you count the camera built into the bezel above the screen on my laptop. Which I don't.

Sigma DP1
Panasonic FX-37
Contaxt U4R
Holga 120-SF
Polaroid Captiva

Seriously, I only have all these cameras because I have the luxury of a car trunk. When I leave the country and am carrying everything on my back, I will have one camera, and it will be the Panasonic FX-37, or whatever comes out between now and then that's better. For a travel camera, I have one criterion on which I cannot compromise, and that's size. It must be truly pocket sized. (Which mostly means thin. Few point and shoots these days are too big in the X/Y dimensions, but the Z dimension is the killer. An inch is really thick when it's a camera you're trying to cram unobtrusively into your pocket.) Anyway, the Panasonic is far from perfect, but for my needs it's the best compromise currently available (which I might write about more later if the mood strikes me).

So, stay tuned for actual travel news, undercut with occasional camera nerdery. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this shot, taken at Flint Ridge in Redwoods National Park, California, yesterday morning (you can click the pictures to view them at a larger size):

*OK, well, I would have quit my job if they hadn't fired me first. Whatever.


  1. Good luck in your new travels, Ben!

    Keep us posted so we can all continue live vicariously through your adventures.

  2. Thanks Ben, I sure will!

  3. Good luck, Ben. Nice shot of the surf BTW! Non-frozen water..what a concept.

  4. Thanks Mac! Non-frozen water is one of many great things we have in California... On the other hand, not a lot of ice skating.

  5. Thanks for the notifying email. I'm proud to report that I do know what an RSS feed is! Clearly I don't read my email as quickly as everyone else around here...

  6. Hi Kasia, glad you're on top of the RSS situation. Of course, you are a professional, so I would expect nothing less.

  7. My grandfather once said, about an employee, "Yeah, she quit. She quit because I fired her." So, I'd say you were grandfathered in with the ability to say that you quit.

  8. They fired you?? You never told me that...