Everything but the kitchen sink!!

I don’t know about you all, but I have WAY TOO MUCH camera gear! Ask my wife if you don’t believe me!  And, sometimes, I think it really weighs me down, not just in terms of the weight I lug around with me to an URBEX shoot, but also creatively.  Far too often, I often end up with six or seven lenses in the bag, in addition to my Nikon D700 dSLR, though I rarely use more than three lenses on any trip.  So why drag it all along?  Perhaps it’s because, thinking back to my years as a Boy Scout, I’ve always got to be prepared for absolutely anything? Maybe.  Maybe not.  Truth of the matter, though, is that I’ve found myself far more creative on those trips where I take fewer lenses, which I had hoped to do today.

Today was the day I had intended to do just that, but again I took too much.  And, as expected, I really only used two lenses, for the most part: my URBEX workhorses, the Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 PC-E (tilt-shift) and my Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8.  I have to admit, though, that I was glad I brought along my Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP AF Macro Lens (great lens!), as a came back with a great shot of some tiny morphine ampules (still full) I’ll post in the next few days or so.  I also had my Sigma 50mm 1.4 along, which I mounted once, composed with, but did not shoot, as well as my Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 fisheye (which also did not clear leather today).  Were I to do this again next week, I’d probably  pare down to four lenses, leaving the fisheye and macro lenses at home (but dang they’re so small, it’s easier to just take them anyway!).  Lenses aside, I have some essentials that are always in my Domke F-2 Ruggedwear shooter’s bag when I’m on URBEX these days, including: my Gitzo GT-1541T Traveler 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod, a Really Right Stuff BH-40 LRII ballhead, a Promote Systems Remote Control, an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport, a Surefire G2 LED Flashlight, a Petzyl Tikka XP2 Headlamp, a Leatherman Wave tool, two cell phones, a GPS and chalk (to mark ingress/egress routes in unfamiliar buildings (basements, tunnels, etc.).  And, believe it or not, it ALL (minus tripod and ballhead) fits in the aforementioned Domke F-2!  Sweet!  Like I said, everything but the kitchen sink!  What do you take on URBEX?

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Good LORD, sir! This is an absolutely incredible photograph! I love the blue strainer hanging on the wall like that, talk about contrast.

Great blog, too, Jacques, I really enjoyed it. Although I have to admit I need a nap now from imagining carrying all that gear around! LOL Can’t wait to see the next images you post.

Hey Toad! Thanks a ton fr the thoughtful comments! I knew when I walked into that room that I’d end up with something interesting given the elements on that wall, and the great colors and soft light coming in through the window on the left.

That’s a lot of gear. I take my D700 (awesome camera), 14-24 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, and a 70-300 f4.5-5.6 lenses. Tripod and ball head are a given, and that’s it. The only time the long zoom comes out of the bag is when I can’t get close enough to something. Even this stuff is too heavy for me sometimes, but it’s my bare minimum.

Great composition and processing Jacques! I probably walked right by this without a second thought. I always take my Urbex Eye, the Sigma 10-20, for interiors. Sometimes but rarely I’ll switch to my Nikkor 18-200 for details and distant shots. I still can’t get use to my 8mm fish eye, but will continue to practice….. My Nikon 50mm f1.8 is great for low-light and details with bokeh effects. That all fits into my little pornographers’ backpack with a little room left over for a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of Pepsi to keep me going. And I must add, I’ve seen and carried your kit bag, and, I would never have guessed all the stuff you say you packed into it! Looking forward to the next next trip!