As I dive deep into the thousands of images I shot on my travels through Macedonia and Greece (and the previous Kansas City/ New Mexico trip, and subsequent Portland sojourn) it’s worth reviewing my equipment setups/ shooting styles and determining what worked and what didn’t?
having 3 camera batteries in rotation
the small shoulder bag that accomodated the Fuji X-E1, 2 off camera lenses, the Fuji Neo Classic Instax Mini and some instax film
downloading photos every night and working on the obvious best for around an hour each night
availability of wi-fi and archiving edits to flickr/ dropbox as quickly as possible
Shooting every single thing that caught my eye in Macedonia
the Fujinon 35mm 1.4 lens which took the majority of my favorite images- this lens on the Fuji X-E1 made it possible for the camera to fit in my sweatshirt pocket, and traveling that lightly made it possible for me to get some cool reportage style images in very dark scenarios
Traveling in a country (Macedonia) where we had a lot of resources, had a wife who could speak the language and introduce me to people
Following my instincts as far as what activities will yield the best images, for example, visiting the Nuclear Museum of Albuquerque.
What didn’t work:
when I was stuck with just a big backpack full of computer gear and clothes alongside camera gear. I loathe the big backpack. Can’t always get away from it though…
not taking healthy snacks on the plane, relying sometimes solely on the generosity of others or constant availability of pastries/ unhealthy food
the drive from Arizona to Missouri was an insane mistake. It cost a fortune and the only benefit was to be able to bring masks which I didn’t sell, and I would have been better off to fly with only my photographs.
I also tried to set up a model shoot in LA but communication with the model while I was in Europe had some difficulty, and I had to cancel it when I didn’t have everything set exactly before I was to take the long trans-Atlantic flight home. All the travel made these weeks a runaway train and this was something that ended up being cast to the wayside.
Also our trip to Greece was full of difficulty. Language barriers, they don’t like Macedonians in Thessaloniki so Vesna stayed very cautious, and I didn’t have a map. It was very humid, everything was on a hill, and the kids were unhappy, our phone didn’t work to communicate with our dropoff/ pickup driver- overall bad planning.
Kansas City had an issue where I had to wheel masks to my convention table, but the masks were so heavy and I went so far that the friction burned a wheel off my cart making it useless. I spent an hour making trips to my car to remove my art product.
Lastly, there were some issues with my portable lights in Macedonia- for starters, I lost a wireless trigger, and I also declined to take a light stand in favor of a tripod with adapter. The quick release plate of the tripod with adapter is nowhere near as stable as a regular light stand, so when I went to Portland I made sure to take the correct stand.
Every trip, convention, and photo shoot is a learning experience so I’m grateful for even the bad experiences. I know if I returned to Greece I’d have a much better time than my one single day in Thessaloniki, and future art/ comicon appearances will just be flat art of my photography. The next tour segment begins in August and I’m sure it will have its own unique challenges!