We have a passion for travel. It is one thing that my wife share deeply. We want to understand this world we live in and we know that the best way to do that is through travel. This year we are going to Prague and this is the start of our adventure.
I have decided to try to tell this story just as it unfolds for us. From the decision, through the planning and into the trip. The hope is to keep our family abreast of what we are doing and share some my the pictures.
Simply put it is the Paris of Eastern Europe. I love how some key cities are labeled “the Paris of the ABC” but in this case it might be more true than not. Prague is a capital of art, literature and wonderful architecture. It has seen many governments come and go and has suffered greatly from plagues and oppressive governments, but it has bounced back with renewed youth an vitality.
My wife and I have long wanted to come but timing is important when traveling the world. Prague is going through another renaissance which makes it a perfect time to go and see what this wonderful city is all about. In so many ways it is ahead of its time and in so many others it is lost in its past.
This was largely my wife’s doing. She opted for an apartment which would cost less and give us easy access to the old town. She then booked private tours which are essential when traveling with kids. She made sure that we did not have each and everyday filled with activities giving us a chance to relax, and giving me a chance to squeeze in two photography tours.
As you can see from the iPhone picture we packed a bunch of stuff. This does not include the kid seat for the car. But aside from the toiletries I had to pack the gear!
As you can read HERE, I have recently picked up a Micro 4/3 camera and a couple of lenses. The goal being to enable me to take a camera anywhere and to help with my street photography. This kit would be light, fast and easy but by leaving my Nikon D800 behind I would be sacrificing dynamic range, and some amazing detail. No the D800 had to come with me.
Then I went through my lenses and after a search in Lightroom I found that I routinely shoot at a wide aperture. Out of the Nikon Trinity lenses that I have most of my shots come from the 24-70mm f/2.8 followed by the 14-24mm f/2.8 and finally the 70-200mm f/2.8.
So logic would dictate that if I want to cut down on weight I should leave the long lens but the problem is that I have one image I really want to take which is of the Astronomical Clock. A close up of the face, camera tilted, with a perfectly exposed shot to bring out all the colors. I need my 200 to get this image and it is worth carrying the heavy lens even if I only use it once.
Due to weight and complexity I decided to leave my OM-1 film camera and the GoPro. This was not easy as I had a time lapse idea I really wanted to get using the GoPro but since this trip is not only about photography, I needed to make the tough decision and leave this behind. I would only take my D800 and OMD.
In terms of bags I took my Aiport from ThinkTank for the flight and my new Think Tank Retrospective 7 for my daily carry. I wanted a small bag, that would fit the lenses and if pressed, the camera too. I normally take a larger bag but find that my camera is always around my neck leaving the bag largely empty. I am trying this setup to see if it is less bulky carrying a bag for two lenses while the camera and one lens are being used.
I left all flash and will rely on the pop up if needed. I am slow taking the OMD little flash just in case. I do not do much with flash photography on these vacations as nights are usually left to family affairs.
I also bought a wrist sling from Black Rapids to try on the OMD. The camera is so small it feels odd around my neck. I usually carry it by hand and wrap the neck strap around my wrist. I will do a little review later on how it worked out.
A circular polarizer, ND filter, batteries and memory cards round out the packing. Overall it is less heavy than other vacations but still a big load. One day they will weigh my carryon and the gig will be up.
It’s not just about the destination….
What a load on nonsense. In this case it is all about the destination. The trip itself is long and tiresome. We flew from Perth to Dubai over 11 hours. Got into the Dubai airport hotel to catch a few hours sleep and a hot bath only to get on another plane going for six hours going from Dubai to Prague. Economy is rough and being 17 hours on a plane with three kids is not the most enjoyable of experiences.
We shall see what the days ahead have in store for us and if this trip was worthwhile. I have some images I want to take in mind and I am hoping that the photography tour will highlight some other great shots.
I will end with the first shot that I actually took in Prague using my iPhone. This is the view from the apartment which we rented and I could not have asked for better. Right in front we have the astronomical clock which will make it easy to capture it in perfect light.