No, I’ve not enrolled in a weigh watchers class although I most probably could afford to shed a few inches from my waistline, nor have I lost my tenuous grip on reality in this bizarre and frequently surreal world in which we live.
I’ve been giving even more thought to the gear that I carry and I decided to assess things in terms of “is this bit of kit photographically mission-critical or not?”. I’ve applied this brutal logic to each and every item in my camera bag, large and small alike. Is my camera rain cover essential or not?, how many times have I used it when I have weather-sealed camera body and main lens?, does it justify space and particularly weight in my bag?. So I’ve removed my add-on camera grip, it doesn’t improve my photographs and it saves a bit of weight, both in my bag and around my neck and I can just as easily operate the camera without it.
What was the last time that I used those filters?, do I really need to carry three spare batteries for a day out shooting?. How often do I have the need to use that lens?. My memory card case is waterproof and could probably survive being run over by a tank and/or dropped into the river, what are the chances of that happening? and does it need to be when it lives inside a waterproof, padded camera bag 99.99% of the time?, etc..
It pleasantly surprised me just how much weight saving there is to be had by applying this simple logic to one’s gear. And, perhaps the biggest question of all, how many times have I returned after a shoot thinking, “I’m so pleased that I took this or that bit of kit with me”? as opposed to “well, it can stay in my bag as it’ll come in handy one day” by which time I’ve carried it around on foot over a period of time for hundreds of miles like a camera accessory manufactures’ pack mule.
There’s an old English saying “Look after the pennies and the pounds’ll look after themselves”. I have my own version of this “Look after the ounces and the pounds (weight) will look after themselves”. 🙂