The title of the post refers to my fifty-plus year photographic journey which, I’ve been fortunate, has led me to some fabulous places. Over the last few months I’ve not been able to get out anywhere near as often as I have before. The steady and; most recently dramatic, onset of my osteoarthritis and the effect that it has had on my mobility and ability to get out and stay out has made it considerably difficult to get out and about and take pictures. This has had a detrimental effect on my morale as I’ve found it increasingly frustrating and annoying to the end that I’ve on more than one occasion considered selling my gear and calling it a day.
Of course this is probably something that I’ll never let happen as my love of photography has been a huge part of my life for so many years but nothing focuses the mind (pun intended) as being in near constant pain. For some while now I’ve been refining my choice of gear in a steady effort to reduce the weight that I carry, the long and the short of it is that whatever I take with me is going to hurt, it’s about finding the best solution. So I’ve decided that I’ll just take one camera and one lens. This isn’t so much about the one camera part, as I don’t habitually carry more than one camera body, but rather the one lens part.
My choice of camera body is easy as for the last couple of years or so I’ve taken the vast majority of my shots with my Olympus PEN-F camera which ticks all the boxes. The lens choice is, on face value, far more problematical but I’ve come to a conclusion. Framing-wise, as my mind’s-eyes see things, most of my shots are taken in a relatively narrow focal length range which, along with weight considerations, makes things easier when it comes to making a choice. So my lens has to be small, light, ideally weather-sealed and cover a sufficient focal length range. With all of this in mind I’ve decided that my lens for the foreseeable future will be my Lumix 12-60mm or in 35mm terms, 24-120mm. I used this lens almost exclusively a few years back during my trips to Bruges and Porto and it’s a nice compact, lightweight, lens.
A few of my shots taken with this lens.
Alongside the above I’ve been thinking about why it’s been an easier decision than I thought it would be not to pack an ultra-wide angle lens such as my M.Zuiko 9-18mm and, when I have chosen to do so, why it’s seen relatively little use. Again it’s a mind’s-eye thing but there’s another factor too. As someone who mostly photographs landscapes, there’s an urge of sorts, when confronted with a great landscape, to want to get as much in the frame as possible. People rarely buy large prints and by large I mean 20×16 inch or bigger as they’re expensive. If one has a small print, say 10×8 inches or thereabouts the detail is largely wasted and is barely visible and one is better off with tighter framing, “less is more”.
Thanks for bearing with me and continuing to follow my blog, I don’t know how things will pan out long-term and I have a major trip planned for the Summer to some beautiful landscape locations but this will ultimately depend on my health as, right now, the thought of walking around all day, every day for a fortnight with or without my gear, is not a happy prospect but a lot can happen between now and then and I’m hoping that I can find a long-term strategy for coping with the pain. One thing is for sure, I’m not going to let this damn thing beat me if humanly possible, I’m very tenacious, a trait that I share with my wife. 🙂