It’s the calm before the storm. The calm that descends once you’ve packed your bags and you’re just waiting to head out on a photography assignment. It’s time to gather one’s thoughts, and to try to visualise what is coming.
I’m no stranger to travel, but the next photography assignment is gonna be interesting and memorable. Stage two of a three stage job, and it begins in the next few days. Over the course of the next seven weeks I’ll travel through 18 African Commonwealth countries, beginning in Sierra Leone, and finishing in South Africa.
The camera batteries are checked, and recharged. I take with me a Canon 5D Mk3, and a 1D Mk3, 16-35mm, 50mm and 70-200mm lenses. That’ll be enough. And assorted gadgets, including a GPS which embeds coordinates in the files the 5D3 creates, and my iPhone with a microphone attachment for doing some interviews and recording diaries. I’ll also carry a camera flash and small portable soft box, and some pocket wizards transmitters which mean it can be held by an assistant off camera. I like to travel light, and believe greatly in doing so that I get many more pictures. Too much equipment and you get tired, too much to carry, too many choices, and you miss pictures.
The laptop is cleaned, stripped down of extraneous files and folders. Everything optimised to work smoothly and quickly. Portable hard drives have been packed, three x 1TB. All the social media bits’n’pieces have been checked and hopefully I’ll find time to post regularly.
My two passports are ready, full of newly purchased visas, all holograms and stamps.
And the housework has been done, family taken care of. I can leave knowing the house will run smoothly in my absence.
So now I just wait. Seven weeks on the road ahead of me, seven weeks to see new countries, new experiences, smell new things, see new light, and to hopefully create decent images and good memories. It’s what this job is about.
Let’s get started.