Sunday, July 02, 2006

Planning Big

All my recent projects have involved big paintings, so it's no surprise that in planning this photo shoot in Yellowstone, I was thinking big. On Friday I rented a 400mm lens for my Nikon D2X. The people in the store are accustomed to people renting lenses and obviously didn't think to ask me if I could handle the thing. The case is aluminum and heavy. I thought to myself, "gosh this case is heavy, maybe I can pack the lens in something else for traveling". hahaha! What naivete!

The lens weighs about 25 pounds. I can barely lift it (although I went to the gym twice this week). I put it on my tripod and was terrified. It didn't take 10 minutes for me to realize that I was way out of my comfort zone. There's no way I could haul that lens around Yellowstone without a wagon and an assistant. So much for that great idea for shooting wildlife.

However, my loss is my friend Gary's gain. The rental agreement extends to Wednesday because of the holiday, so I offered the use of the lens to Gary. He thought I was exaggerating the size and weight, but quickly discovered (to his dismay) that I wasn't. I think he has it set up in his backyard taking bird photos. Still terrified but having a good time. He'll return the lens for me, and I'm out $60 for one day's rental. Cheap lesson I'd say!

Bags are packed, and heavy. I have hardly any clothes, but lots of photo equipment. We'll be in the car all week, so I've planned accordingly. I don't know what kind of internet service I can find out in the wilderness, but I'll be looking for a signal to upload the spectacular photos.


KJ said...

I just noted that I'm glad to be finished with road trips for awhile, but sure wish I could join you and Nancy for this one! Though I'd embarass you with my pocket camera... shucks, would embarass myself!

garyb said...


Yes, I'm still terrified of it but don't know how I'll live without it !!!

It's simply an amazing lens.

Thanks, Robin. My left arm, shoulder and side are mightily strained.....

Have a great trip !!!


Marion BE said...

I wonder if a gym trainer has ever had "I want to be able to use a 25pound 400mm lens" in answer to the usual "What's your aim at coming to gym?" question!