Tshangkha Temple, Bhutan
Phase One XF 100MP, 35mm, f3.5 @ 1/125 second, ISO 3200
Shortly I disappear to Bolivia for a few weeks with Ignacio Palacios and a group of intrepid photographers. What will we photograph? Will it be the spectacular Andean landscape or the brightly dressed people? What are the stories we'll see and how will they unfold? And what is the best equipment for each discipline?
For this trip, I'm taking my Phase One A-Series with a 150MP back because I'm really keen to shoot the landscape, but we're going to many other destinations where the focus is local life, culture and wildlife. The A-Series is not the right camera, at least not for me, and so I'll tuck a Fujifilm X-T3 away as well. While two systems are not as easy to work with as one, on the other hand they provide a back-up for each other and the heavy backpack gives me something to complain about!
There's no right or wrong way to approach travel - it's what makes you happy. I get a great thrill out of shooting high resolution landscapes, but similarly, shooting on the street or wildlife with a mirrorless camera is a lot of fun too!
However, there are advantages if shooting with just the one system. You always have the right camera. There's one less decision to make. It's nice! The photo above was shot in Bhutan with the Phase One XF - and I shot everything on the XF that trip. However, for photos like the one above, the camera was a little slow and I don't feel I captured as many 'decisive moments' as I would have with a faster, smaller camera. While I loved the quality of the medium format files, it's the nuance of posture and expression that make travel shots 'special'.
This photo is taken in our Bhutanese guide's home village where we have been fortunate to get some great interaction with the local families. As I look through my photos, there are lots of faces I recognise, having photographed them many times over the past 6 or 7 years.
Bhutan is a quickly changing country, so if it's on your bucket list, I can only encourage you to join David Oliver and me this November/December on a trip that traverses the magical Bhutan from west to east. Full details can be found here on the website.