At the beginning of this year Julie and I embarked on a long term joint project which involved walking eight miles almost every day at dawn. Julie was gathering ideas for paintings and I was working on making a series of photographs. We are both fascinated by the challenge of portraying the wet, cold, mud, fog, snow, wind, reflections and occasionally the sunlight that make up first winter and spring light in rural Oregon.
Originally I took with me a full photography backpack and tripod, probably with a total weight of around 25lbs but gradually this became tiresome and I set about reducing my gear. The only item I could not lose was the camera body, a full frame Canon 5D Mark II. I checked back over my past photography and was a little surprised to find that the lens most frequently used for a landscape photo which I regarded as successful was not a wide or standard lens or a tilt/shift but a 70-200 f2.8 zoom which I had originally bought exclusively for portrait photos. It is heavy and, coupled with the full frame body is a cumbersome piece of kit for someone trying to be lightweight but it delivers the goods. I especially welcome the f 2.8 aperture in the dim light of dawn. Tripod? Yes I’ve always carried one but now I leave it behind. A tree trunk or branch or Julie’s shoulder are all I now use even when the product will be a 30” x 40” print.