With the Old Church Gallery Moore running smoothly and growing all the time under the guidance of my special partner Deborah Johnston-Booker and a band of willing helpers who will fill in for me while I am away, the time has come for me to turn my attention to my forthcoming trip to the USA.
This is very definitely a photography trip so I will be flying solo in order to concentrate on the creation of photographic images, which I can bring back to the gallery to share, print and sell. It is a learning experience as well. The great thing about photography is that the path of learning has no end.
My plan is to attend a week long Summit Workshop on Nature Photography run by Clarkson Creative in Jackson Hole, Wyoming after which I will spend several weeks focusing on wildlife and landscape photography opportunities in the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
Which brings me to my question – what to pack? I have two issues here; clothing and equipment. My clothing requirements are reasonably simple (I think). I won’t be doing anything too “posh” so a simple sports jacket should do the trick for the dinner at the conclusion of the workshop. As to how much I pack, well that is a balancing act between not taking too many shirts and not wasting heaps of time trying to find a convenient Laundromat. And who wants to spend precious time watching a clothes dryer tumbling around anyway.
The weather is a big factor for me. I fly into Dallas on September 22, which according to my research will be quite warm (shorts and t shirts I’m thinking). Two days later, I fly up to Jackson Hole in Wyoming, which according to my research will definitely not be quite warm. It snowed in Yellowstone a few days ago and the forecasts seem to indicate a temperature range of between a few degrees below freezing to the early 20s Celsius. So that means layers; jackets (wind proof and water proof), jumpers, thermals and gloves, all of which take up quite a bit of space and weight in my suitcase. Fortunately, Qantas allows two pieces of checked in luggage so I think I will be OK there. My default position is always to put in more than I need so I will need to fight that urge in order to achieve some sort of compromise.
As to my equipment, I will let you know after I get home if I made the right call there. Equipment choice is very definitely a compromise between weight and having the right kit to do what I need to do. I am limited to 7kgs of carry on baggage so that means a camera body, one or maybe two key lenses and my laptop are all I will be able to carry on the plane with me. All the other equipment (other lenses, cables, power cords, chargers, other important stuff that lives in a camera bag and not to forget my tripod) will have to make do with travelling in my checked in luggage. Last time I flew to the States, I wrapped my big zoom lens in a towel and put it in the middle of my suitcase. I am not sure I want to take that risk again.
So there we are. I guess ultimately, it will be the scales that dictate how much I take with me. In the mean time, I will just have to try not to spend too much time thinking about all the things I have to do before I leave.