There is a whole world to explore but we keep coming back to the same place. On the road again in the USA.
This is vacation number eight in the USA and it’s the South West again. This time California, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. From the coast to the mountains or sea to sky and back. While this wasn’t our first trip it was the first time we visited a film studio. I don’t know what took me that long. I’m a cineast so it is a natural thing to visit one of the places where movies were shot.
And we saw Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not only the mural in Venice below but in real life on the Santa Monica Pier cycling with his girlfriend and his bodyguard who kept me at safe distance. That’s what I call a perfect start of a vacation.
As usual the weather was excellent most of the time except at Bryce Canyon. There it was cold and wet. We hiked for only two hours but that was enough to give me a cold which only went away after we left the high mountains of Colorado. I should have worn a hat of course. I bought one at the visitor center in the afternoon. I was not the only one.
The summer was definitely coming to an end but it was a week or two too early for fall colours in Colorado.
When you visit the South West the first time you need to see as many of the highlights as possible. As a consequence it’s sometimes feels more like a race not like a vacation. We have covered most of the sights on previous trips so we can focus on a few. Arches NP, Bryce NP, Colorado and the beach in Carpinteria were on our list again, the rest we just decided while we were traveling.
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (16mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO320)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (35.3mm, f/9, 1/250 sec, ISO160)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (17.6mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (42.7mm, f/9, 1/250 sec, ISO160)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/8, 1/70 sec, ISO200)
Of course this blog is also focused on camera gear so here is what I brought this time. In 2016 I completely switched to Fuji so it’s no surprise my gear is all Fuji.
- Fuji X-Pro3
- Fuji X-Pro2
- Fuji XF 10-24 OIS R
- Fuji XF 16-55/2.8 WR
- Fuji XF 50-140/2.8 OIS WR
- Fuji XF 14/2.8 R
- Fuji XF 23/2.0 WR
- Fuji XF 35/1.4 R
The only new additions were my X-Pro3 and the 50-140/2.8 which unfortunately went defect so that I couldn’t use it for most of the trip. It think it was an OIS/focus malfunction. One reason I prefer simpler designs like my prime lenses: they never had any issues at all. It’s like in the original Volkswagen beetle: what’s not there can’t fail. Essentially I brought all my gear except the XF 23/1.4 R and the XF 90/2 WR but in hindsight the later lens would have helped me a lot after the failure of the 50-140.
On this vacation I had two camera bodies again but I didn’t use them to reduce lens swaps, I brought two camera bags. One was a rucksack with the X-Pro3 and the three zoom lenses, the other bag was my small shoulder bag with the X-Pro2 and the three primes. The first one was for landscapes and hikes, the second for city walks, museums and when we went out in the evening.
My favourite and most used lenses were the XF 16-55/2.8 WR which just works like a charm and my all time favourite, the XF 14/2.8 R. And I used my iPhone for food shots ore videos.
What have I learned? Like on my last couple of trips I decided to focus on a couple of location instead of trying to see as many places as possible. It just makes a better and more relaxed vacation. What’s new is that I think I will apply this to my camera gear as well. Less is more.
Depending on the destination I could imagine to bring only the small shoulder bag with the primes. This setup has covered all my business trips to Asia and I never missed a thing. Or just one camera and the 16-55. What I can’t imagine today is that I only rely on the camera in my iPhone. It’s not even the image quality that bothers me. Phones have very capable cameras today that are easily good enough in most situations.
It’s that I just enjoy the process to take a picture with a real camera. Maybe cameras will make a revival in the future.