New Zealand, 2004, photos by Alan Grinberg

Some notes on the photography equipment...

This is the first trip longer than a few days that I have used only digital equipment. This change traded one set of problems for anotther.

The camera is a Canon G3, purchased on eBay for about $550. I also have wide angle and telephoto adapters, which I rarely used since they reduce the quality of the image due to their inexpensive optics. I sometmes use a tripod (Gitzo Mountaineer), but since this trip was geared towards a high level of activity I wanted to travel light and did not take it. In retropsect, the tripod is the one piece of additional equipment that would have improved the photos. I should have taken it and left the lens adapters behind.

I chose the Canon G3 (4 Megapixels) because it seemed to have the best image quality for the price point I was at (almost a year ago). I figured the features, control layout, and any other factors were secondary to image quality. I have developed a love/hate relationship with the camera, and now wish I could design my own. I'll skip the details; if Canon wants to contact me I would be happy to share my design ideas for a camera geared for this type of photography.

One challenge was to figure out the best way to store thousands of images taken on a month long trip. A portable computer would be nice, but too heavy. The dedicated photo storage devices with LCD screen would be nice, but they are too expensive, and their reliability is questionable. Multiple compact flash cards are too expensive. I decided to use an iPod. We like to listen to music, and Belkin had just come out with a device to transfer images to the iPod, so the multiple functions of this device justified the cost.

I carried multiple charging devices, power converters, plug adaptors, cables (probably as heavy as 30 rolls of film!). The system worked well. I returned with about 1650 images; with this setup, I could have taken over ten times that number!

I never transfer photos from the camera directly to the web site, or make prints directly from the camera. All pictures are processed through Photoshop. The workflow is approximately like this:
Straighten horizon when needed.
Crop photo.
Adjust Levels.
Dodge and burn when needed, but I rarely do this.
Adjust saturation when needed, even more rare.
Change Image Size (reduce pixels for web)

Any processing that changes what my eye saw or radically altered the image will be noted in the caption.


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