Not Touched Once

I'm back from Las Vegas. And it dawned on me during the flight home that CES is the antithesis of nimble photography. Yet, there I was.

Everything is big in Sin City. The hotels are giant labyrinths lined with slot machines and card tables. The conventions require days, not hours, to navigate the trade show floors. And the Strip is so wide that they have to build bridges for tourists to get from one side of the street to the other.

My goal? I want to glide lightly through it all.

Each day, I would leave about 8:00 in the morning. Weave my way through the MGM Grand to the monorail station. Ride to the Convention Center. Then work until it was time to reverse my route and navigate back to my room.

I dressed in layers and carried one shoulder bag that held these contents:

  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
  • 14-42mm zoom, 35-100mm zoom, 20mm f/1.7 pancake prime
  • Contax T2 film camera
  • Zoom audio recorder (used it for a remote spot on the last podcast)
  • iPad mini with SD card reader and Lightning cable
  • Spare battery, memory card, and microfiber cloth
  • Joby Gorillapod micro, Beats earbuds, and stylus pen
  • 2 energy bars, small bottle of water, and a baseball cap in case in rained (which it did)

As I review my packing, as I do after every trip, here's my rule: If there was an item that was not touched once during the entire job, I put it on the watch list for the next assignment of like kind.

From this list there was only one candidate: the 35-100mm zoom lens. I was carrying it as protection in case I found myself in a situation where I need more reach than doubling the 42mm end of my travel zoom. But I never used it.

Of course I didn't. My existence was shoulder to shoulder all week. Rookie mistake. If anything, I should have had an ultra wide with me, not a long zoom. And that's the adjustment I'm going to consider the next time.

Nimbleosity is not a static state of mine. It's dynamic. It requires refinement.

And that's also the joy of it.