Changes in a Decade

My first visit to Iceland was in August, 2006. I was a member of the "Lightroom 12" team, there to test Adobe's answer to Aperture in the beautiful and desolate Icelandic landscape.

In less than a week, I'll be landing in Reykjavík again. As I was packing my bag, I thought about how my gear has changed over those 10 years.

In 2006, my go-to camera was the Canon 5D with a new 24-105mm f/4 L zoom lens. This optic on that hefty DSLR body was a formidable tandem in its day. The resolution wasn't that high, 12MP, but the full frame sensor combined with good low light performance provided the quality and versatility that I needed for assignments like this on the road.

My A-to-B bag was a Lowepro roller. Needing a camera bag with wheels spoke volumes about the gear I was lugging around. I liked the roller well enough, but to this day I remember tiring of it - too big, too heavy, and I felt like a tourist.

Ten years later I've replaced the roller with a Lowepro ProTactic 350AW backpack. It measures 12"x9"x17" and weighs just a smidgen over 4 pounds. I slides easily under the seat in front of me while flying, and it's easy to carry on my back, over my shoulder, or strapped to the extending handle of my rolling suitcase. And it's tough as nails.

Inside, I have an Olympus OM-D E-M5 MarkII with a 16MP sensor and weather-resistant sealing. It costs less than half as much as my Canon 5D and has more features. Add 6 MFT lenses, accessories, a Pentax ZX-5 35mm camera. and two Pentax lenses, and I still have room for my laptop, iPad, international iPhone, and the usual complement of cords and chargers.

The best part of all of this is the feeling of freedom. I'm no longer a pack horse pulling a rolling camera bag through international airports. My tools are versatile, my bag is light, and I can't wait to step foot in Reykjavík once again.

A lot has changed in 10 years.