I recently spent a week wandering around California Easter Sierra’s and Death Valley. Spent an amazing week with two people from two different chapters of my life. Matt Heller, the free wheeling, BMW motorcycle riding fire fighter paramedic that I rode motorcycles with in Australia 18 years ago, and Alex Fledderjohn, the free wheeling BMW motorcycle riding photojournalist, that I went to graduate school with 10 years ago. We set out to explore the high and low of the lower 48 with an ascent of Mt Whitney to Badwater basin in Death Valley. In one day you can go from the highest point in the lower 48 to the lowest. Seemed like an adventure!
It was quite a week. Sore muscles, sandy equipment and digital images are what I am left with, and after looking through the images I discovered a few interesting things.
I shot three cameras, the Canon 5d Mark II, the Phase One with the P65+, and the Lumix GF-1. Lots of megapixels to choose from. Where and what am I going to do with these images? Most eyeballs will see these images when shared to friends via facebook, this blog, etc…So as I sit here and crush huge images down to small images I am throwing out heaps of pixels. I am pretty much convinced that the Lumix GF-1 is the only camera I needed to take on this trip. I can make a great 11×17 print, the sensor is super easy to clean, the camera and two lenses fit in my pocket, and I really don’t need a tripod.
Comparing images from all three cameras, the GF-1 images are far more interesting. I was able to shoot freely, unencumbered by gear. Less is more, when in reality we live in a digital publishing world, what’s the point of 65 megapixels? When is the last time you made a print bigger than 11×17? It’s got me wondering what to do with all this medium format gear…