Category Archives: Trips

The quest to find a new camera bag for long hikes – part 2

This is a follow up on my previous post from 2016, after having made more experience and more thoughts about this topic.

Here is just a not so short recap on this topic:

I’ve always been struggling with a good solution to pack away camera equipment during long hiking trips which might take several days. On the one hand it’s practical if you use one of the present ICU systems by f-stop or Mindshift backpacks , however it has the disadvantage that those backpack internal camera bags are note very flexible when it comes to only carrying them for a couple of meters. Let me give you an example:
On a multi-day hike camp is set up in the afternoon, the tent is pitched and all camping related stuff resides in the tent or next to it, while the camera gear needs to be available for sunset or night shooting which might happen 1-2km away from the camping spot. Surely you can empty your backpack completely and only carry the camera gear in it for strolling around next to the camping area, however it comes with additional effort of re-packing which can be quite annoying on a week-long hiking trip. ICUs from f-stop at least can be detached from the backpack and carried with both hands or with a simple shoulder bag. This already gives a lot of flexibility for different packing styles and workflows, but it’s not there yet. I’d like to have the flexibility to carry an ICU either in the backpack or outside of the backpack, for example in front of me, like a slingshot shoulder bag or a bumbag. This gives you the freedom to have quick access to your camera gear during the hike and might enable you to get photos you otherwise wouldn’t have taken because of the hassle to get the camera gear out of your big backpack.

 

Back to today:

I’ve been on several long hiking trips since 2016, like on Yakushima in Japan and Tasmania in 2017, several multi-day hiking trips in the Alps and my recent 8-day hike trough the Drakensberg area in South Africa.
I’m still using the solution mentioned in my previous post, having a big Deuter 70L backpack and cheap shoulder bag which I can either carry in front of me by hanging it on the backpack carry system over both shoulders

What I noticed on each hike is the strap of the shoulder bag compromises the carry system of the backpack by putting weight on the load balancing straps next to the shoulders and hence prevents the carry system from putting more weight on the hip belt, which might be convenient at times when you want to carry the backpack away from your back. This is not catastrophic, but not good either, especially on very long hikes.
That’s why I recently looked into other solutions which allow you to carry a camera bag on your waist like bumbags. I want to try out the bags listed below and will update the post once I have new insights or decided to change mit kit by choosing one of those bags.

Waistbags / Bumbags:

  • Manfrotto Street CSC camera Sling/Waist pack
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 32 x 12 x 23 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H)30 x 11 x 20 cm
    • Weight: 0.58kg
    • Thoughts: TBD
  • Crumpler JP5500-001 Jackpack 5500
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 35 x 21 x 15 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 32 x 20 x 12.5 cm
    • Weight: 0,8kg
    • Thoughts: TBD
  • Mantona ElementsPro 20
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 19 x 24 x 17 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 17 x 22 x 15 cm
    • Weight: 0,72 kg
    • Thoughts: TBD
  • CAMSLINGER Outdoor
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 22 x 17.5 x 11 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 19 x 16 x 9 cm
    • Weight: 0,48 kg
    • Thoughts: TBD

Trip to Saxon Switzerland

At the beginning of may I went to Saxon Switzerland with my buddies Alex and Jan with the hope to get some impressions of spring back home. Besides driving to some locations with the car we went on a 3 day hike in the park. We got really lucky with the weather, on the first two mornings we had beautiful layers of fog covering the lower areas of the park and during the day we had warm and sunny weather, perfect for hiking.

I’m already sure to go back there in autumn to get some shots with a different palette of colours.

Here are the first shots I’ll add to the gallery:

Salzburg Panoramas

Well I already mentioned I’ve been to Salzburg last April, so now it’s time to show some pictures. To be honest I’ve not processed all shots yet, but I can already present two panoramas which are worth showing.

Long over-due update

It had been a long time since my last update. Unfortunately I’m really neglecting my blog in favour of social media networks which I almost use on a daily basis, but I want to change that, otherwise the idea of this blog doesn’t make sense anyhow, does it?
I even thought of uploading not only “portfolio” photos here in my blog, but also documentation style shots for the purpose of a brief trip reports.

So what happened in the last couple of months, well I’ve been on some trips which all contributed portfolio related shots I want to show in the next days and weeks here on my blog:

  • April: Short trip to Salzburg, Austria
  • July: hike to Butzensee, Austria with 3 fellow photographers
  • August: Trip to Japan
  • September: Trip to Iceland

I already updated the galleries with the following shots from a short trip with fellow photographers last winter. They’ve been all taken all in German alps region.

Back from Japan

Wow, long time no post again… Apologies for being so inactive (and lazy) in the meantime :/

Just in case you wondered where I’ve been lately: I’ve been to Japan for two weeks and of course I brought some new material from there. I’ve been to Tokyo, Nikkou and Fujiyoshida / Lake Kawaguchi. The main photographic subject for this trip was modern architecture, rather than nature / landscapes, so I spend a good amount of time in Tokyo, where I also met with Luca Cesari. I guess my main subject in photography slightly changed, it was nature /landscapes in the early days and became modern architecture and travel photography these days. If you ask yourself why I mentioned travel photography without having much of it in my portfolio, you’re right. Although I have plenty of material, I’m very picky about selecting pictures for publication, because it’s somewhat a new field and really difficult for me to judge whether an image is suitable / good enough for publication.
Btw.: I still owe you pictures from Thailand, right?
I really would need holidays to catch up editing all the images I want to publish. I guess, I will reduce the editing effort to be able to publish more frequently. What do you think?

Anyways, it’s already a lot of text, when I started to write this post I didn’t intend to write much… Let the pictures speak! I’ll start publishing new pictures soon, stay tuned 😉

Spring flower macro shots and announcement of next trip

Hey ho

I was out shooting some spring impressions in the last weeks. When I went out shooting the last times I wasn’t in the mood for and didn’t find nice subjects for wide-angle photography so I put on my 50-200 f/2.8-3.5 SWD on the fourthirds adapter and looked around for details, spring details.Eventually I was doing macro photography, which I haven’t done for quite a while, so I was enjoying it.
How can’t you resist taking close-ups of spring flowers in full bloom anyway? 😉

Currently I’m doing the last preparations for my upcoming trip to Japan. The trip includes Tokyo, Nikkou and Fujisan. If anybody has some recommendations regarding food to try and places to see in these areas, I’d be happy to know.

 

Back from Thailand

I came back from Thailand two weeks ago!
Wow, I’m stoked by all the things I experienced and the people I met, I really had a great time although I had some bummers like damaged photo equipment and food poisoning for 2 days.
After I had a good time and plenty of amazing photographic opportunities (mainly modern architecture and the desert) back in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with my friend Matthias Haltenhof I took a plane to Bangkok and stayed there for 6 days. After Bangkok I flew to the north, to Chiang Mai for another 6 days to experience the Thai landscape (jungle, landscape, elephants etc.). As my last destinations I chose the golf islands Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao to relax and go snorkeling for over a week.

When I arrived at home I wasn’t unhappy (to say the least!) that we didn’t have proper winter in Germany, because it is not so convenient to travel from a place with 34°C to a place with around 0°C. Instead I’m enjoying sunny days with temperatures of around 5-10°C south of Munich, I think now I’m prepared for the real winter 😉

Right now I’m preparing two series of pictures, “Modern architecture in the UAE” and “Impressions of Thailand”. It still will take plenty of time to sort out and process the picture but I’d like to start uploading the first pictures in the next weeks and months!

I also like to write a little bit more detailed travel report of my journey through Thailand, with plenty of pictures. Stay tuned 😉

Happy new year!

New camera and next big trip

Hey guys,

I finally made the decision to go mirrorless, now that this technology has been developing so fast and has arrived at a level where it can easily compete with classic DSLRs. It seems that this is the future technology, which pushes the limits even further. Because I was working with Olympus DSLRs, I decided to switch to their micro-fourthirds system, which keeps my costs of switching systems lower because I can still use my old lenses with an adapter and slowly exchange the heavy DSLR lenses by more compact and lightweight micro-fourthirds lenses (it’s really awesome how small and light these are!).
Here is the equipment I start with: Olympus OMD E-M1, 12-40mm f/2.8 kit lens, Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 wideangle zoom.

Olympus OMD E-M1 + 12-40 f/2.8 + 7-14 f/4

Olympus OMD E-M1 + 12-40 f/2.8 + 7-14 f/4

I’m thrilled because I can make use of my new camera equipment already during my next trip to the UAE (Dubai & Abu Dhabi) and Thailand starting next week. Feel free to recommend nice locations and activities for my Thailand stay ;)

Cheers
Phil

Autumn is here!

Yes, autumn is here! Everything is becoming really colourful again. So I decided to visit some places in South-Bavaria (Berchtesgaden) to get my first autumn shots this year with a befriended photographer. As it turned out we spend so much time in one location  (Weißbachschlucht) that we didn’t have enough time to visit the other spots. We weren’t disappointed at all, because we took our time to find some really nice compositions and also a very cosy place where we spend some time during lunch 😉

Here are the first three pictures in this series, enjoy 😉

devMeet in Kassel

Last weekend I was on a photowalk / devMeet (deviantART meet) in Kassel (Germany). It was quite fun to meet new people and to discover the interesting places there as I’ve never been in Kassel before. And here is a group picture 😉

Kassel devMeet Groupphoto

Kassel devMeet Groupphoto

Currently I’m thinking of doing a similar thing around Munich sometime. Anybody interested? 🙂