Hi all

This october has been great for my photography ventures. I photographed one wedding, one CEO session, a great northern lights show, a 10 hour hike over a mountain ridge as well as guiding a great group of photographers on a full day tour to the South Coast and a Reykjavik Downtown Photowalk. Here is a collection of photos I have taken in October:

For quite some time now I have been thinking about renewing some of my camera gear. My trusty and faithful Canon 60D is still just as awesome as it was when I got it, but with the increased amount of work I am getting, I would like to get more dynamic range, bigger files and most of all, I need better High ISO handling for my northern lights shots. But after the hike I did, I have been thinking a lot about gear, weight and reasons for buying new stuff. People that I talk with seem to have big opinions on what I should buy, and that can sure be very helpful. But, I find it a bit strange that a lot of people don’t ask me what I am going to use my camera for, because, after all, the gear needs to suit the occasion.

The Point’n’Shoot is still an option

For the hike over Fimmvörðuháls, I had to make a simple decision. The group was somewhat inexperienced and I knew that we could expect low temperatures, mild wind with some windchill effect, and some snow. So, as a WFR and former operation manager of a big outdoors travel agency, I wanted to be sure that I could deal with possible problems during the hike. So I carried a big first-aid kit, a bothy bag, an ice-axe, crampons and piece of rope, things that no one else in the group knew how to use.

So when I had packed my bag, it was already almost full and fairly heavy, and I still had not decided on camera equipment.

So in order to be able to keep safety first for the group, I decided to go with my Canon S110 camera, mostly because it is lightweight but has an aperture of 2.8 at it’s widest angle and has an all manual option. And I have absolutely no regrets for having taken that camera. First of all this was not a photography group, and spending a lot of time on setting up the big gear was simply not an option. The camera was always at hand, and I could grab it quickly and shoot fast. But even though it was “just” a point and shoot, all the same priciples of photography applied:

  • looking a the light, and using it to emphasize your subjects
  • composition is still a major concern, positioning your subject properly within the frame
  • spot meter your subjects
  • overexpose in the snow to get it to be properly white
  • reading the histogram to adjust your exposure

So the lesson for me was: Even if circumstances do not permit that you take your best gear, that does absolutly not mean that you can not get decent pictures, just as long as you are familiar with your gear, and know how to use it properly.

With that in mind, I will now continue my research for an upgrade on gear, something that suits me and my photographic ventures.