Sunday, August 3, 2008

Point and Shoot Backpacking

Just returned home from a backpacking trip in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The hike in was only 3.7 miles thanks to a ride from a park ranger we befriended last year, but the elevation gain was nearly 2,300ft. in that short distance. I wanted to pack light so the pro camera gear just wasn't practical, and as I found out, not necessary for nice pics.
At one point I had planned on bringing a monopod with a ball head quarter 20 but in my quest for a lighter pack, decided against it. In the end, I brought a small point and shoot Cannon with 2 spare batteries and a handful of SD cards...... thats it! Lightweight and easy to operate, cheap compared to my pro gear, super reliable and the added bonus of being able to shoot some video.
We set camp at around 10,500 feet next to a lake that will remain unnamed. We spent 3 days catching some of the largest native Greenback Cutthroat trout in Colorado. Our largest fish was 22+ inches, the average was around 18 inches or so. After three full days of fishing, the three of us landed around 50 trout total, all on dry flies and nymphs. Our philosophy here is "catch and release" despite a 2 fish keeper limit. We bring the fish in, admire it's beauty, take a quick picture and then its' back in the water... "catchya next year"!

Having such a small and simple camera was very liberating, I enjoyed walking around taking pictures and shooting video almost as much as the fishing. My "wish I could" moment came at night when the tents were lit up from within and the stars were shining and reflecting in the glass-like lake. I had no tripod and the camera didn't have enough manual controls to make long exposures for light-painting. The disappointment at my lack of capable equipment was such that I will be bringing the extra weight next time.  Our spot on the lake is amazing at night and on our next trip I am going to get a killer night-shot. Maybe I will leave the tent and food at home, sleep in a cave and eat trout sushi... no, I need the tent for the shot,........ darn.

This is a photo I did last year at my campsite on McLure Pass. I used a tripod, 30 second exposure on my D70s, a strobe in the tent, pocket wizards, and a big Maglite to light-paint the trees. 


Angie said...

I love the last one! You've got a great little camera there!

Erik Lawrence said...

Thanks' Angie!