How to Lose 10 lbs. in a Week

What a torturous hike up to the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, to shoot the sunset and do some night photography...my gear was just too heavy!

What a torturous hike up to the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, to shoot the sunset and do some night photography...my gear was just too heavy!

When I travel, I try to travel light but have to pack everything I need.  There's a process of examining my gear over a period of days... "Do I need this?  Nah, I can leave it.  But wait, if it rains I'm screwed."  We women tend to overpack anyway.... it's a natural tendency.... so eventually I figure it out, am on my way and hope for the best.

When I went out West in November 2013, I did a lot of hiking, climbing and traversing.  A LOT. But that's not what made me lose 10 lbs. in a week;  it was that I had my gear and I hiked, climbed and traversed.

The incomparable Trey Ratcliff, HDR photopreneur genius, wrote last year that he was dumping his mammoth Nikon D800 for the smaller, mirrorless, less expensive but just as powerful Sony Nex-7 and Sony A7r .  I won't regurgitate his points (you can read his thorough review of the Nikon vs. Sony HERE), but I was frequently reminded of his enthusiasm for the future of photography, which includes smaller, lighter, mirrorless cameras, on my journey.  What reminded me?  The stress and strain of lugging my heavy-laden backpack up the mountains in Zion National Park or the mile uphill hike to the Delicate Arch in Moab, among others.  

I haven't actually weighed my huge Canon and lens, but they're beasts.  It's awesome getting comments like, "Wow, what a camera!  I'll bet that camera takes great pictures!"  As the saying goes, "Yes, I taught it everything it knows", but what folks are really responding to is the massivity of it.  

Shooting in the Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah.  At least the camera, lens and tripod weren't in my backpack here.

Shooting in the Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah.  At least the camera, lens and tripod weren't in my backpack here.

I love how it feels in my hands and the grip I can get on it's substantial body, but visions of a lighter, more portable camera danced through my head at the times when I felt the burden of my gear weighing me down.  I hated the feeling that I wasn't enjoying the journey quite as much because my filters, tripod, Camelbak, headlamp, and most notably camera and lens were weighing me down.  But hey, I lost 10 lbs. fast!

Hiking in the mountains with a lot of gear!  in Zion National Park, Utah, with my travel buddy Lorena.

Hiking in the mountains with a lot of gear!  in Zion National Park, Utah, with my travel buddy Lorena.

Perhaps if I were a true Canon junkie I would simply accentuate the positivity of Canon's involuntary weight loss program, but I can't help thinking that Trey Ratcliff is right;  small, mirrorless cameras are the way of the future.  My Canon still does more for me than a Sony Nex-7 or A7r in terms of HDR and motion photography, but with quickly evolving technology, most of the kinks and dislikes are being ironed out as I write.  So for now I'm keeping my Canon but I'm looking forward to compare it to the next, upgraded wave of smaller mirrorless cameras.

But if I do make the switch, I know I'll miss all the comments about how awesome my huge DSLR is.