Carry Less

If you remember, I always advocated walking around with as little equipment as possible. I used to wear a small belly bag with a 24-70mm and there was a 70-300mm on my camera. Also, if you recall, ever since the D3, I’ve been shooting most of the time at ISO1600. (I know you can’t do it on a Canon, but that’s your problem – I never told you to get a Canon.)

Now, with the D3s, I’m comfortable at ISO6400 and even 12,800! These are numbers that in my earlier days had the same resonance as Carl Sagan’s legendary “billions and billions of…”

I am now able to shoot with great results in light that neither the meter or I can see in. For example, here is a picture I took of Dave Burnett, an amazing shooter for many, many years in sports and politics mainly, but overall, a world class photographer in whatever he touches.

David Burnett presenting images to the Jay Maisel Workshop.

This was shot in the back room where we looked at pictures. The light is from the projection of his pictures coming off the screen about 16 feet away. It’s handheld, but my elbows are on the table for support. If you want to try figuring out how dark it was, the exposure was 1/4sec. at f/5.6. The ISO was 12,800. Fucking amazing.

Also, and most importantly, Nikon now has a 28-300mm lens that has replaced the 24-70mm and the 70-300mm that’s the lens that made the picture of Burnett. Now I don’t have to carry the 24-70 at all and I don’t have to wear the belly bag which Amanda said made me look like an even bigger dork than I usually do.