Finding gear harmony and traveling light to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Traveling and Light are not usually two words I can put together easily. Quite the contrary, actually. I would say the average weight of my photography bag is around 18 kilos. Now when you know the baggage allowance for the overhead bin in a plane is 8 kilos you can imagine what kind of effort is required to pick up the bag and put it in said bin. All along making it seem light and effortless to avoid raising suspicion from the flight crew.

As a simple example, when we traveled to Iceland nearly 4 years ago, my backpack was 18 kilos. It contained my clothes, a heavy-duty sleeping bag, a tent, a mallet, etc. My photography bag on the other hand, which I carried on my chest, weighed a whopping 20 kilos! Yes, heavier than my backpack.

When we went After Dimitri in 2012, I intended and attempted to travel light but I don’t think I really succeeded. And it’s been the same for every trip I have taken in the last 5 to 6 years. So, this time, for our trip to Japan, I intend to succeed in traveling light. After much research I have come to follow the advice of Zack Arias regarding the lighting setup. I must thank him publicly as the double fold umbrella is perfect! Regarding my camera, as you are now well aware, I have sold my old bodies and still have some great lenses for sale. I have geared up with the Fuji X-Pro1 which is much lighter and discreet as my old Nikons.

This is what I am bringing along with me:



  • Fujifilm X-Pro1
  • Fujinon 14mm f/2.8
  • Fujinon 23mm f/1.4
  • Fujinon 35mm f/1.4
  • Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 macro
  • GoPro Hero3


  • Yongnuo YN560-II
  • Phottix double fold umbrella
  • Honl’s honeycomb grid
  • Swivel umbrella adaptor
  • Small extension pole
  • 2x Pocket Wizard Plus III


  • 11′ Macbook Air
  • 2x 1TB hard drives
  • Memory cards
  • My Kindle
  • 8x Eneloop batteries
  • Joby Gorillapod



That’s it! The body plus 4 lenses give me an array of possibilities at an incredible light weight. The flash is small and cheap. So if it breaks or if I lose it, it is not really a problem. The umbrella is extremely light and compact and opens to a full 90 centimeters.

Of course, I could have decided to lug the PhaseOne, the Elinchrom flash and a big softbox but frankly, it is unlikely I would walk around all day with that kind of gear on my back. Won’t I find myself limited though? Sure, probably a bit, but creativity lies in finding a solution to a challenge. And I totally dig that! Or, at the opposite, I could go even more minimal and travel with only one body and one lens. That would be such a great experience but not one I am willing to make while in Japan. I will try it in the future though.

How about you? What does your usual travel kit look like and are you happy with it?


One Response

  1. petites annonces

    The most difficult in the art of photography is travelling :)


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