Laos, Cambodia Vietnam and a Nikon - Pic's

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
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Sutto
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Laos, Cambodia Vietnam and a Nikon - Pic's
7 months ago

I have just recently returned from my annual 2-3 month photographic trip around Asia.

I have been doing these trips for a while now, gleaning photos for my website. You have probably followed my ramblings on here, each time I trial a new camera or continue on my search for the ‘perfect’ gear.

Last year’s trip was a disaster. I was seeking lighter equipment, so foolishly invested in a whole Fuji X-Pro kit and left my D700 home. I won’t waste words here because I have written about this before, but the small Fuji with the big lens was a total disaster. I missed so many shots because of focus hunting, or waiting for the blasted thing to start up. Many of my shots are grabbed in a fleeting moment – I should have known better than to take a boy along to do a man’s job. I shake my head in disbelief when I read so many reports now of pro’s selling off all their DSLR kit and going with Fuji – WTH?????

I sold off the X-Pro kit upon my return to Australia. The big question for this trip was what gear to bring? I had sold off all my Nikon gear so I bought a mint D700 again. I also rented the D4/D800 and D600 for a week. I am not trashing these cameras because there are many folk who swear by them and get marvelous results. However, for me and the kind of hell I put my cameras through, I settled on a mint D3x. I much preferred the way it rendered colors and the accuracy of its White balance, compared to any of the new Nikons. I had much trepidation taking it as my main camera because I was well aware of its limitations for high ISO. I also took along my trusty X100 for ‘wide angle’ type shots.

Here are a few of my observations upon trialing my ‘new’ gear.

* You don’t need the latest gear or a lot of equipment to take nice photos. I only had one lens on the D3x (AFS 70-200 F4g), so I did not get dust or muck on my sensor by changing it in the filthy dusty conditions. My X100 is a fixed lens, so two cameras and two lenses you can shoot anything.

* For me – I have found it untrue where people say big equipment does not work for environmental portraits or street photography, it is supposed to scare people off. Nothing is much bigger than a D3x with 70-200, but I had no problems whatsoever shooting these beautiful people. From the HIV slum in Phnom Penh to the penniless potato picking children in Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam, I never had any resistance to taking people’s photos. If you smile and wave and be friendly, they soon get used to you, then you can take the photos that you need. I never go to Tourist areas - the places I went to in Kampong Chhnang in Cambodia and Boun Ma Thout in Vietnam, the people had hardly ever seen the ‘White Man’ before.

* Don’t write off old cameras. I love the files from the D3x. Many of them, because of poor light, were not shot at base ISO but 1600, where it is not supposed to be so good. However, I just love the grainy film look and the way this camera renders colors, so soft and beautiful. I shot many of the photos in the pouring rain, and a quick towel off afterwards, and my camera is fine. Try getting 4,000 RAW files from one battery charge with some of Nikon’s latest incarnations?

* Have fun with your photography. It worries me so much to read threads on here where people are arguing about the minutia of this camera against that one, or wasting valuable savings buying and selling to keep up with the digital race. Cameras are so good now that once you find the one that meets your needs, it will be great for a long time to come. I plan on shooting my D3x until I wear it out.

* The camera really doesn’t matter. As usual the photos that are my personal favorites from this trip were taken on the little Fuji X100. If I had to choose one camera to travel the world it would be this little fixed lens wonder. There are more pic’s from this trip on my website, and will be more to come as I get the time to wade through them all!

Sutto

Monk dressing, Vientiane, Laos

Child worker, Boung Chum Slum, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Boy Monk relaxing, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Elderly woman, Ethnic Village, Boun Ma Thuot, Vietnam

Children at play, Ethnic Village, Boun Ma Thuot, Vietnam

Mother and child, Ethnic Village, Boun Ma Thuot, Vietnam

Peasant child, Railway Slum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Boat Peasant's child, Mekong River, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Nikon D3X Nikon D4 Nikon D600 Nikon D700
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