Photographing Sicily and Palermo
Most people who know me realise that I am an utter fan of Sicily and Palermo in particular, we have visited a few times now. Also, anyone who knows me realises I don’t pack lightly!
For the 2018 visit I found a great Manfrotto MB MP-BP-20BB back-pack on Facebook Market Place. £45, lightly used. Rather than removing the annoying waist belt I converted it to being removable with a couple of plastic buckle clips. This backpack is advertised as taking a 13″ pootah but my 15 MacBook Pro fits in well, indeed the Mac fits better now that I have eventually realised that it was well overdue a new battery pack, it’s stopped blowing so much too!
For the travel everything with lithium went in the pack and came with me in the cabin but once there the Bose Mini brought music to the apartment and the 24-70 ƒ/2.8 Nikkor which had travelled in the hold came out to play. My ‘go-to’ is the Nikon D810 with the 70-200 ƒ/2.8, hardly the dream travel setup. I invariably use a monopod and I’d recently picked up a 4 section one that collapses nicely. The Leica M9 came and for the most part wore the 28mm Summicron ASPH. The backpack comes with a waterproof cover which seems to shield heat too, as ever I take a couple of rain-covers for the Nikon gear. Back-up batteries go in the main pack and cables and chargers go in the hold, I took the small Billingham for time when I really didn’t want the backback.
As ever my wish list includes a Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.4 and a fast 35mm for either the Nikon or the Leica but for now the Nikkor 50mm ƒ/1.8 comes for evening work. After the last Palermo trip the 50mm ƒ/1.4 was sold, there was no escaping that it is a slow to focus lens compared with the 1.8.
In the past my travel bag has been an old Berghaus rucksack with a home-grown divider setup inside, and it’s worked around the world. For me a backpack is essential, the equipment needs to go with me and I don’t want to risk it being taken from me into the hold. Generally in the UK or if in a car all of my working gear goes in a bright yellow Peli and I do have other classy Manfrotto backpack which is larger still; this Backpack 20 is unobtrusive though and, well, it just works!
Finally it seems daft but Focal Point in Exeter had printed up some files (of Sicily) for me to take across. We were introduced to a fabulous framer who did a great job an the images live out there now! These wend in the hold in a plastic plan tube and travelled well