Saturday, February 6, 2010

Back home :( - summary of the trip

Today we returned from the amazing trip. We're home now and it's time to summarize. I've taken many pictures, but only few are nice. We were trying to catch many different situations - unfortunately lack of knowledge and experience caused that pictures are not perfect. Of course we learned a lot, but it's the knowledge for another trip. Who knows when will it happen?
First of all I must say few words about my equipment. I've made good decision. Canon EOS 1D Mk III is great camera for such trip - maybe a little bit too heavy, but otherwise great. Its battery is enough for 2500-3000 pictures and sometimes you can't charge it, so I was really very happy with it. I decided to take 3 lenses - 17-40/4L, 24-70/2.8L and 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS. It was also a good decision, but the most used lens was the last one (85% of the pictures), then equally 17-40 and 24-70. All of them were necessary, but I would be probably more happy to have 70-200/4L and 400/5.6L instead of 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS. Unfortunately I was limited with the total weight of my carry-on. I had to fit in 12kg and backpack itself weights 3 kg. I also had to put there my laptop (Twinhead F11Y), flash Canon 580EX, better beamer, extender 1.4x, ND filters, external hard disk (for backup), charger, additional camera (Canon D10 underwater), and a lot of other stuff. So I had to make some trade-off - went with 100-400 instead of two lenses, but next time.... I'm not sure. Actually everything I've taken was necessary, maybe except of ND filters. To our amazement we had not many opportunities for landscape photography and moreover weather was not good for such pictures. So we focused on birds, animals and other topics as you can see on the pictures in the blog.
We were very happy with our backpacks - as I mentioned before I had Lowepro Vertex 200 and my friend had Tamrac Adventure 10. My backpack fits perfectly as carry-on and tamrac is a bit too big, but somehow we managed to have them with us all the time. My friend had a sad accident when his backpack was completely submerged in salt water for few seconds, but the whole equipment survived! Great backpack I must say! I recommend it to everyone. Vertex 200 is less flexible (has only photo compartment), but more comfortable for me. There's no perfect solution - you must make choices... That's the gear part...
Trip itself was again well prepared. We planned everything in very detailed way and had no problems with dates, flights, etc. Everything was ready and nice. But of course next time I would make many things differently. Here you can find some suggestions in case you go to Ecuador:
1. I'd make Galapagos trip as a 9 days instead of 5 - this way for not much more money you can see more islands and more species.
2. I'd go to the jungle one more time. NWC lodge was a good choice!
3. Quito is nice city, I'd stay there more than few days. Cayman hotel is located in good part of city and has very kind owners and staff. It's highly recommended although not the cheapest choice...
4. I love Ecuadorian cuisine. Next time I want to taste even more different things!
5. We missed opportunity to visit seaside, but heard a lot of interesting things about it. Definitely must see next time!

There's probably much more, but I don't want to bore you, so let's stop here... :)
Now I'm processing pictures for my gallery and little slide show that's coming soon...

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