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Author Topic: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East  (Read 7049 times)

jhpeterson

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2012, 01:43:45 PM »
How I see it is that everything I take needs to either fit in or hang from the bag, or around my neck. That probably rules out a full-size tripod. On past trips, I've carried a smaller one around, which seemed too much a compromise, taking up much-needed space in my pack and still too small for eye-level shots.
The 1DS III is my workhorse, I've put a lot of miles on them over the last four, nearly five, years. In most all situations, the results are equal to the 1DX.  It's the 7D that I would likely leave behind for a second 1DS.
I'd like to think I'll find uses for the reflector, even if it will only add a touch of light to a small space, say, five to ten feet away. It does fit in my bag, so long as I don't carry the laptop with me.
One more thing I plan to take is a hand-held light meter. I know it seems redundant in this day of more sophisticated technology, but I've found it most valuable in getting that shot in a confusing mix of light, especially if I use my 7D for flash. 
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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2012, 01:43:45 PM »

Quasimodo

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2012, 02:24:50 PM »
How I see it is that everything I take needs to either fit in or hang from the bag, or around my neck. That probably rules out a full-size tripod. On past trips, I've carried a smaller one around, which seemed too much a compromise, taking up much-needed space in my pack and still too small for eye-level shots.
The 1DS III is my workhorse, I've put a lot of miles on them over the last four, nearly five, years. In most all situations, the results are equal to the 1DX.  It's the 7D that I would likely leave behind for a second 1DS.
I'd like to think I'll find uses for the reflector, even if it will only add a touch of light to a small space, say, five to ten feet away. It does fit in my bag, so long as I don't carry the laptop with me.
One more thing I plan to take is a hand-held light meter. I know it seems redundant in this day of more sophisticated technology, but I've found it most valuable in getting that shot in a confusing mix of light, especially if I use my 7D for flash.

Looking forward to see some shots when you get back if you put them up :)
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PaulTopol

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2012, 03:45:56 PM »
You left off the Elinchrom Ranger Lights.
Seriously:
I spent 10 weeks in Israel at the beginning of the year. I shot weddings and normal touristy landscapes, markets, etc. Blown some up to A1 size.
I took
1Dmk2, 17-40, 24-70, 28-135(cheapo), 70-200, 50ml 1.4, 100-400(hardly used), 1.4extender(didn't use), 580exii flash(used in shuks...markets), tripod (must have for those awesome night shots of old buildings..Gitzo 2451 carbon, spare battery, lots of cards, laptop, external drive.

GREAT place to visit. In the same day you can be swimming in the sea in Eilat and shivering in the snow on mount Hermon.
Look out for wines grown in the Golan hills and others grown in the desert along the Egyptian border with tanks in sight.
Visit Mitzpeh Ramon (large crater) in the Negev.
Drive along route 60 and see vegetables grown hydroponically under plastic sheets. The best vegetables ever.
Enjoy the night life in Jerusalem...yes..look for it.
Wander thru the old city at night...tripod or high iso.

Halva, Olives, salads from the shuk....all the best.
don't overpack, you only have to drag it around.

Paul

expatinasia

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2012, 05:36:15 AM »
I have reread your thread and subsequent posts and still cannot believe how much stuff you are planning on taking.

I do a lot of trips - media trips as well as individual - and do not think I have ever seen someone take as much gear as you are suggesting, and I have been doing this for a very, very long time. Many journos get away with one body, though granted, I and others, will carry two.

May I suggest, that you pack all the stuff you are planning on taking into your back pack and go hiking for a few days wherever you live. The difference between two and three bodies, and two and four lenses can really make a massive difference.

When I first started I wanted to pack everything and the kitchen sink, but you quickly learn that it is important to make sacrifices and wiser choices with regards to the kit you are taking.

Plus, unless you live in the Middle East you will have to get there by air. How are you going to pack all this? Many airlines might not let you on with so much carry on weight in a back pack.
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sootzzs

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2012, 08:23:01 AM »
To sootzzs, thanks for your most helpful offer. I'll try to get back to you in the next day with my itinerary. If not, please remind me.

No problem. Though the the only real advice I could give is just  describing the places you are going to visit and let you decide yourself what is the most appropriate equipment for best picture. I'm just a newbie in this game of photography, you're probably not.
I do agree with others that a tripod could serve you well (can you imagine shooting the Pyramids at sunset or dawn) and so is a wide fast prime in the temples and streets of ancient Jerusalem (35 or 24?? don't know, I would have the wider one I guess).

Israel, Jordan and Egypt are sunny most of the year (the north of Israel is a bit more prone to rain from December till April, but usually there could be weeks without rain. Water shortage is a big problem). Mr. Topol gave you some great advice about places worth visiting in Israel. I am from Haifa (north of Israel). 
If you have other questions about the surroundings you're going to visit, please feel free to ask.

Roman.   

jhpeterson

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2012, 12:44:10 AM »
Paul and Expat, I thank you for your concerns about the weight. But, I've been working out the past few weeks  ;)  and the effort is starting to pay off.
I guess most would think I'm overdoing it with all I'm taking, but this is a very typical set-up for me. As I said, it probably weighs no more than 35 pounds, and it 's not unusual for me to take this much on a hike for several hours, or cycling thirty, forty, fifty or more miles.
I'd love to pare this down some more, but I certainly can't see doing without both a 1DX and a 1DS. I've come not to trust anything else. And, I still feel the need of a third as back-up, though I MIGHT concede a 7D over a second 1DS. I'm very happy with my lens choices, and it will take a stronger man than I to pry that 300 from me. If I could squeeze in one more piece of glass, the suggestion of something fast sounds most appealing.
Surprisingly, all this concern about weight and many of you recommend a tripod. I take one, too, except I just don't know where I'd carry it. I can live without a flash, and, if I take the 7D, I'd have one built in, which would work in a pinch. It seems not many care for my taking a monopod, but I've captured many a shot with my 300 at shutter speeds of 1/60 and even 1/30. The table tripod appears to be a no-brainer, as it takes up little space and weighs even less.
I often flown with this pack and it's seldom been a big deal. All-up my kit AND me check in at 220 pounds, an even 100 kg. Far more a problem on these flights for me (at 6'3) is insufficient legroom.
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jhpeterson

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2012, 01:28:39 AM »
Roman (sootzzs), I promised you my itinerary.
It appears I'll be in Israel for a total of seven, almost eight, days. I know I'll only get a small taste of your country, but hopefully I'll see enough to leave with many fond memories.
Arriving from Jordan, I cross the river and head to Tel Aviv, where I spend the first night. The next morning, I follow the Mediterranean coast north to Caesarea, where I'll see the Amphitheatre and Aqueduct. From there, I travel to Megiddo, on to Nazareth, then staying two evenings along the Sea of Galilee. I visit Dan and Capernaum, as well as a kibbutz (also in the north), then a day cruise on Galilee. I spend a day following the Jordan River down to the Dead Sea. A night there, before visiting Masada, then take in Qumran Caves. The next four days will be based in Jerusalem.
I don't know much time, if at all, I'll be in Haifa. One of the things I would most like to see would be sailing, especially small boat racing, on the Mediterranean. 
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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2012, 01:28:39 AM »

eml58

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2012, 02:53:43 AM »
I tend to agree with an earlier post, dump all the Camera gear so you can run faster, ensure you have good Health & accident cover, get you Will up to date &, oh yea, a good Glock may come in handy.
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sootzzs

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2012, 06:39:30 PM »
Roman (sootzzs), I promised you my itinerary.
It appears I'll be in Israel for a total of seven, almost eight, days. I know I'll only get a small taste of your country, but hopefully I'll see enough to leave with many fond memories.
Arriving from Jordan, I cross the river and head to Tel Aviv, where I spend the first night. The next morning, I follow the Mediterranean coast north to Caesarea, where I'll see the Amphitheatre and Aqueduct. From there, I travel to Megiddo, on to Nazareth, then staying two evenings along the Sea of Galilee. I visit Dan and Capernaum, as well as a kibbutz (also in the north), then a day cruise on Galilee. I spend a day following the Jordan River down to the Dead Sea. A night there, before visiting Masada, then take in Qumran Caves. The next four days will be based in Jerusalem.
I don't know much time, if at all, I'll be in Haifa. One of the things I would most like to see would be sailing, especially small boat racing, on the Mediterranean. 

OK. I'll be short as it get late here and I'm a bit tired. If you need more info on particular places please feel free to ask.

First of all: Please ignore people suggesting you Glocks, Bazookas or pocket Shermans with you. It is quiet and safe here (right now at least :) ). 

Tel Aviv: THE busiest, 24/7 city of Israel. Night life, nice beach and promenade. You should visit Jaffa if you'll have time. It has some ancient architecture and good restaurants. It is 5 min by cab from the hotels on the beach.

Caesaria: Beautiful ancient Roman city there. Quite conserved if I remeber correctly. Hadn't been there in long time unfortunatelly, so can't help you to much. I guess wide angle is must there. It can also get quite dusty (or sandy) there if it is windy, so keep your equipment safe. Ofcourse there is always salty sea spray in he air near the water. I guess you could take some great sunset shots there.

Megido is an ancient barrow 5 minutes from the city I lived most of my life (Afula). Nothing to spectacular to see, but very interesting history. It is the Armageddon though :) (Mountain of Megido in hebrew), as unspectacullar as it may seem at first.

Nazareth: A bit simillar to Old Jerusalem, just less crazy. Nice marketplace (don't let them rip you off, argue to the lowest price you believe is fair. It is accustomed there). 

Sea of Galilee: Not sure what you have to do there for two days  (maybe just relaxing). You could get to Golan Heights and do some very nice day trekk in Yehudia reserve or go and shoot Vultures in Gamla reserve (been there last week, realy nice place).

Dead Sea and Massada are faulous places for some desert fotography. Most people come to Massada before sunrise and then take picture at the dawn towards the Dead sea. Caution: The water of the Dead sea is extremely saturated with salt. I would be very careful even with your 1DX. Though you could make nice closeups of the salt crystals.

Qumran: I am ashamed to tell that I've never been there (yet) :). So you will tell me how it was.

Jerusalem: Well, The Holy city. The temples and markets tend to be dark inside (lit mostly by candle light, temples that is) so fast and wide lens could be really great. Take care of your equipment there. It could get really crowded on those narrow streets.

Not sure about boat racing. Never heard about it in Israel. Maybe in Tel Aviv or Caesaria marinas.

Hmm...Can't think of anything else right now. Maybe if you'll end eventually in Haifa (we have sea, prehistoric man cave, extreamely beautiful Bahai Temple and gardens and bunch of other things :) ), you could talk to me and I'll show you around (for a free photography lesson that is :)).

That's it. Feel free to ask more, and I hope you'll enjoy your trip.

Roman.   

jhpeterson

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2012, 07:01:25 PM »

OK. I'll be short as it get late here and I'm a bit tired. If you need more info on particular places please feel free to ask.

First of all: Please ignore people suggesting you Glocks, Bazookas or pocket Shermans with you. It is quiet and safe here (right now at least :) ). 

Tel Aviv: THE busiest, 24/7 city of Israel. Night life, nice beach and promenade. You should visit Jaffa if you'll have time. It has some ancient architecture and good restaurants. It is 5 min by cab from the hotels on the beach.

Caesaria: Beautiful ancient Roman city there. Quite conserved if I remeber correctly. Hadn't been there in long time unfortunatelly, so can't help you to much. I guess wide angle is must there. It can also get quite dusty (or sandy) there if it is windy, so keep your equipment safe. Ofcourse there is always salty sea spray in he air near the water. I guess you could take some great sunset shots there.

Megido is an ancient barrow 5 minutes from the city I lived most of my life (Afula). Nothing to spectacular to see, but very interesting history. It is the Armageddon though :) (Mountain of Megido in hebrew), as unspectacullar as it may seem at first.

Nazareth: A bit simillar to Old Jerusalem, just less crazy. Nice marketplace (don't let them rip you off, argue to the lowest price you believe is fair. It is accustomed there). 

Sea of Galilee: Not sure what you have to do there for two days  (maybe just relaxing). You could get to Golan Heights and do some very nice day trekk in Yehudia reserve or go and shoot Vultures in Gamla reserve (been there last week, realy nice place).

Dead Sea and Massada are faulous places for some desert fotography. Most people come to Massada before sunrise and then take picture at the dawn towards the Dead sea. Caution: The water of the Dead sea is extremely saturated with salt. I would be very careful even with your 1DX. Though you could make nice closeups of the salt crystals.

Qumran: I am ashamed to tell that I've never been there (yet) :). So you will tell me how it was.

Jerusalem: Well, The Holy city. The temples and markets tend to be dark inside (lit mostly by candle light, temples that is) so fast and wide lens could be really great. Take care of your equipment there. It could get really crowded on those narrow streets.

Not sure about boat racing. Never heard about it in Israel. Maybe in Tel Aviv or Caesaria marinas.

Hmm...Can't think of anything else right now. Maybe if you'll end eventually in Haifa (we have sea, prehistoric man cave, extreamely beautiful Bahai Temple and gardens and bunch of other things :) ), you could talk to me and I'll show you around (for a free photography lesson that is :)).

That's it. Feel free to ask more, and I hope you'll enjoy your trip.

Roman.

Roman, thanks so much for your helpful insights. If I ever get to Haifa, I'll see you get that photo lesson.
Shalom.
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sootzzs

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2012, 10:09:43 AM »

Roman, thanks so much for your helpful insights. If I ever get to Haifa, I'll see you get that photo lesson.
Shalom.

No problem. Hope I helped a bit.
Have a nice trip...and share photos of course!
Shalom. :)

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2012, 10:58:36 AM »
5D3

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Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2012, 04:29:33 AM »
I took
1Dmk2, 17-40, 24-70, 28-135(cheapo), 70-200, 50ml 1.4, 100-400(hardly used), 1.4extender(didn't use), 580exii flash(used in shuks...markets), tripod (must have for those awesome night shots of old buildings..Gitzo 2451 carbon, spare battery, lots of cards, laptop, external drive.

If you go to the markets, take filters and/or lens cleaning kit.

I went to "shuk hacarmel" in Tel-Aviv with a friend to shoot a video, and there were 2-3 people in the market who didn't want to be shoot and just pushed (assertively, not brutally) the lens away with their hands, leaving finger prints on the front element.

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2012, 04:29:33 AM »

gasherbrum

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2012, 05:41:35 AM »
My recommendations are two 5dmk3, the 16-35, the 50 1.5 and the beautiful but old 80-200/2.8. I wish canon made an 80-200 mk2. The newer 70-200 sucks in comparison.

gasherbrum

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2012, 05:42:40 AM »
... a 50 1.4 of course...

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Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2012, 05:42:40 AM »