Do you find yourself taking the same pictures again and again?
Do the pictures you take no longer have the pizzazz they used to?
Do you find your inspiration waning?

You may be in a rut and not even realize it.
Have you tried taking a vacation?

In the years after buying my first DSLR, I was hesitant to bring it with me when I travelled away from home. Part of the reason for this was the bag I was using didn’t allow me to carry the camera, lenses, and support equipment in an efficient and comfortable manner. For my birthday one year, I invested in a sling bag that can carry my camera and three other lenses. From then on I used it as the personal item I brought on flights to distant destinations.
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My first trip where I used my camera extensively was to the wine country of California. This week-long vacation included visits to the ocean, Muir Woods, and San Francisco. Of course I took advantage of some of the unique landmarks to give me some interesting subjects to photograph. It was during this trip when I confirmed to myself that you only need about four lenses to capture everything you want. A kit lens will cover a good range of distances, but the addition of a zoom lens adds some flexibility to how close you need to be for a shot. For the artistic pictures, a wide-angle lens and a macro lens are also nice to have (but not a necessary requirement). With these four lenses, along with settings that differed from the mountains of Colorado I’m used to photographing, I felt like I took quite a few good pictures.
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The next trip where I felt it necessary to bring my camera along was during my honeymoon to Hawaii. This decision was almost a no-brainer. Having never been to Hawaii before, and not knowing if I’d ever be back in the near future, I jumped at the opportunity to take pictures of this photogenic land. Once again, I felt I took a lot of good pictures of many of the big island’s recognizable features. My one regret was that I did not pack my tripod. While I managed to get a few adequate pictures of the active volcano at night, a tripod would have helped to produce many more useable photos. I might need to invest in a less-bulky or more-portable tripod (or even monopod) in the future.

With another California vacation coming up, I look forward to the new pictures I’ll take, because the chance to photograph a new area is a limited chance I rarely get. The mountains of Colorado will still be here when I return, but my inspiration always thrives when I get a change of scenery.
What places have you visited with your camera?

As always, have fun!
– Benjamin M. Weilert

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