what’s in my bag 2006 and 2015

The other night Melissa in a fit of rage dumped her diet coke on my open camera bag. Miraculously nothing was damaged, and apparently Thinktank builds their bags to be soft drink resistant. Since I had to take everything out of the bag I sort of took a mental inventory. For the most part since discovering my love for photography I’ve been the type to always carry a camera around with me. At times this has been a bit of a burden, but now I have a really great small camera that I can do just about everything my larger camera can do (for the most part).

Today I came across a photo I had taken of my day to day bag back in 2006. In comparison, it’s interesting that not a whole lot has changed.

* In 2006 I carried around a Nikon D70 with a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (45mm equivalent). In 2015 I carry an Olympus OM-D EM-5 with an Olympus 12mm f/2 (24mm equivalent), Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 (50mm equivalent), and an Olympus 45mm f/1.8 (90mm) equivalent. The Olympus is a better camera, and much smaller. I also am able to carry 2 additional lenses and it probably still weighs less.
* My bag back in 2006 was some Lowepro Field and Stream model – and it very much announced to the world that I was carrying camera gear. Today’s bag is a Thinktank Retrospective 5. Slightly more nondescript and physically a bit smaller.
* I still carry: sunglasses, kleenex, lens cleaning cloths, lip balm, keys, 2 extra memory cards (then 512MB, now 8GB), ear buds, business cards, pens, toothpicks, and an extra camera eye cup (why do I lose those so easily?).
* What’s changed: I traded the flip phone for an iPhone (forgot to add that in to my updated photo). Ditched the iPad and the little notebook, since both of those functions are handled by the iPhone. I ditched the toothbrush and started carrying gum, maybe that’s more practical? I carry a tiny little Olympus flash that I’ve never used once, but for some reason ditched the little air blower. Maybe I should re-think that space. I also carry two spare EM5 batteries because it’s nowhere near as efficient as the D70 battery was. I’ve also added lotion to keep my hands super soft, and a USB charger for the iPhone which tends to die way too fast. I no longer carry a random 1GB USB drive. I also tend to keep my wallet in the bag as opposed to my back pocket. And finally I have a cable release for the EM5, which I have yet to use. But it’s there.

I guess overall, not much has changed in 9 years.

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Zac Solomon - I like this idea Josh, I’ve never done this but I might now – for posterity’s sake.

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My Birthday

Once I exited the kid years the benefits of recognizing the fact that I’m aging at an alarming rate diminished quite a bit. And that’s not to say that I don’t have enough stuff or I don’t tend to wind up owning the things I ultimately want, but the actual benefits of a birthday celebration are generally lost on me. I’d rather just have a party and call it something else, dodging being the center of attention and getting out of having to listen to people sing “happy birthday” (which unless your Jasmine and singing in a foreign language is horribly awkward). Last year we had a Mitchell fest around my birthday, and it simply went unannounced. That went off pretty well but this year I decided I wanted to do what I most enjoyed – which is taking photos.

January 29th 01

When it comes to actually planning my own birthday I really want nothing to do with it. So I forced Melissa to, which sucked for her because she’s been pretty busy lately. She came up with a spot in San Clemente to shoot (it’s a million miles north of San Diego if you’re not familiar), and we ended up staying at a Wyndham in Oceanside thanks to Jeff. That was the view from the window. Unfortunately the weather was pretty lackluster the entire day, and actually did rain lightly a bit at times.

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Reno had class that day, and really from a logistical standpoint it made little sense for her to even be there that day. But she was, because she’s an awesome new friend. And thanks to Lisa and Brian for making her being there a reality. Reno is lovely and down to earth, you’d never guess her age from talking to her and very obviously she photographs exceptionally well. She missed the bonfire at the end which was a major bummer though!

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It seems like forever ago since Cheriene and I did a shoot with Mari back when she had extremely red hair. I actually love this new more natural look on her (not that the previous red was bad) even if Mari is herself a little unsure of it. Mari has a sweet, playful personality. She just feels happy to be around, and I think most of us need more people like that.

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Lindsey Lindsey. Of my three amazing models at my birthday shoot she’s the one who would probably never say she’s a model – yet she photographs so well. Every time I’ve photographed her she’s started off kind of gradual and then her confidence is just on and the results get so amazing. She’s also just like family to us now, it’s so good to be able to just see her with her work and school schedule. Photographing her is a wonderful treat.

January 29th 16

We had massive amounts of confusion as to where exactly we were supposed to be set up for our party, and the spot we ended up was actually a random campground south of San Onofre. We were supposed to be further north. We however were running a bit behind, and were trying to maximize time before we lost our light or it started raining. So we found a patch of dead forest on a bluff that had been recently burned, and it had for such a great eerie spot for photos.

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I had wanted a somewhat different background for our second looks, and time was running out.  I found this other spot with these awesome wildflowers and started to photograph Reno. Then from out of nowhere an art hating park ranger came by and ejected all of us. I was able to capture a few of Reno in the flowers just before this happened.

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In the midst of all ranger ejection, Ali, Sam, Carlos, and Lisa had managed to find the campground where we actually were supposed to be for our bondfire. It was really threatening rain, but I decided to go for it. Really glad we did. We arrived just in time to find this amazing light breaking out of the clouds. The light only stuck around for a few minutes, but Morgan and I got to photograph Lindsey in it. Don and Jasmine were working with Mari, sad I didn’t get to take any shots of her in the green dress.

January 29th 26

Having gone back to Nikon, Lisa and I were having a blast taking photos in the fire light experimenting with the Nikon “High” and “Ho” modes. You would have had to have been there to appreciate any high hoes.

January 29th 27

And of course thanks to Melissa for doing most of the organizational work in making my event happen. Somehow she dodged the camera. As did Cheriene who did all of the model’s hair and makeup. It was a really great day, and I have some amazing friends.

Ali Meza - Thank you for sharing your special day with us! There aren’t many people I would drive to San Clemente for, but celebrating your birth is a great reason. xo

Don Sheffler - Totally jazzed to be a part of your day, Joshua! Great images you got, both “in the field” and around the campfire.

Lauren Nygard - So sad, again, that I missed this incredible event. But I’m glad it turned out well!

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Yoga in the desert | Jasmine

Jasmine had three looks to her yoga shoot, and while I can’t really show you the last look we did her second one was stunning. We relocated from our spot in the ruins to a location in the southern part of Anza Borrego. Thanks again to Devan for her awesome work on this shoot!

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Nirvana Ending Story

When I found out my friend Carlos was playing in a Nirvana cover band I knew it had to be documented. It had been awhile since I’d covered a live act, especially a hard rock group. The Ken Club is a pretty difficult venue to shoot in due to the extremely dark conditions. I can’t say the D750 didn’t struggle, but considering the lowest ISO I shot inside the club was 12,800 I think it handled it alright. It was pretty awesome to get to see Kurt Cobaños play with the old crew once again. Nice work guys.

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Ali Meza - EPIC! I have no idea what that ISO mumbo jumbo is, but I’m amazed that you got these photos because it was darkness in the Ken. Love the black and white.

Josh - ISO is a photography term that comes from the International Organization of Standards. Most photographers think it is an acronym for “International Standards Organization,” and pronounce it as an acronym – ISO. Truth is there is no such organization, and it is pronounced phonetically as “eye-so” from the Greek root word of “Isos,” which means equal. I myself pronounce it ISO just so I do not have to explain this whole thing. If you are wondering why it wasn’t just labeled IOS for the actual organization, it is because in different languages that acronym would take on different letters. ANYWAYS.

What ISO means is sensitivity to light. It used to reference film speed, the higher the number the more sensitive to light, and the better it would be for dimly lit situations. Nowadays it also applies the same in principle for digital cameras. The higher the number, the more sensitive to light. Each year as camera technology improves, so to do the camera sensors. Now we are able to shoot at higher and higher ISOs. Just a few years ago shooting at 1600 ISO would have been a stretch, as higher numbers also produce more noise (something we are usually trying to avoid). The fact that I shot these at 12,800 ISO would have boggled my mind just a few years ago. So that’s the mumbo jumbo.

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