Packing, for me, is a study in forced minimalism with goals of specific function. We’re hitting three different cities on our trip. We fly to some places. We take trains to others. Overpacking is just not an option. I’m addicted to gridded moleskines, wooden pencils, design books, film and cameras.
Everything stowed in my bags must present some irresistible need, function, or confluence of both.
When I travel, clothes are actually the least of my concerns. A wool coat, black pants, boots and some shirts and I’m ready to pound asphalt. Cameras, and associated gear, represent a different problem. I’m always too painfully conscious of my need to bring just enough photographic options, while still not weighing myself down.
For the flight I always travel with at least two Wes Anderson movies. I’m bringing The Darjeeling Limited (I’ve resigned to forgive the “baggage” symbolism at the end), The Royal Tenenbaums, and my favorite Rushmore. I also have the Steve Jobs Biography, a few books from A Book Apart, as well as classics like Brave New World and 1984.
I’m only taking three cameras. I’ve traveled with as many as 6 before and found that not all of them were ever used. They just added dead weight and made me feel even worse for not using them. So to balance form and function I’ve decided to take a Mamiya C330 (medium format 6×6 TLR), a Contax T2 (point and shoot 35mm with ultra sharp lens), and my Canon 5D (full frame digital camera).
I figured by hitting three different formats, with three different form factors, I’d be giving myself enough options. The only cumbersome camera is the Mamiya but its image quality is so gorgeous I couldn’t resist. The only negative feeling I get is not bringing some sort of Polaroid/Instant option.
I look forward to sitting along the Seine with a bottle of wine, an Rdio playlist pumping out of a tinny speaker, and not having a care in the world. - what else could a boy ask for?