Heading off on my first photography adventure!

So I’ve done a lot of traveling before. A lot.
And it’s been on my own. To new destinations, in developing countries, all’s been well.
This time round, it’s different, and it’s gotten a little bit more extreme.

I’m off on my first trip where I’m under pressure to come back with some stunning images. And I’m going camping in bear territory on my own. And I have a lot of gear.

Speaking of which, this is what I’ll be lugging around. There are ‘ropeway’ cable cars at the first park i’m going to where you can possibly sweettalk some people into bringing your stuff up for you whilst you hike, and mountain huts occur along the paths.
In my camera bag i have:

  •  my trusty old Nikon D80.
  • A telephoto lens
  • A macro lens
  • A wideangle lens
  • A 50mm prime, because it’s small and amazing
  • A standard 17-70mm lens
  • A laptop!
  • A tripod

In my hiking bag, I’ve decided to pack

  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat
  • Warm hiking clothes with lots of thermal socks
  • Some casual clothes so I don’t look like an eejit seeing friends in Tokyo
  • Big medical kit
  • Other essential little bits like a headtorch, sunscreen, tools, papers etc.

And a furry little friend so I’m never alone: Raul, my mexican, tequila-loving red panda! He’s traveled the world with me, so if I ever freak out, he can comfort me any time.
The way I see it, i’ll either get fed up of carrying all this stuff and shed things along the way. Or i’ll become one of those butch she-males who has insane neck muscles. Either way, the excitement has begun! (with the exception of my online check-in not recognising me).

So to finish off, I thought I’d leave you with this photographer’s review of what he’d seen on a trip out there in the winter (with a higher budget and guides of course): http://confoley.com/hokkaido-winter-birds
Hopefully I’ll get something half as decent as that!
And this image, that I’ve been meaning to write a post on for a while:

Tawny owl chicks in a nest box.
These are the little evil creatures that led Eric Hosking to fame on his bird photography – he’s was trying to photograph one when it attacked him and pecked his left eye out. But they’r’e oh so cute!