Iceland Adventure – Day 0 – Loading Up

Of all the things in the world that I procrastinate about – and there are a few – packing for a trip is the one thing I try to put off the most. 

My wife finished packing yesterday and clearly has better Tetris skills than I do.  She did a week in Tokyo last year with just a carry-on.

Granted, I’m not traveling as light as I had planned from a photography standpoint.  I had this grand idea to switch to a mirror-less primary like my wife shoots with, but I forgot to actually buy one and make that switch.  

So out rolls the Pelican.  This thing is bomb-proof, but sitting empty it’s already halfway to the 10kg weight limit for carry-on bags.  I’ve had to check it once, just once, on an overbooked  flight back from shooting a wedding in San Francisco and was on pins and needles the entire time.  
I’m trying to cut everything that’s not necessary but I can’t bring myself to leave the 500mm telephoto at home and miss out on obligatory Puffin close-ups.  At 2000 grams, this lens is case and point why I’m over the limit.

For my checked bag (autocorrect thinks “cracked” bag and may be correct) I can have up to 23kg in it, but nothing breakable.  

I find myself weighing things on a kitchen scale, 50 grams here 75 grams there, and so forth.  Did you know a AA battery weights 25g?  That really adds up and not in my favor.  After taking the batteries out of everything and moving it to my checked bag, I have ended up with a bunch of batteries zip tied together in what I can only imagine looks like a redneck dirty bomb on an X-ray machine.
The trick is to see when they are weighing things and make some modifications once I’m in the tunnel to board.  My backpack and Pelican collectively weigh 20kg, the allowed limit for steerage like myself flying coach.  However the split is uneven due to the weight of the hard case.  By switching my three lenses to my backpack and being exceedingly careful with it for weigh-in, I can switch them back to the safety of the Pelican once I’ve made my fighting weight.

So I’m off with 41kg of gear and clothes for 10 days near the arctic circle.

I seriously need to make the switch to mirror-less.

Gear list

  • Canon 5Dii
  • Canon 550D
  • Canon 24-105mm F4
  • Tokina 11-17mm F2.8
  • Sigma 150-500mm F5.6
  • Siri carbon fiber tripod
  • LED lamp (for fill and light painting)
  • Pelican 5150 with mesh upper dividers.
  • Cokin graduated ND filter kit
  • 3-stop 77mm round ND filter

Z28 Project – Step 1: Find a donor car

Z28 Project - Step 1: Find a donor car

1994 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 with *extra special* T-Top package

I have been looking for a donor car for my Z28 project and finally found this beauty last weekend. After a ton of wrench time, I’ll be shoe-horning the LT1 engine from this into my formerly V6 1994 Camaro.

There’s an interesting history with the blue car. The previous owner summarized it well in this email he sent me before Tim & I went to pick it up in Lancaster, SC.

“It was sold by a Methhead to a crusher but when they went to load it over onto the crush pile the crane operator told the yard manager that it sounded like it ran great when they drove it in. The manger got in it cranked it up and did some burnouts in the lot with it but just pulled it back in and told the crane guy to load it over as it was so nasty and ratted out on the inside. I happened by the yard (friends with the manager) and saw the car being craned over. Asked about it and was told it ran great. After they set it down I went over and turned the key and it fired right up. Idled a little high but not rough. Ran a minute or two then throwed a check engine light, o2 sensors most likely. Put it in gear and it went right in and locked up ready to go. No smoke out the pipes, no leaking fluids. Figured the driveline was going to be all good and would work in my sons 1964 Impala so I bought the driveline with an option to keep the whole car if I wanted. While I was gone somebody came and cut the battery cables on it and stole the battery out of it. Shows 133,000 on the odometer but no idea if that’s original. Planned to pull the wiring harness and strip it of the Vats and other stuff I did not need, keep the ECM and the rest of the harness and pull the rear end, trans and motor and give the car back. Meanwhile my son bought a 2001 Mustang GT and though that he would just keep the 400 small block in his 64. Put it up for sale and a guy said he wanted the whole car cause he was doing a v6 swap and needed the K member and other stuff like brackets. Sent me some earnest money so I bought the body on his say so. Backed out on the deal so I still have the car. The car is truly trashed on the inside. The body is not worth anything in parts except the hood, front valance, fenders, and possibly the door skins. Of course it has a huge bow in the top where the crane grabbed it. There is a video up on youtube of it being cranked and running, if you still want to look at it I can get you the youtube link. I will send you some pictures tonight if I can. For the price you can’t go wrong. There are going to be a bunch of little things you are going to need if you do a swap from a v6. Things you don’t think of but when you start putting it back you find that there is a difference here and there from the v6 to the v8. Brackets and supports and hoses and lines and clips and you name it. With this deal you get the whole shebang to pull what you need, when you need. When finished you can take whats left and get a 150.00 or so back for the crush weight. It will need four tires and wheels to load but it will drive on the trailer. The wheels on it are sold and two of the tires are non usable anyway. As far as parts missing the hood catch and the support hardware is gone but it is still hinged and in place and none of the hood damaged. Other than that it’s complete. It’s taking up space that I need so if you want it come and get it this week and you can have it for what I have in it which is x. If you get y back after crushing whats left you got x-y in a 4l60e, an LT1 and a disc brake rear end and the 150 mile an hour dash for the v8 instead of the v6 speedo. And it is a true Z28 to boot!”

…and after a new battery, here it is running before the swap begins