Skip to content

Through the Lenses

Recapping my five country excursion, (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland) we traveled some 900 miles (each way) with four people in a Volkswagen Golf. One small suitcase per person and my camera bag had to fit behind my legs in the front seat.

The biggest impact on gear, saving size and weight, was including the (relatively) inexpensive Canon 40mm STM f2.8 lens to the camera bag. The other lenses I brought along were the Canon 24-70mm f2.8, to fill in for the little wider or closer needs the 40mm could not cover and the Sigma 15mm f2.8 Diagonal fisheye. This lens would be perfect for capturing large sections of European town squares and church interiors. The camera body was the Canon 6D, smaller and lighter than my 5ds and it had internal GPS.

Below are a few of the images from that trip using my new combination (after way too much head shrinking) of camera body and lenses.

The first image was taken on a particularly dreary morning at the Port of Helsinki. With the 6d and 40mm lens attached I proceeded down the dock. I was unsure if I was supposed to approach this way or even if I was allowed to photograph there. There were no warning signs but still, I decided to maintain what I considered a safe distance.

The 40mm focal length made it easier for me to gauge what the image would look like without raising the camera to my eye. There was very little room to the left of the ship and with the lines converging as distance increased, I decided that including more fence, clouds and water would have a positive dramatic impact. Black and white just seemed to match the morning's misty conditions. The seagull added itself, nicely.

Canon 6D, 1/2000 sec, f14, ISO 500, 40mm

The next image was captured Helsinki in the early morning. Again the 40mm perspective provided the exact angle I was looking for and I zoomed into position by walking a little forwards and backward, till I found the correct distance to subject I wanted.

1/500th sec, f7.1 ISO 200

In Estonia, I was invited to a jumping competition. My first thought was I should have found a way to fit in at least the 70-200mm. Lacking a longer lens, I concentrated on position and angle to the horses and jumps on the course. I hung on the fences and used a higher speed and did multiple burst acquisitions. I used a tighter crop in post.

Canon 6D, 1/1000 sec, f8, ISO 500, 24-70mm @70mm

In Tallinn, Estonia, I switched to the fisheye for the Town Square. Though the fisheye will distort the angles, it adds curiosity by pulling you into the image.

1/1000 sec, f8.0, ISO 500, 15mm

There was only one image that may have suffered from the lack of a long lens, a stork perched high in the nest, photographed from the car window.

1/640 sec, f10, ISO 160, 24-70mm @70mm

The other thing I learned on this tour was, the older I get, the less gear I want to carry.

To see more images from this trip and the rest of our two-year Senior Ex-Pat travel journey, please visit my website at  You can find me on FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Our Travel Blog is: Wanderlusting Dreams: Still Bohemian at 65

Please wait...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.