Daily Inspiration #658 By Dusty Blackthorn

Hey! My name’s Dusty and I’m a professional traveler – any means necessary! All three photos were taken with a Panasonic LX5. I feel like I’m pushing the limits of that camera so I recently upgraded to an RX100, and hope to have enough cash to buy the E-M1/12-40 f2.8 combo in the next month or two, right before leaving on an extended trip to Central America via bus/freight train. I can thank you for helping me make that decision!

Love the effort you folks put into the site. This is the first place I come for reviews.



Dusty Blackthorn




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  1. A ‘professional traveler’ is just a nice way to put it… I’m almost 30 and for the last 10 years I’ve been putting off most everything – relationships, friendships, career, etc, to travel. I stay pretty broke, often lovesick, lonely, lonesome… but it’s better than some of the alternatives!

    Guess you could say I’ve done a lot of living. Currently working on a book, which is one way I justify the big upgrade to the E-M1 (just ordered last night, by the way!)

    Lots of kind comments here – thanks to all. It’s nice to hear and definitely motivates me to shoot more. I’ve got a lot of interesting ideas in my head… concepts that have (perhaps?) never been done before… or at least I haven’t been able to find them (and I look)

    The first photo is a friend on a fast doublestack train on the west coast of the US. Wasn’t posed at all – He didn’t know I took it until months later.

    The second one is Mount Shasta in northern California from the roof of a moving junk train. This is a region I only recently got to explore, after seeing photos online and in friends possession for probably 10 years… In that time, I’ve seen a LOT of “shasta from the train” photos, and they’re almost always off the side of the car. This shot wasn’t easy to get, being exposed on the roof like that during the winter months, but also because the train never really heads straight towards the mountain. This was going around a long curve, and I waited for everything to line up justttt right and pulled the trigger. I feel proud to say that I’ve got the best “Shasta from the train” photo out there πŸ˜‰ Feel free to prove me wrong

    The third was waiting for a train in the desert of Nevada. I was in a pretty miserable mood, which tends to produce the greatest creativity from my mind. Go figure.

    Thanks again, everyone. I’ll send an update after my Mexico-southbound trip!

    Also, a quick video I put together a few months ago. Also shot with the LX5. My first attempt at video editing… There are a few interesting shots in here



  2. Three very different pictures, all 3 shows the concept of travel very well! And, btw, DON’T change the camera – you are doing a beautiful work with it.

  3. Many people have top of the line gears and just ‘traveling’ in world wide web. You have simple gear and do the real travel in the real world. I envy you bro…

  4. The pictures are good!!! Unless you are going to make large prints, RX100 is good enough for most purposes. It can produce images for really decent A4 size prints. Besides, it’s light weight is good for traveling. If you want a larger camera because you want better high ISO performance in low light, the new Fujis would be better than OM. By the way, what is a professional traveler?

  5. Hello Dusty! The camera you use might have its resolution limitations, but that doesn’t limit you in any way since the pictures you have shared here with all of us are fantastic and I doubt they would benefit from an update in megapixels or sensor size, for they work perfectly the way they are. Good job!

  6. I like the third a lot. I think that a camera with smaller sensor is harder to use, referring to composition, than a camera with a big one: you cannot hide parts of the picture focusing just in certain parts, so the composition needs to be more perfect, and in that photograph (also in the others but more in the third to me) it has a nice atmosphere.

  7. Beautiful pictures. I am also on that travel journey from October, 2 months in Nepal and India and then in 2015 hopefully 6 months in Thailand / Burma, with Fuji gear XT1 and X100. Your images are beautiful and capture the soul and feeling of travel, well done πŸ™‚

  8. Nice Pictures!

    The built in stabilization in my EM-1 and the stellar picturequality for itΒ΄s sensorsize is why I love my camera and now Olympus will soon release a major firmware-update with lots of extra functions. It is a great camera to own. I have one with the 12-40 and I am very pleased with it. When the 40 – 150 zoom arrives I plan to get that as well and then I have an even greater kit. I have a Panasonic LX7 as a second camera and it really is a small gem, this summer I have been using it a lot and it still surprises me how much you can cram out the raw-files. I know everyone is scrambling to get the Sony RX100 III but I really donΒ΄t feel the need. I suspect your LX5 is pretty much the same, keep it as a backup.

  9. Great work with the LX5 πŸ™‚ You do it justice, and these compacts have a certain level of convenience that is hard to beat.

    Yet another suggestion for the traveler’s camera bag – what about an old film camera ? Money aside (they are super cheap to acquire), they have certain advantages for the intrepid traveler. They tend to be built like tanks, and can be more robust than a modern dSLR, No batteries to recharge, and no electronics to get fried on a bad day.

    You can bash around for days with an old Fed or Zorki, never run out of “battery power”, and not worry about damaging it either. They knew how to make good lenses in the 1950s too !

    The Olympus E-M1 is excellent, but the Olympus OM series film cameras are excellent too, in their own way.

    On the negative side … if travelling with film, you need to do some homework on the effects of x-rays on undeveloped film. Low ISO = safer from XRays ? YMMV.

    Worth a thought for the next adventure – Lightweight, quality compact + rugged old film camera = Versatility, reliability and FUN !

    • Totally agee w/ you Steve.

      Besides digital i use a nice FED 2 + LTM 39mm Industar-26M 52mm 1:2.8-22 setup and just love it. Its solid and forgives some rough usage. You may get this for a few € online in good condition. I got mine from a friend from Russia and only had to let it clean-up a bit and recalibrate the shutter-speeds.

      Dusty, great pics. Great travel idea. Keep on and enjoy!

    • Great suggestions Steve, but you forgot to mention the beautiful aesthetic quality that comes from shooting film!

      I could totally imagine Dusty producing some very timeless images on his travels, simply by using this medium, perhaps with a quality 35mm film compact like a Contax T2. Digital is so convenient and instant, but I often feel the images lack the same feeling of those shot on film. Maybe this is why I always look forward to Film Friday here at SteveHuff!

      I digress.

      Nice shots by the way Dusty!

    • Not completely off the table! Besides cheap point and shoots in the days before digital, I never really shot with film. I’m looking for a good film camera to supplement my shooting. As of right now, I carry a disposable where ever I go and get some pretty cool results!

  10. the pictures you take, you’d try Fuji X-E2/T1, Sony A7R, more real estate is still better for landscape. Or a Sigma DP2 quattro for single-Act use, only: <=iso100 good light, <=iso400 in b&w.

  11. Greetings

    Wonderful looking pictures, in an instant, they really created the sensation of travel in my mind, very well done πŸ™‚

    On cameras, have you thought of something like a dSLR ? I’m currently using a Nikon D600 with a 20mm f2.8 and a 50mm f1.4 lens, and really find the combo very versatile, and above all, very light weight, which I find when travelling a god send.

    All the best


    • Nice pix. Following up on Gav’s comment… I also use a Nikon D600 + 50/1.4 combo, but attached to that I have a Nikon AF-S 18-35/3,5-4,5 G ED. Not as small as the 20/2.8, but very light (385gr.).

    • I’ve been shooting with a Rebel XSI for a few years, but have slowly ‘downgraded’ into smaller and smaller cameras. Most of the traveling I do, a lightweight kit is essential. The pocketable LX5 has treated me well, and allowed me to keep my weight down when you already have to carry two gallons of water, food, bedroll, etc. I just ordered the E-M1 last night, so I guess that debate is put to rest (at least for now πŸ™‚ Thanks for the kind words

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