34 Days in The Middle of Nowhere

You probably noticed that I've been quiet since the end of March. That's because I just spent 34 days in one of my favorite locations on the planet: Botswana. Almost half the time I spent in the Kalahari (photo below), the rest in the Okavango. Both are exciting places to be in April, even though that's not traditionally considered an "in season" time. 

I intentionally take full breaks from the Internet every year, and being in a tent in the middle of world-class parks and preserves is guaranteed to ensure such a break. During the month+ mostly in tents I had only a couple of small, very slow sips of Internet, just enough to see that the rest of the world was still there.

The interesting thing about taking such breaks is that you get a better sense of where things actually stand, as the noise on the Internet far outweighs the actual information. When you don't hear the noise, you can more easily see the information. I came back to the same 10 questions in my InBox, the same urgent email offers and discounts from automated mail lists, the same trolling and sniping, but almost nothing I can find of note that's new, or even important. Okay, a couple of important lenses were introduced, the manufacturer discounts changed modestly, and I found one or two articles that actually covered a bit of new ground when I did my post break survey. 

However, this year's break made me realize that I need to work on my "game" some if I'm going to continue to provide useful, relevant, new, and interesting information. The good news is that it shouldn't take much to stand out from the crowd that's just doing the same-old, same-old. It appears that most of the photography-related Internet doesn't know what to write anything when no new products are offered and software makers aren't pushing big affiliate incentives to promote a new release.

So you're probably wondering what I might be about to write about. Well, here's a clue: I had a Z9 with 2.0 firmware, a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S, and a 400mm f/2.8 TC S with me in Botswana. Expect some pretty thorough reviews of those coming soon. And not just lab test and quick one day evaluations, but in field, rough tested, heat of battle reviews. Foreshadowing: someone is going to complain that I once again don't give a Highly Recommended rating to a Nikon product they worship. Further foreshadowing: you probably want a Z9 and a 100-400mm if you take trips similar to the one I just did.

Give me a few days to get back up to speed and deal with all the things that piled up while I was gone. We'll have some fun shortly thereafter ;~).

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