Using Amazon abroad in a pinch (or “don’t forget stuff when travelling”) – A Celebratory Trip to Chicago
- So, Chicago eh. That’s really different.
- Take the National Express, Manchester Airport, British Airways Terraces Lounge
- BA1385 Manchester Airport to London Heathrow
- T5 – Pick a lounge. Any Lounge – British Airways Galleries South, Galleries T5B
- BA295 London Heathrow T5 to Chicago O’Hare International
- The joy of O’Hare and Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Experiments with a Canon 40mm lens
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Using Amazon out of your home country in a pinch
- Back to O’Hare, The New AA Flagship Lounge
- AA86 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow T3
- Terminal change shenanigans, British Airways Galleries North
- BA1386 London Heathrow to Manchester Airport
- Luggage delivery incompetence, last-minute changes, and CrossCountry Trains home
- Why celebrate?
Some of you know I do a bit of portrait photography when I travel – mainly because it keeps me amused but most of all, I love photography. So in Chicago, I travel with a little photo studio that travels with me.
This is wonderful. Except when I forget a key bit of kit.
Like most photographers who use flashes of sorts – I use modifiers on my lights. Namely I use Softboxes, as they soften the light nicely in a photo, and reduce the harshness of light.
Now I thought I packed two softboxes with me. And I did.
Except I didn’t bring enough diffusers with me – or rather, the wrong sized diffuser.
The studio – note the light in the top right.
A bit more of a crop of the light in question – a 60×60 diffuser on a 40×40 softbox doesn’t work.
Whilst I could use it for a night – I prefer to do things… properly.
So first things first… have a think – who stocks Elinchrom studio kit in Chicago? Well, Central Camera doesn’t…. and I run out thoughts at that point.
We then go onto who can ship fast. As I discovered this Thursday evening, the best I could hope for was Saturday delivery and a prayer. And in these situations, you go to people who have a record of delivering on time.
Thankfully, Amazon could help. I could had gone with B&H or Adorama – but I needed a source I could depend on to deliver – and get it to me before Saturday night.
A big problem however is if you’re using an International Account with this Amazon branch as 1) the prices were jacked up for delivery and 2) they initially tried to bill me in GBP rather than USD.
This is where having 1) friends and 2) friends with Amazon Prime accounts come into play. With a lot of the dirty costs removed, I handed the hard cash to my friend – and quietly waited.
Shooting the first day with the set-up was… interesting. Whilst there were no light spills, it was rather uncontrollable, with light leaking.
So on Saturday evening at 6pm I had a bell saying there was a package for me at reception. Eagerly, I picked it up and quietly hoped it would work.
A properly fitted softbox!
I realised I got the mount points wrong. I resetted it later.
And did the quality of the photos improve? Well – with no light spills happening, I could control the light better. And that’s what I’m after when taking photos. The kit has been integrated into my normal photography kit now… so it’s going nowhere fast.
Overall: If you’re using Amazon abroad, my first piece of advice is to watch the pricing and ensure you’re billed in local currency. My second bit of advice is to find friends to try to help…
… because otherwise, you will pay through the nose if you’re not careful.
Oh, and remember to pack what you actually need when travelling. But that’s a given…
Next: Time to start heading home. First up, the new Flagship Lounge at O’Hare…
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