The first image was taken with a 3.3MP Canon D30 DSLR in on 2/19/2003 at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. I only took one lens and one camera for the entire trip. The ambient temperature was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit (probably 20 or so inside without heat) and this cheap $135 Sigma 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 had “frozen”. The zoom was stuck wide at 28mm (45mm equiv) but the AF was non-functional. One camera, one lens, manual focus, ISO 100, f/4 and hand held at 1/6 second in the cold.
When I look back at the photography on this trip, it worked because I traveled light and didn’t drag numerous lenses along with me. There was no fumbling with gear, worrying about using a different lens, etc. Almost every images was taken at 28mm (45mm) in aperture priority mode. After the trip, the lens was declared dead.
What was the most valuable thing about traveling light / minimal gear? I was able to focus on the trip and not my gear. As a result, I was able to be an active participant at every location I visited rather than being the photographer. It was a sense of freedom from the gear that truly added to the experience of this trip.