Allison Quattrocchi
...all of the guides were helpful, pleasant and extremely conscientious.
  • trongsaw river

  1. Bodies: Canon EOS 3 and a backup Canon A2E

  2. Lenses:
    1. 17-35 (used extensively)
    2. 50-135 IS (invaluable with slower film or quickly evolving scenes.)
    3. 75-300 IS  (used extensively)
    4. 100 - 400 IS (not worth lugging around in Bhutan)
      • Extension tubes 12 and 24 (would carry again)
      • Teleconverters 1.4 and 2x (worth taking--don't take much room)
  3. Flash: 540 EZ (usually backed off 1 to 1/3)

  4. Tripod: Gitzo graphite with Arco Swiss ballhead.
  5. Filters:
    1. 81A & 81B filters (probably don't need for 75-300) Polarizers - for all lenses
      • Graduated neutral density 1 and 2, sometimes combined for 3 stops)
      • Tripod  (Glad I had it with me! for special circumstances or slow film - but faster film and IS lenses handled most situations.)
  6. Film:
      Only shot one roll of Velvia but lots of 100VS, Provia 100F and Provia 400F
      Film of choice in Bhutan overall is 100VS  - Portraits perhaps better with  Provia but don't think they suffer that much as opposed to the wonderful colors and unless you are carrying two bodies loaded with different film (too much for me), you have to pick one and run with it.  For me, that's Provia 400F

I would have loved to have had the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS lens which will be my next purchase someday - wonder if Melissa did that much better with it than I did without it?  In Bhutan, it may just be a matter of being more proficient with use of flash and film choice to make up for the slower lens in low light since animals are not the subjects.

The tradeoffs one makes is a personal choice depending on how much one wants to hassle with equipment on a fairly fast moving trip and how much one wants to carry.  The guides were most helpful in carrying equipment but sometimes you would look around for them and they would not there when you needed them.


Allison Quattrocchi of Scottsdale, Arizona, is an attorney specializing in divorce mediation, a Personal/Life Coach, and newsletter author who uses her photography to highlight Wings Museletter,  where she writes about her life's experiences and world travels.  You can contact Allie through either of her web sites, and

"Robin Smillie and his wife,Cathy, could not have been a better host and hostess. Additonally, all of the guides were helpful, pleasant and extremely conscientious.

They all spoke excellent English. Karma, the lead guide, was a wealth of knowledge and was able to arrange experiences that I doubt are available to just any tour group. In the best Bhuddhist tradition, the goal of Robin and Cathy and all of the guides was to create a memorable, happy experience--they certainly did just that."

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