Paul Clarke’s Great Circular European Railway Challenge (GCERC)

GCERC Train photo

Copyright: Paul Clarke 2013

With over a year’s planning under their belt, Photographer Paul Clarke and a group of friends embarked on the Great Circular European Railway Challenge (GCERC). Travelling from London around Europe and back to London from 6 to 23 July 2013.

GCERC Journey MapCopyright: Paul Clarke 2013 Great Circular European Railway Challenge (GCERC)

Paul has set up a picture gallery for each day of their travels which you can see here:

A large part of Paul’s planning was what camera gear he could actually take with him and how to carry it.

Paul says: What was the most flexible set-up I could bring, capable of everything that could be thrown in front of it from deep inside the Arctic Circle, the rough end of east European cities, the hot plains of Spain and everything in between? And how would I actually carry it? Weight, speed of access, and security mattered here.

Here’s a list of the gear Paul eventually decided upon for his journey:

Canon 5D MkIII full frame SLR
Canon G15 (fixed lens, zoom equivalent of 28-140mm)

50mm f/1.4 prime
16-35L Mk II f/2.8 zoom
70-200L MkII f/2.8 zoom
2x extender (MkIII) (to turn the telephoto into a proper big 400mm beast where required)
580EXII speedlite flash

Laptop & processing:
Alienware G14 laptop and Wacom A5 graphics tablet. Big and heavy, and the wrong choice for this trip. In future, a 4GB RAM thin ultrabook of some kind will do. I use the Alienware because it’s ultra fast for crunching pics on location at events. Here, time is not my enemy.

The bits:
Spare memory cards, USB3 card reader, 2 USB-microUSB cables, multi-purpose cable (USB-miniUSB/microUSB/iPhone), 4 AA batteries for flash, 2 spare 5D batteries, chargers for 5D and G15 batteries, mini USB brick, 2 euro AC socket adapters, AC-USB converter, spare phone battery.

So, for carrying the gear around, Paul sought advice from fellow photographer Tracy Howl – which resulted in Paul using the Think Tank Photo belt and pouch system. He used the Lens Changer 75 Pop Down v2, the Skin Body Bag and the Hubba Hubba Hiney pouches on the Pro Speed Belt v2 to carry his camera gear around for comfort, speed of access and peace of mind knowing his valuable gear was attached to him!

You can see Paul’s full camera gear planning article here:
GCERC camera kit

The GCERC group have put together a website which gives extensive coverage of their GCERC journey, including the route travelled, places visited, costs and links to all their blogs and super features from enroute: Great Circular European Railway Challenge (GCERC) – the disOrient Express. London to everywhere and back, via everywhere!

GCERC gcerc410

Copyright: Great Circular European Railway Challenge (GCERC) 2013

To see more of Paul’s work you can see his website here: