Another opportunity to learn
Between Christmas and the New Year I spent a few days in the Isle of Wight. Every trip teaches you something. If nothing else it highlights how your way of seeing is changing. Maybe a lens that you used a lot on a previous trip was little used on this one. Maybe you found yourself wishing that you had something that you have never needed before. Of course some of this is simply due to photographing in different conditions and locations, but it is worth noting as part of a possible shift in direction.
Working much of the time along the coast I found that there were times when I wanted to reduce the light to get longer shutter speeds and thereby show movement in the water. So a .9 (-3 stops) neutral density filter is on my shopping list before I go away next.
What I also found interesting was that although I had my car with me (most trips I go on involve air travel and so I am more limited) most of the extra "stuff" that I packed because I had the space was not needed, and I mainly made use of the same lenses that I usually have with me. An example was my attempt to photograph the Needles (the most western part of the IOW) From what I was able to find out before I went (and which proved to be true), getting close is not easy, and so I brought my longest lens (Sigma 50-500, which is a bit of a big thing to carry normally). Because of the very high winds on the day I was shooting there, and which threatened to turn my tripod into a flying object, I found that this lens was not suitable and used my image stabilised 70-300 Canon lens instead, which is a normal part of my backpack kit.
Several items that I bought for the trip didn't get an airing. A fine pair of waders that I thought I would use stayed in the car and the UV filter that I bought to protect my lens from salt spray saw little use as I had a polariser on much of the time. As I say, you live and learn.
Image: Orchard bay, Isle of Wight 2006