Are you happy with your current camera cases or bags? This week my podcast (Master Your Lens) touched on one of the 10 tools that photographers need to take better pictures. # 10 on the list is camera bags because you can't concentrate on getting great pictures when you are worried about your camera gear how you will carry it.
The last few weeks I've been traveling all over, from South Carolina to visit my family to Tokyo, Japan to speak and have an exhibit. I've used my Lowepro backpack on all of the recent travel and it has been great on these trips. In the past I've had a problem finding a backpack that allowed me to include my laptop and ipad when I travel, something that is always a must for me. My current backpack, the fastpack BP 250 gives me everything I need to be able to travel and carry my gear.
The other day, I did a hike up to the top of Tokyo's Mt. Takao with all my gear. I wanted to get a view of Mt. Fuji, but the sun was too bright and you couldn't see it. I was hoping to get a decent view before it was too late because you don't want to hike down the mountain in the dark. I was about to give up when I saw a cloud start to move toward the sun and it gave me a brief window that allowed me to photograph Mt. Fuji in a beautiful way.
There is just something about prime lenses that I have always loved over zoom lenses. There are amazing zoom lenses, but every photographer needs a few great primes as well. The nifty-fifty lens is a staple for many photographers as a standard lens, but the Nikkor 58mm is quite special in a different way. That little extra makes a big difference in seperating you from the pack.
Always Dream Big
It seems everyone is curious to know what camera gear professional photographer's use to create their images. A few weeks ago, a potential client sent an email to see if I would be interested in working with their company. The potential client had visited my website but said "can you tell me the type of camera and lighting equipment you use?" She wanted to make sure I had the "proper equipment" to take portraits.
The question made me think of a friend, who is not a photographer and had never used a camera before. He'd purchased a high-end camera along with Adobe photoshop and wanted to take pictures the next day for his company. The next week he called to say, "something must be wrong with my camera. I purchased an expensive camera and two lenses, but the pictures came out terrible." I smiled and said, the camera doesn't make a great picture, the photographer does. When you go to a restaurant, do you ask the chef what type of pots he uses to make sure the food will taste great?"
Great pictures come from trained photographers who take the time to learn how to master the tools of the trade so they can create stunning images. Each professional photographer uses the best gear possible, to create their images, but the magic comes only when you learn how to use the gear.
So what's in my camera bag?
Nikkor 58mm 1.4 lens
Nikkor 35mm 1.4 lens
Nikkor 24mm 1.4 lens
3- pocket wizards remotes
Profoto air remote
Macbook air computer
Macbook air presentation dongle connector
two batteries for Profoto B1 strobe
2 - mini silver/white reflectors
mini iPad loaded with MYLIO software
Tokyo subway map
Map of Tokyo, Japan
Air blower for lenses and camera body
Business card with English on one side and Japanese on the other
Black-out eye mask for the airplane
2 - 3 prong to 2 prong adapters
Old mini iPod (yes I still use one sometimes)
2 - 8 gig pen/memory sticks
remote LAV and receiver
Small mirror with black gaffer tape (special lighting tool)
Japanese facial paper
Collapsible travel chopsticks
Always dream big!