What would you pack if you were assigned to cover a war from the inside? The photo above shows what photographer Umit Bektas decided to pack in his camera bag for his embed with a US military unit in Afghanistan.
I was going to need two cameras but to be on the safe side, I took a third. As I was planning to do a multimedia piece as well, I packed an audio-recorder and GoPro Camera too. Also a Bgan to give me the internet access necessary to transmit my photos and the Thuraya to ensure communication at all events. As I placed my laptop in its bag, I thought “what if it breaks down” and added a nine-inch backup laptop too. Also packed was one spare battery for each piece of equipment that ran on them. For my cameras though, I took two spares each. As I would not be able to carry large lenses, I packed a converter, chargers, cables, memory cards, cleaning kits and adapters. All this filled up my largest bag.
Also in one of his bags was body armor and a helmet: a requirement for being embedded.
Beauty dishes are pricey, and so are dedicated cases for carrying them around. If you want a cheap and simple way to protect your dish, LA-based photographer Mariusz Jeglinski suggests buying a Christmas wreath bag for less than $10. The shape works nicely for dishes, and you can add some extra padding to the case if you want added protection.
You probably already know that it’s not a good idea to include your expensive camera gear with check in luggage, but what if you have no choice? If you must, then putting your gear inside a hard-sided “spinner” suitcase with four wheels is your best bet. The Huffington Post has published an interesting interview with an anonymous baggage handler, who gives the following advice:
Hard-sided suitcases will get less damage, but also look for well-designed handles that are attached with rivets and some sort of protection around the wheels. Speaking of wheels, the best bags to get are the “spinners” with four wheels on the bottom. We like these because we don’t have to throw them when loading. We just roll them down the belly of the plane so your bag and its contents will suffer much less damage.
The handler reveals that bags are commonly subjected to all kinds of abuse due to the strict schedules the handlers must abide by.
ONE is a new neoprene camera and laptop bag system that’s designed for flexibility. It features multiple inserts and swappable covers that allow you to quickly change both its function and its look. The company behind the bag, UNDFIND, is currently raising funds for the project through Kickstarter, and a $79 contribution effectively preorders you one.
Dan Bailey over at The Photoletariat captured this brief video of Lowepro showing off its new Lens Exchange 200AW case at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC. The case is designed to help you swap lenses with one hand — instead of setting one lens down before taking out the new one, it expands to reveal a second compartment. Stick the old lens in, pull the new lens out, and then collapse the case back into its compact form.
At the Photo Plus Expo happening in NYC right now, Polaroid is showing off its new Dua Flash, a flash unit that also packs a strong LED light source for video recording. They’re already available for both Canon and Nikon DSLRs on Amazon, and cost between $160 and $200.
DIYPhotography has a neat tutorial on how you can build a DIY Lensbaby lens with cheap parts. The ingredients list consists of a macro extension tube, some electric tape, a macro filter set, and a pipe clamp.
The RoundFlash is a new ring flash adapter that’s lightweight and collapsible. Setting it up from its collapsed state is similar to setting up a tent: simply take the rods and stick them into the holes to expand the adapter. Read more…
Here’s a strange (and extremely rare) piece of camera gear: the Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle. Also known as “the Leica Gun”, it was made for photographers at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, and became popular among wildlife and sports photographers during the interwar years. One of them will be auctioned off at the Tamarkin Rare Camera Auction on October 30th, and is expected to fetch up to $100,000.
Who knows, maybe shoulder stocks will make a comeback as a form of image stabilization.
Videographer Joel Loukus created a continuous ring light source — which he calls the “WreathLight” — using a wreath frame and two strings of Christmas lights. The total cost came out to $24. It’s a cheap and easy way of adding some soft lighting to your portraits. Read more…