I travel to and through South America for several months in each year (3x per year for 3 to 4 months).
I take the Think Tank ShapeShifter with and it barely holds everything—-which for me is the standard PJ assignment rig I would use on the street to shoot and then file remotely—-so, 2 bodies, 1 speedlight, a 17-35, a 70-200, a 2x converter, an olympus omd for video and detail with converter for the nikon lenses, a dirtdog flip video, turbo cable for flash, 2 external hard drives, battery chargers for whatever needs it, a car vehicle power converter, portable hot spot, laptop with card reader—-and then the standards, cell phone, notepad, pens, mini-flashlight, several plastic trash bags for weather, extra flash cards of all sizes, thumb drives, 3 feet of gaffers tape wrapped around a double A battery——etc…okay so yeah, the gear I describe here is what I take with and although I am not on the street with all of it ++hopefully++, but I could if I had to be without so much effort that with it, I could not shoot what I needed too. The best method for taking or not taking an item is if the article will prevent you from getting the shot—-right?
I will take a duffel bag with personal items and then another to put the shape shifter in so its not so photo looking when I cross borders or going on the down low——many times I will take the thinktank speed belt with some lens drops and basic bags if I can swing it—this is generally for protests etc and when I need some gear and I have a safe place for leaving everything else behind—-still though the duffel bags work great for dust control.
You have to always think that you will have no choice to leave gear behind and I so the sacrifice is no fat glass (get closer) no power wizard (be in the right place at the right time), no tripod or monopod (use a cinderblock wall and a bag of rice)
--I think it helps as well to not take anything you think you might never see again—-either for personal or financial reasons—-and then you make the decision to move forward or stay back as you think——I think also, you have to have a clear mental path in your head to file photo and this would be for gear you have to use to get the shots and then file and base everything off that—-because if you can’t file, then you are a tourist and you can file when you get home.
Something else I do which has worked out great—-I have several small bags about the size of a paperback I put cords in—-like power cord for my mac and then another for the battery chargers and other items that live together so I am never lacking because I grabbed the wrong bag—-so if i am in a room and its suddenly “GO,” its just picking up the small bag and putting it in the bigger bag and its not cord chaos
—I use “Eagle Creek” in different sizes because they have mesh windows I can see through—
If you do use the pelican cases—which i have used and they work great, I would buy a duffel they can fit in so you can hide the overall pro look—-which can lead to a lot of questions while you are in line waiting for the bus.
Good luck and good shooting,
26 Aug 2012 07:08
(ed. Aug 26 2012)
| Orange County-Los Angeles,