June 3, 2008

My Daily Gear

The Arsenal, L to R: LowePro Photo Runner, Lens Case 3, DMC-Z (Not Pictured), Ka Leo O Hawai‘i Presspass, Ka Leo O Hawai‘i business cards, Canon Speedlite 580EXII, Maglite Mini, Eneloop AA batteries and wall-charger. Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Canon EOS-1D + EF 70-200mm f/4L, Canon EOS 1D Mark II N + EF 17-40 f/2L, 2x NP-E3, Sandisk Extreme III 2GB CF Cards, Apple iPhone, Apple Macbook Pro 15.4". (NOTE: NP-E3 Batteries also in camera for 4 total batteries, 4GB CF + 4GB SDHC in 1Dmk2N, 2GB CF in EOS-1D)

The other day, I was out on assignment, and someone asked me if i was a photographer. I replied "sure. I think so...although I've always though of myself as just a guy who makes photos...nothing more, nothing less..."

That got me thinking. For some strange reason that question is always posed to me even as I walk down the street, cameras dangling from my shoulders.

So, yeah, I guess I am. I must say, I think I look pretty ridiculous with all my gear. With that said, I try my best to keep my equipment to a minimum, and the photo above shows what I carry with me on a daily basis when working for the Ka Leo. Less is more in my book.

The Flash Setup:
Once my buddy John Nakatsu comes back to the islands i'll have my 420EX and ST-E2 back in my hands, so that'll be cool. I want to actually get some lightstands and unbrellas so i can set stuff up. I can trigger the remotely with the ST-E2 transmitter. Nice light, cheap, and quick and dirty. I'll use the Omni-Bounces (Not pictured) when I need to go on-camera with the flashes. They soften the light a little, and disperse the light for a somewhat softer look than straight, naked, on-camera flash.

The Bag:
As a PJ in the field I’m not much of a bag man. I prefer to keep my cameras out so they’re always ready. And since I don’t carry much else, I just use a waist pack to hold my strobes and transmitter, the EF 24-70mm, and some extra batteries. While the bag itself doesn't hold much, I find it light, quick to access and very convenient; when i'm in the field.

The Cameras:
I carry two bodies. The EOS 1D Mark II N and the EOS-1D. I actually just picked up the Mk2N. It was a friggin steal. $2,000, 8k auctations and practically brand spanking new. SWEET! Anyway, the 70-200mm is always on either the Mk2N or the Classic. Either way, both shoot at a blazing fast 8fps. Most of what I shoot here is done with those pieces of equipment. The Mk2N is great for sports and fast moving subjects, and does exceptionally well in low light. I also really like the 1D Classic, sure it's almost 8 years old, but who cares. The color is good, and like the other 1D cameras it has a APS-H sized sensor with a 1.3x crop factor. Which is why I always have a UWA like the 17-40L on there. I like the pincoushin distortion a lot and that’s why I use the Camera+Lens combo. Gotta be careful with it though — beware the “cone head effect.” If you shoot at 17mm and put people in the corner of the frame they tend to end up looking like cone heads. Not as bad as if I was shooting FF. But I do like the look of really wide photos where there’s so much context jammed into one frame.

The Laptop:
Since the Ka Leo O Hawai‘i is totally digital, the photographers use laptops to process and edit our daily work. Since the advent of digital communication, we can send pictures to the office from the field. So after a football game we can whip out the computer, edit our shots, and send the photos to the photo editor...oh wait thats me! It definitely makes things a lot easier.

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