I’m the new guy here at The Phoblographer, so it’s time I inaugurate myself by explaining exactly what I carry with me when I go out shooting.
I’ve been taking pictures since I was a kid, but only recently have I taken the time to evaluate my gear and shape my camera bag around exactly the type of photographs I’m taking. Having moved to Los Angeles recently, street photography seemed like an obvious transition for me. I fell in love with it, and it is now my primary style of shooting. I’ve now molded my gear around my needs, and while very simple, it handles just about anything I can throw at it. Let’s take a look!
I use a few different bags, but when I want to bring most of my gear with me, there’s only one I use: the Tamrac Rally 5. There’s a lot to love about this bag. First, it doesn’t look like a camera bag. When seen from afar, it looks like nothing more than a standard messenger bag. It’s also comfortable to wear, not too big, and very well built. Lastly, it seems to be just about the perfect size for my gear, which includes two cameras, two lenses, and an iPad. More on that later.
Fuji X100 – This is my main camera these days, as I’m primarily doing street photography. It’s small, light, and spits out really fantastic looking files. It also performs very well in low light, and is an absolute blast to shoot with. For more on my thoughts about the X100, see my post about shooting on the street with it. I’ve pimped out mine with my favorite strap from Artisan and Artist, along with a soft shutter release from Tom Abrahamsson. Both can be had over at PopFlash.Photo. These little things make a big difference.
Nikon D7000 – This camera is my workhorse. I can’t say enough about the D7000. Beautiful files, great in low light, wonderful feeling shutter button, dual SD card slots, and so much more. It has the tendency to scare people when shooting on the street with it, but when I’m shooting landscapes, portraits, or events, it’s just perfect. I’ll go full-frame someday, but for now, the D7000 is an absolute gem, and I have no complaints.
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G – You could weld this lens to my D7000 and I wouldn’t complain. It’s one of Nikon’s least expensive lenses, and one of my absolute favorites. It’s inexpensive, so I don’t mind carrying it everywhere, it’s a wonderfully versatile focal length, and it’s plenty fast enough for great low light shooting. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a shoot without using this lens at some point, and I’ve gotten some really wonderful photos from it.
Nikon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR - This is Nikon’s cheapest zoom lens, at just over $100. But I gotta say, I think it’s also Nikon’s most underrated lens. Yes, it feels cheap and plasticky in the hand, but it’s fantastically sharp at all focal lengths, and having VR in a lens this cheap is pretty great. And again, no big loss if it’s damaged or stolen. I’ve done side-by-side comparisons with the vastly more expensive Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR, and they’re nearly identical in every way other than build quality.
Apple iPad 2 w/ Camera Connection Kit - I’ve made a place for the iPad in just about everything I do, and photography is no exception. I use it (along with the camera connection kit) quite a bit during the day to backup my photos after I fill up an SD card. It’s also a lot of fun to use apps like Snapseed to very quickly manipulate photos and share them socially. It’s also a great way of showing off your portfolio to potential clients, not to mention the 500px app is fantastic!
Apple iPhone 4s - Obviously the iPhone 4s goes with me everywhere, not just when shooting. But it’s an important piece for me when shooting because it actually has a fantastic camera, and like the iPad 2, has a plethora of apps that make taking pictures with it quite fun. ProHDR, Instagram, and Snapseed have made iPhone photography special, and sharing very easy.
Mophie Juice Pack Air – If you’re taking pictures with your iPhone, or even just listening to podcasts, you’re very likely to run out of power at some point during a shoot. Because of this, I always keep a fully charged Mophie Juice Pack Air with me. I don’t keep it on my iPhone at all times, but if I need it, it’s there and ready to charge me back up. I own two of these, and one of them lives permanently in my camera bag.
Business Cards - You never know who you’ll run into while shooting, so I never leave the house without a handful of these. I get mine printed at Moo, and they do a fantastic job. The ink and paper they use is top quality, and their customer service is unbelievable. I made a design mistake on my first run of cards, but they offered to reprint them again at no charge. Just fantastic!
Cards and Batteries – I can get through a day on one D7000 battery, but the Fuji X100 only gets about 300 shots to a charge, so I generally carry 3 spare batteries with me. They’re cheap—there’s no reason not to.
I also carry a handful of Sandisk Extreme Pro SDHC cards. They’re lightning quick, and one of the few SD cards that the X100 behaves well with. Plus, the D7000 takes two at once, so I need a bunch. I generally use 8 GB cards, because if a card fails, I’ve only lost 8 GB of photos. Losing 32 GB of shots frightens me, and I’d much rather carry a few more 8 GB cards.
Incase Capsule Headphones - This is a weird one, but for some reason I like to listen to podcasts while shooting on the street. It makes me a little bit more comfortable in the environment, and I feel that I’m slightly less likely to be confronted if I’m seen wearing headphones. The Incase Capsule headphones are a recent purchase, but I’m really enjoying them. They fit well, are comfortable, sound great, and they also have an integrated microphone and remote in-line so I can record voice notes or take calls without pulling out my phone.
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