Thursday, January 14, 2010
Create dramatic portraits on the road with today’s lightweight equipment
Nikon D3, 24-70mm, 1⁄160 sec., ƒ/14, ISO 100. Shot using single Elinchrom Quadra with 39-inch Octabank
My first choice for normal travel is the Lowepro Pro Roller x100. This rolling bag will hold my entire Bare-Bones Kit, as well as my camera and a few lenses. The x100 also can carry The Equalizer kit, but with less room for camera gear. I carry the light stand and umbrella in my suitcase until arriving at my destination, then I can strap these on the Pro Roller when I’m going to a shoot. The beauty of the Pro Roller is that if I’m going for a short hike or away from flat “roller” surfaces, the entire bag unzips from the hard-shell roller case and converts into a backpack. This is especially handy, and the roller case has an additional zipper flap so it can be used as a normal carry-on suitcase.
If my trip involves lots of off-road travel and hiking, I carry my lighting kit in a Lowepro Vertex 300 AW, a large photo backpack that fits in overhead compartments on commercial jets. The Vertex 300 AW has a great suspension system, so I can carry either lighting kit comfortably on trails and rocky ground. I strap the stands on the outside of the pack and put the reflector in the laptop compartment of the pack. The Vertex 300 AW also has a waterproof cover to keep things dry if it is rainy.
Dealing With Security
We live in a time when strict security is a fact of life. Every time I get frustrated at the airport, I just remember these regulations are in place to make things safe, not cause headaches. The biggest problem you’ll run into with your portable studio is lithium batteries.
Get Out And Shoot!
Recently, I was in New York teaching a flash workshop. After the workshop was over, I had an extra day to do some shooting. A friend and I decided to photograph a belly dancer along the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge. This location has a great backdrop of New York’s famous skyline. Since we had to walk a ways to get to the location, we just loaded up The Equalizer kit in the Pro Roller and headed out. We had everything we needed for a great portrait in one compact bag. Aisha, our dancer, performed mesmerizing movements with her colored veils floating above her head against the New York skyline. The Quadra kept popping flash after flash, capturing all her moves. I couldn’t have been happier; the portable studio was providing all the tools needed to capture this magical moment!
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