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Archive for Sunday, April 18, 2004

Trade tools: There’s more to news photography than a camera

April 18, 2004

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My car's back seat is a mess.

Actually it's not a backseat but rather the back end of a two-door Toyota RAV with the rear seats removed. It provides a great working space and an area for hauling all my camera gear. To be sure, most newspaper photographers are equipped with more than a camera and lens.

From knee-high wading boots to a Leatherman all-purpose tool, an
assortment of gear, in addition to a photographer's camera, can be
neccessary to complete a photo assignment.

From knee-high wading boots to a Leatherman all-purpose tool, an assortment of gear, in addition to a photographer's camera, can be neccessary to complete a photo assignment.

Here's a personal inventory of some of the equipment in my car:

  • Two Nikon D1H cameras. This enables you to have both the wide and telephoto zoom lens on a camera ready to use. A second body also provides a backup.
  • Four Compact Flash cards (128mb-256mb).
  • Six rechargeable camera batteries. Your can never have enough of these.
  • A 17-35mm zoom lens, my most used lens.
  • A 50, 85, and 60mm macro, 80-200 zoom lens.
  • A 300mm lens for sports and nature.
  • A 500mm lens. Mountain lions?
  • A 1.4 Teleconverter, which increases the length of telephoto lenses.
  • Five battery-operated flash units.
  • A table tripod and a flash stand.
  • A flash remote cord.
  • Four wireless remote flash sensors, which trigger a portable flash off the camera and without cords attached.
  • A radio transmitter/receiver system. Like an automatic garage-door opener, the transmitter connected to a camera sends a signal to a receiver to trigger flashes or remote cameras.
  • Two quartz bulb lights with stands and umbrellas.
  • A black umbrella, for rain.
  • Four bags, cases and packs for equipment.
  • A bag of extreme weather clothes, including hiking boots, knee-high rubber boots, gloves, poncho, rain pants and wool hat. Knee-high boots are good for floods and farms.
  • A hard hat, which is usually required at construction sites.
  • A Leatherman tool, 50-foot extension cord and jumper cables.
  • A three-legged, collapsible stool -- for fishing. Umm, I mean sports and work-related stuff.
  • A cell phone, notebook, calendar and 16-Channel police, medical and fire scanner.
  • A container of cat litter. I forgot to take it in to my house.

Next month I'll recommend a good chiropractor.

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