SXSW 2014: First you have to get the gear there!

My favorite way to travel gear is ThinkTank Airport International. Period.

Airport International_08_CMYK-1

On this trip, there was a possible video assignment, so I added an Urban Disguise, with a Canon XF100 video camera already built (mic,light,batt,media cards) and ready to go with a wireless lav set-up in the side pouch, and other misc. goodies.

yes, I may be a bit old school, but find I get great results when shooting video with a…wait for it…video camera!

Think Tank Photo Releases the Redesigned             Urban Disguise® V2.0 Series Shoulder Bags “Carry the Right Gear with Less Fear” SANTA ROSA, CALIF – For photographers operating in urban or dangerous environments, carrying thousands of dollars

Tucked into luggage are various Muji mesh bags with extra cables, and Cocoon platters with battery chargers, back-up readers, power strips. And monopod/tripod.

OK, that gets the gear there. It all  travels on the plane with me. The Airport International has been with me for 4 years and has traveled around the world.

Arrange for early boarding to get that valuable overhead space. Window seats, extra $10. fast track boarding, seats in the rear of the plane, whatever.

Once on location, gear is organized and loaded into a walking/working pack, depending on the time of day, and events occurring.

In the past, an Oakley backpack was the working pack. This trip I committed to a twist and packed daily with great success: The Shape Shifter. It packs into luggage as a 3″ laptop case and expands to 7″ deep when loaded with gear.


Plus it’s carrying my laptop, batts, cables, card wallets, some energy bars, and assignment sheets. Incredibly comfortable.Check out this video.


Probably the major shift this year was having the Nikon D800 with 20mm, always in my hand using the Cotton Carrier Hand Strap – with Arca Swiss-compatible mini-plate.
Yep, always.


This combo Nikon D800 with 20mm 2.8 lens, always in my hand got me photos I never would’ve made. It became that further extension of my hands, with an all day comfort
I even use it with the 70-200mm 2.8, in the pit. The Shape Shifter bag worked fast, and the in and out with lenses, was smooth.

As I walked around the festival,the camera was always ready. Manual, RAW, and custom WB, which I’ll cover in the next post.

In a twist of fate, on Weds. 3/12/14 I had just finished photographing St. Vincent at Stubbs on Red River, in Austin. Moving onto the next spot, The Mohawk, I readjusted my camera settings, and went for some street photographs of the crowds.
The Cotton Carrier kept the camera in my hands.

What I saw next, and what the camera saw, has been kept on the hard drive. A drunk driver, being pursued by police, cut down the blocked off, speeding, as he hit 23 people who were rightfully in the street.

In the last SXSW post, I will show a couple of the images from the tragedy that occurred about 7 ft away from me.
And we can have a discussion.

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