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

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

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.