SXSW – This Is The Little Gear That Worked

SXS_2838 Ludacris @ Stubbs

As we enter the season of music festivals, the shooter on the scene needs to be prepared.
Before we post about the holy trinity of lenses you need, the reason to use a DSLR or Mirrorless, or the best software to get your images out fast, let’s look at some of the other items that should be in you kit.
Simple things.
At SXSW in Austin, there is such a huge range of photo assignment types, that you’ll need to be ready for all: Major speakers in a convention center, bands in tiny dark clubs, red carpets for movie premieres, huge name bands on stages surrounded by dirt, street scenes with brands promoting their wares, and basically, a full range of assignments for any shooter, sans studio work.

So, what should be in your hotel room when you come back to download your full cards and recharge?

A lot of little gear. Small, but mighty.

Speaking of recharging, I took this unit with me for the first time:
The Watson dual charger lets you swap out plates for different cameras, shows percentage of charge, and has a USB input to charge up another item. Was able to charge both Nikon and Fuji in one charger with and easy plates change.

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One thing Ive learned in the pit, is that while shooting, using your phone to get that Instagram, posting fast and tagging right, get’s the flow started for your photos, still to come.
But you better be charged.
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This Photive has 6 ports that will charge your smartphone and tablet fast!and will know when your tech is full and stop sending current. It knows what kind of power you need ( 2.4 for iPhone, 1.2 for Android) and smart adjusts. Small, and lets you set it up in your room without taking up your USB ports on your computer situation.110-220v so good overseas.

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Always in the bag is the PNY 10400, with a cable for my iPhone. With a readout that shows percentages, this fast charger can fill up a phone 5 times! I have used this all over the world, charging off of any USB (see above). Small, powerful, and you can help a buddy out and still have enough juice for your full day and night.about $50.

Then let’s look at some lower tech goodies.
It’s dirty out there. And dusty. This trio of goods are used in daily maintenance of the camera and lenses.
Giottos air blowers, LensPen lens cleaner, and the secret weapon: a USB LED ring light with a magnifying lens. Cost about $8, and lets me see if my lens is really clean. Both sides.

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Going back for a second to the Instagrams: I always have some Olloclip lenses in my bag. Always. You need to go telephoto? Wide Angle or Fisheye? This is your secret weapon to post unique images.
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Here’s another one. You may think that business cards are old school, but I met more band managers and PR people shooting events, and a distinctive card will stick out in the pile that may have collected. I go for MOO cards. Lots of cool formats to choose from.
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If you are going to shoot music, you will need earplugs. Whether you carry the basic foam, shutting out 32db, or a higher quality set like Dubs. For $20, I just used these-Check out some EarLove plugs. And yes, that’s a flashlight– when it’s dark in the club, you want to know what’s in your bag.
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The basic workflow is this:
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MacBook Pro 13″ ( could be the last year. Squeezed 4 years out of it)
ToughTech Duo 2.5in RAID 750GB
G-Tech Mobile 1Tb drive
Lexar Card Reader – I took a couple of modules from the Workflow tower to cut down on weight and it worked fast.
USB 3.0 bus powered HUB – 4 inputs, and it is a life saver. No need to plug into a wall, since its bus powered.
It’s simple and it works.
Why all of the hard drives? back-up, Back-up, Back-up. Yes, 3x.

And you know what I’m using to take it to the event:ThinkTank Airport International
Think-Tank-Airport-International-Review

And what I’m using AT the event:ThinkTank Shape Shifter
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Yes, the camera strap of choice is Black Rapid– either the single or the double. You need to get one of these.

I’ll get to the bigger stuff shortly.

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