What’s in Your Camera Bag?


Almost all interviews with photogs ask some version of this question. Some are interesting but most are redundant & only hit on “big ticket” stuff. I’ve always felt “bag-o-tricks” items are overlooked so I will include some of mine.

Weight of the backpack, which is about exclusively all photo gear for travel, is 17lbs. Checked luggage is 33 lbs.

Canon 7D & 7DM2. Traveling pancake 40mm on 7d & 28mm on MII. 100-400mm, 85mm & 1 18-135mm. 2 neck straps &1 sling strap. 152G CF and 140G SD memory cards in old video lens filter pouches. A Tascam DR-5 with a cute baby tripod that fits into an old army belt pouch. 4 cam bats & 2 chargers, 6 AA batts, ear buds, 2 32 gig micro mini cards & spare back cap. 2 Cliff Bars, mini carabineer, 6’ of sash cord, zip ties, lock & key…another lock keyed the same with a duplicate key is in checked luggage. Business cards, notebook, pens, Sharpie &yellow G-tape…wrapped around pouches. Lens pen, lens cleaners, sensor cleaner, chamois, neoprene pouches, towel, misc. pouches, & garbage bag. Duplicate printed logistical info, photocopy passport & spare reading glasses.

Inside checked luggage is a Kindle, flex-fill, tripod, remote shutter release w/2 sets of batts, a OTS run bag, a dry bag, another backpack, AC adapters, Swiss Army knife, spare sunglasses, head/sweat bands, 1 more pair of reading glasses & more cliff bars. Since American Airlines only has 1 flight a day to Cienfuegos from Miami I am putting faith in St. Christopher to get my luggage to Cuba with me.

Just before the end of my career I reached 1 million actual miles with American Airlines. To many on the crews I worked with this is amateur status. Working on remotes with TV gear & traveling to sporting events gave me a lot of experience & insight into the priority of packing. The blending of available space, necessity & redundancy is critical to being prepared…a skill I began learning in Boy Scoutsl

Once in Cuba I will reconfigure bags as the days unfold. I will be curious when I return to see what gear I wish I would have had and also what gear I should have left at home. Redundancy is important on key components & I think I’m covered. Fingers crossed. The weak link is camera memory cards, which I will not be backing up. I have never had any issues & offer respectful wishes to Mnemosyne to watch over my cards.

No laptop. A few of my reasons for excluding it are logistical…more electronics, more cables, another device to worry about keeping charged & poor/no Internet. Also, I would rather spend time with people not a laptop & be “Off The Grid”. Also no Terrible Towel.

Why the Kindle? In addition to logistical info docs, I’m loading it with images from my library for a cultural Show & Tell. I believe a core motivation of all photogs is to share your images. I also hope this will be a path to engage Cubans I meet.

I will start sharing on this blog images & stories from this trip after Valentines Day!

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