Wednesday, 30 May 2007

A look inside my kit bags

The type of photography I do most of the time requires I be very mobile, able to take all of it on my back and walk a good distance, and be able to work away from mains power. I don't however want compromises. If I need perfect studio style light at the top of a hill, I want to have it!

Over a period of a couple of years, I've built up a camera and lighting setup which works pretty well for me. It's not complete yet, but funds don't stretch to the things I'd like to add. However, it is an extremely capable setup, given the mobility it allows.

So here's my two kit bags, and my tripod. You can see my camera (Canon 10D with Sigma 15-30 lens) is missing out the left kit bag (due to the fact I wanted to take the photo!)

Camera Bag

Here's a close up on my camera bag (which also contains three of my flashes for my lighting kit)

As with every photographer's bag, there are a lot of odds and ends kicking about in there, but here's pretty much the main stuff

Shown are (starting top left) a beanbag pod, tripod mount for Sigma 70-200 lens, CD case for gel filters, omni-bounce, home-made honeycomb style snoot, ST-E2 infra-red transmitter, 580EX flashgun, 2x 550EX flashguns, and then on the next lot down, a remote shutter release, Sigma 2x teleconverter (with bag above it), Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX lens, Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens and two clamp grips which can allow a flashgun to be clamped anywhere. Not shown are my Canon 10D and Sigma 15-30 lens which was used for taking the photos.

Here's a better closeup of the lenses and cable release.

Flashguns and lighting stuff

Here's the flashguns close up. You can also see a Sigma flashgun on the left, which I don't normally carry, but have available if I think I'll need an extra light, or I'm hooking a light up somewhere it could get broken or stolen (Sigma flashgun is cheaper than Canon ones).

In the CD case, I have gel filters for colour correction and also for just plain colourful images. I keep a daylight -> tungsten, tungsten -> daylight and daylight -> fluorescent set of filters for matching ambient lights. The rest are just colours for cool backgrounds and such like. Here's a colour blue one on a flashgun.

They just have velcro tabs stuck on them so they stick to my flashguns which have velcro round the flash

I have them ordered in the CD case, and labelled. It provides an easy way to keep them clean and flat, while being easy to get at them quickly.

Lighting stand bag and light modifiers

Here's a view of it open

And here's the contents

There are two foldable 5-in-1 reflector/diffusers at the top left, two reflector holders which go on a light stand at the left, two umbrellas with gold/white reversible covers, 1 large light stand, 2x small light stands and one Lastolite Umbrella Box.

Here's one of the reflectors out, with the silver side up

The gold/white reversible umbrellas

And last but not least, the rather terrific umbrella box. It gives much the light quality of a softbox, but with the advantages of an umbrella, making it useful to use with a flashgun.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to post all of this info. I'm finding it very useful.

Please would you tell me where you got your flashgun clamps? The Bogen Justin clamps are so expensive (for my budget).


n506 said...

Might not be any use to you if you're outside the UK, but I got them from a company called Maplin who has outlets all over the UK and a website online ( They sell for about £10. Real bargain compared to the Bogen ones.

Only thing is they're quite short, so they limit the movement of the flash. They also need to be tightened very hard to hold the flashes. Still, for the price, they're brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info

Could you tell me the brand of the CD Case (and where you got it) that carries the gels


n506 said...

It's just an unbranded CD case out of my local supermarket. There's nothing special about it. Just look for one which holds enough CDs to hold as many filters as you require.