Packing for 3-Month HDSLR Shoot – Too Much or Too Little?

When I embarked on my 3-month journey to create a documentary Opening Our Eyes, I posted a blog entry about what I was packing. http://tiny.cc/7pc9f

I received quite a few comments – publicly posted and otherwise and many people remarked that I was taking too much. After one month into this sojourn, I thought perhaps an update would be in order.

The main verdict is – my hunches were pretty much on target and I didn’t over pack. Sure it’s a lot to carry – but there are two of us and it all fits into two medium sized photo backpacks. I have used all the lenses that I brought except my old Nikon fixed lenses that I planned to use with the converter. Those I could have left behind – but the trip is not over yet so I’ll have to wait on that determination.

Bringing two camera bodies is a must if only from a back up point of view but when shooting stills as well as video, it’s a lot faster to have one dedicated for video and one for stills, especially when shooting with the Zacuto Z-Finder and rig.

And bringing two laptops has proven to be a very smart move. I had recently purchased a new Mac laptop with the latest operating system and there have been numerous times when I could not connect with the Internet – but the older laptop (2 years old) has had no problems. That and with limited Internet time, when we are able to get online, having two computers has saved a lot of arguments over computer time between my daughter and myself. We take full advantage in the airline club lounges to upload items and check email while waiting for flights. I have also had to rely on my extra laptop battery for the older Mac as the original battery was no longer holding a charge for more than an hour.

My audio equipment is sufficient and I am constantly switching back and forth between capturing my audio directly to the camera cards with the JuicedLink DT454 and separately with the H4n Zoom. One item I do not have that I really need is a male-to-male XLR cord. I found out that I couldn’t use my wireless set with either the JuicedLink or the Zoom because they both need male ends and I only have male to female XLR cords. I keep thinking there must be a solution that I’m overlooking so if someone has any thoughts – please let me know.

The small Matthews boom stand rig that I put together is terrific. It was meant to be used for table top studio shooting but for me it is perfect because it breaks down into multiple pieces, is light weight and easy to use.

I’m backing everything up onto two hard drives and I have just now used up the first two (500 G) drives. That leaves me with 6 more drives which is just about perfect depending on how much I will shoot.

Lastly, my iPod has helped with my sanity on these long flights and layovers and my Blackberry Tour phone has worked everywhere and it simply amazes me. Many times it has been our only connection to home. So I have to give kudos to Verizon and their global service. I’m truly impressed. Still a lot of remote places to go – so we’ll see how well it does as we move on.

I stop and think about the equipment we are carrying and the new technology and how this would not have been possible just 5 years ago. It’s an amazing time we live in and I’m taking full advantage of it. Can’t wait to see what the future will bring.

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One thought on “Packing for 3-Month HDSLR Shoot – Too Much or Too Little?

  1. Mark Green June 25, 2010 / 8:39 pm

    Man, my little trip down here to central Colombia for 5 days doing an industrial seems so…. easy! good luck the rest of the way.

    Your friend,

    Mark

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