What not to pack!

So, tomorrow I depart for Arizona to run a week long workshop on documentary video production. It’s monsoon season in Arizona so thunderstorms are an almost daily occurrence and these will be the backdrop to the workshop.  Amongst the kit need to run the workshop is the main camera, a Sony FS700, 4 lenses including that lovely Zunow, vinten tripod and a Canon 550D DSLR with special lighting trigger. I’m also taking a small motion control head and an extra tripod for time-lapse sequences that will include star trails, sunsets and sun rises etc. Then there is the laptop for editing and batteries to power everything.

The problem of course is that I only have a limited baggage allowance. 2 bags at 23kg each plus a carry on bag. Now I have, would you believe it, managed to cram all of the above into my allocated bags. I’ve even managed to include a weeks worth of clothes (they make up much of the padding to protect my valuable gear. One thing to consider when packing for travel is the weight of the cases themselves. A typical large pelicase or similar can weigh in at 6 or 7kg before you’ve even put anything in it. A similarly sized samsonite suitcase costs less to buy, weighs a lot less and doesn’t shout “valuable.. steal me”. For tripods a larger suitcase will often take a standard set of ENG legs diagonally across the interior or a roll along large sports bag will take a set of legs wrapped in your clothes and then the head can go in your main suitcase.

After packing all the essential I found I had a couple of kilos to spare so I’ve also included an NEX5N with a time-lapse controller and a few extra batteries. Out in the USA we will be joined by another instructor with an F3 and more kit, so between us we should be well sorted for a great workshop.

It’s not too late to join us if your interested in learning how to shoot storms, lightning, starscapes and time-lapse as well as many other documentary production techniques.Use the contact for if your tempted.

I’ll be blogging as often as possible from Arizona either here or on my Facebook page so do check back to see how we get on. Should be fun!

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