This is the third and final installment of my "What's In My Camera Bag" series. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Today's installment is about lighting, miscellaneous stuff, and stuff. Yup, I'm obviously going to win the Eloquent Photographer Blogger Of The Year award. Really, though, this post will showcase some lighting stuff, some miscellaneous little fun things, and links to stuff that I use and love but didn't photograph because there's only so much room in my living room where I did this shoot.
Jo Totes Missy Camera Bag. I realize that I haven't actually SHOWN my camera bag yet. This is a shame since I love my camera bag! Isn't it the cutest? It's pretty large and can house a small human. Seriously, I can carry a TON of stuff in it. Not all of my bodies/lenses at once but I can carry quite a lot. It also has a spot for a laptop. I use it when I travel and carry it on the plane to have my camera and laptop RIGHT NEXT TO ME.
Canon 600ex-rt and Canon 430ex II. Big mama and little Mama. Both are great. I much prefer to use my lighting off camera but both are also good on camera when necessary. Big mama has a longer range and more features (and a manual that needs Cliff Notes) and is heavyyyy. Little Mama is lighter and does a great job, just has fewer features. Bonus: manual much smaller!
Gary Fong Lightsphere and Sto-Fen Omnibounce. Flash diffusers. The Sto-Fen fits on the 430 ex II only. Honestly...I use these very rarely. If I do use flash on camera, I much prefer using a bounce card that throws some light forward and some up, or bouncing at an angle. These are good, though, if you're in a situation where you absolutely cannot bounce and will soften flash that is pointed forward. The difference between them is minimal. People rave about the Fong, but its performance is very similar to the Sto-Fen that's like 1/4 of its cost. I had rewards points that I used to get the Fong, so it cost me nothing. They do both offer very, very flat, even lighting,. Some people love that. I, a lover of shadows and dimension, don't seek it out, but these products still have their purpose in some situations.
All kinds of camera bag accessories! Yes, this photo is softer in the front because 85mm, last photo, I was tired, didn't close my aperture. Don't judge. Consider it a depth of field lesson! Starting with the back row, L-R, the accessories are as follows:
YN 622C flash trigger/receiver set. Used for triggering my flash off camera. Great set, you can change the flash settings from the camera body which is great when your flash is in a tree. Or something. What? It's happened. Also does ETTL for anyone who does want to use that for off camera flash.
Rogue flash gels. Both color correction and creative gels. For those times when you want to turn your cat pink?
Zeiss Lens Cleaning Fluid. This stuff is awesome. It's my favorite. It is SO good at cleaning lenses and I also use it for cleaning my glasses, my phone, my computer monitor...it rules. I have a microfiber cloth that I use it with that is not picture because it was in the wash at the time of this photo...microfiber cloths need to be clean!
Sekonic L-358 light meter. This has to be one of the best purchases I have ever made in regards to my photography. I use it every time I shoot with studio strobes and it makes getting the correct settings a very quick and painless process. It can do light ratios too. You can use it for natural light as well, though I never have. I got mine used; they don't make this model new anymore but I would still highly recommend it.
Rocket blower. For blowing particles off your lenses or your camera's mirror. Never use canned air!
Aputure Trigmaster trigger/receiver set. This set is a pretty affordable way to control your flash off camera. You can use manual flash only with it, but this is fine with me because that's what I use. Yes, there is duct tape on the bottom of the receiver. Be jealous.
Canon RC-6 remote shutter release. You can fire the shutter from far away. You can even autofocus with it. I've tried the knockoff versions of this and the Canon always wins.
SD cards. I've got more than pictured here. I have mostly SanDisk ones, but a couple of others. Even though my Mark III can shoot CF, I've always used SD cards because I have them from all my other bodies which use SD.
Lenspen. Handy for cleaning lenses, though I like the Zeiss fluid better. I do like the soft brush at the end of the LensPen, though.
Extra camera batteries. Both of my camera bodies use the same battery type, which is helpful. Always have extras. Always.
Expodisc. I have the neutral type of the original Expodisc; the new version is less expensive (good) but you can only find certain filter thread sizes. It's for setting white balance; I use Kelvin a lot but this is very good in tricky/mixed lighting situations.
Other things that are not pictured and do not actually fit in my bag, but which I use and love:
Alien Bees B800 and B400 strobes. These are my studio lights. I use them together, or separately, or with my flashes...all kinds of fun lighting combos. I also can use the B800 outside. I'm a lighting modifier junkie and may have every modifier known to man.
Savage seamless backdrop paper. I love Savage paper. I wish I could have it in All The Colors. I prefer the 108" length when there's room but I can make do with the 54".
Avenger light stand on wheels and mini boom. I have a couple of light stands. This one is my favorite by far. It has wheels. It has brakes. The boom is extremely easy to use and is not likely to cause a beauty dish to fall on your head (not that this has ever happened to me with a cheap boom stand...nooooooo.) The stand itself is very solid. Good light stand. Yay.
Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AB tripod. Everyone will tell you to get a solid tripod, and they mean it. This one is not as pricy as a Manfrotto or the like but is fantastic. It held my Mark 3 and 35mm lens over a bathtub and I was not worried at ALL. Ball head and all the different angles the legs can be at and the center column add to the awesomeness.
5 in 1 reflector. Everyone should have one of these. I have this one. Affordable and extremely useful. Reflect light, block light, diffuse light...all for $17. Bounce a flash off it. Use it as a giant frisbee?
And with that we've come to the end of the What's In My Bag series. Hope you all enjoyed it...I love looking at what others use and love!