Basically when traveling, my light gear consists of the a limited number of key components, that to me, are essential if I want to have a minimum level of options to cover many potential situations. I try to bring what is good for me for either outdoor or indoor shooting. Below in italics, is a rough list of items that I carry on trips. I must say that if I am shooting a large and elaborate project, I will then, without a doubt, locally rent more gear, as needed. OK - This may be boring for the non-photographers but it may be interesting to see how much goes into even the simplest photo trips.
Light Travel Gear List:
(1) Lowepro mid size trekker backpack, (1) Nikon D700 body, (1) Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 Zoom or Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5/5.6, (1) Nikon 50mm f1.8, (1) Nikon SB900 Strobe, (2) Nikon SB600 Strobes, (3) elinchrom skyport remotes receivers, (1) elinchrom skyport transmitter, (12) rechargeable AA batteries, (2) light stands, (1) Tripod or Monopod, (2) extra sets of camera batteries and the corresponding charger, (1) large Multipurpose Reflector/Diffuser, Hotshoe connectors for the SB600s and elinchrom receivers, assorted cables and plugs, download interface cable for computer, model release forms, assorted lens and strobe filters (polarizers, color, graduated neutral density, CYO, etc.). etc.
So, when I travel "out of my local area" (within 200 miles radius or so) I will generally try to only take light gear as per the list above. For a larger paid project I will possibly bring a large "ThinkTank" bag with a second camera body and more choices of lenses depending on the project, other bags with stands and thinks I cannot rent. And boy, things get pretty heavy at that point! :-)
The nice thing about a smaller backpack is that it translates into less weight and comfort especially when you have to carry it around airports. But this is nothing compared to traveling with an older medium format camera and it's gear. Something like a Mamiya R67 and a set of lenses.
In future blogs I will touch on Medium Format equipment. But as a tease, I'm including a Polaroid photo below from a medium format camera. In this photo the model is a chicken. And she did not want to sign a TFP Model Release!
Keeping it real!