Last time when I had a significant shoot in one of the leading opera- and ballet theatres in Europe, somebody mentioned that I have a very light kit compared to other photographers. At this point this person saw me carrying only my Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 70. Yes, due to my extensive air-travel – I value compact and disguise luggage for my equipment. Still, it fits all what I need in 90% of my use cases.
Airports and planes
Every photographer knows that he has to carry all his equipment with him in the cabin at all times. Basically you can board with two pieces of luggage. One carry-on “cabin-size luggage” and one “small personal luggage”. In my case the carry-on cabin luggage contains my usual travel kit of clothing, hygiene kit, shoes etc. My “small” personal bag is Urban Disguise 70, containing all that I need to shoot the performance. I try to avoid registered luggage at any cost. A week-long trip is always cabin-luggage only. Why? Reason #1 is that luggage gets delayed or sometimes even lost. I had a few cases when I had to shoot in a beautiful theatre wearing jeans and sneakers instead of my regular suit.
After the shoot
The performances end late and walking back to the hotel in the night adds the risk of getting possibly robbed. I feel much safer carrying my Urban Disguise instead of the obvious “special” photo gear backpack.
What is in my Urban Disguise 70?
Each shoot is different. On my last trip, I had a following kit:
- Sony A9 II body with Meike battery grip
- Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG DN OS (my money lens to shoot the performance)
- Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN (for the interior and exterior shots)
- Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN (for the reportage and backstage shooting)
- Samyang 75mm F1.8 FE (lightweight FF portrait lens)
- Godox V1s flash (for the backstage group shots and reportage)
- Sony NP-FZ100 batteries, 4pcs (two in the grip and two spares)
- Sony BC-QZ1 battery charger
- Sirui tall carbon monopod
- Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Pro 14 OLED (Ryzen7 16GB 1TB)
- Logitech M185 wireless mouse, mousepad
- Digitus DA-70333 USB-C card reader
- Lens blower and cleaning wipes
- 90W USB-C charger for the Yoga, mobile (not on the photo)
If you are a photographer who has plans to travel more in the future – it’s a good idea to think about weight and size of your equipment and downsize it to disguise hand luggage. It helps you during flights and adds security walking around in other cities.