Documentary Photography – Some kit I am taking for remote transition and editing

I am off down south to do some documentary photography on No New Nuclear protest and thought I would share my workflow and some of the kit I use in such situations.

When I travel; I like to travel light, so packing just the essentials is the way I like it, but I also need to think about backups, redundancy and resupply. There is nothing worse than going of to do some documentary photography and find your kit does not work! My Workflow and set up of gear is also useful for those who do photojournalism or reportage from the field

Protests can change rapidly in my experience, notably by the influence of the police forcing the hand of the protesters. The last thing I want to do is find my gear in all different places or trying to carry it with me including the kitchen sink and a compost toilet.

In addition to taking my Nikon DSLR, lenses, flash I also carry an external hard drive mainly the HyperDrive ColorSpace UDMA II that has a G shocked laptop hard drive in it of 500 megabytes. This allows me to back up my memory cards on the go as it has built in card readers and it is charged via a USB which means I am able to charge it up with my solar kit that I will discus later on. It does however copy about 250 megs of data on one charge.

I also use a SanDisk Eye-Fi 8GB Wireless Memory Card card in the camera, which means I can send the images direct from the camera via wifi access point, but often I am too remote from a cafe for this to happen although I could use a MiFi, that acts as a wifi point but uses the mobile 3G network.

However my workflow for images means I need to add captions and other IPTC data to the images before I stick them on the “wire” so my preferred way is to send the selected images (write protect) on the camera to my iPad. From there I open them in Filterstorm Pro and add the details that I need. It is also possible to edit the images if needed, but getting them correct in camera saves a lot of time. When I am done I can then send the images from Filterstorm via the built in FTP export, or email them direct to a picture desk.

The same can also be done via the iPhone, if you wanted a more compact kit, but my iPhone acts as a backup sending service in this instance and I do use the iPhone as a camera/backup, audio recorder and video tool as well, so it has enough to do as a tool.

To get good sound I use an IK Multimedia iRig iMic with some in ear headphones so I can monitor the sound quality. This is used with the FiRe 2 Field Recorder app from Audiofile Engineering. I have used the Zoom H2n Recorder , but using the iPad or iPhone, it is hard to get the audio onto the devices for editing

All my gear packs into a Newswear chest vest with some room to spare and I do carry a traditional notebook and pencil, lens cleaners, external power pack for the flash, and a Gary Fong Lightshpere etc.

For charging my iPhone, iPad and Hyperdrive I am using the Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme, which consists of a fold out solar panel and a battery. The solar panel can charge my iDevices direct, and the battery means I can also charge on the go or have power backup. The solar kit is rugged and waterproof and the battery will charge my iPad twice or my iPhone 6 times. The solar panel will also work when there is no sun, but at a reduced rate, normally to charge the battery it needs about 8 hours of sunlight and on a grey rainy day I found the battery gets about half full

For my camera battery I use the freeloader Pro with the cam caddy that fits my battery, but this only gives half a charge to the Nikon battery.

So for this I carry spare charged up AA battery’s which fit into the battery grip via the Nikon Nikon MB-D10 Battery Pack. If the wether is going to be very cold I’ll buy Lithium AA’s which still work at lower temperature.

Some of the apps I used for Reportage with the Smart Phone are 1st Video, FiRe, Luma (video with stabilising function) Filmic Pro, Capture, Blogsy ( that I am using now) Evernote, and 645 Pro as my main camera app on the iPhone

Both the iPhone and iPad are protected from wind, rain, dust etc with military grade/spec cases notably the Griffin Survivor cases that do the job well

As for my camping gear, that consists of a 45 L rucksack, with 3 season Mountain Equipment sleeping bag, inflatable mattress, Bivi bag, a one man Vango Mountain Marathon tent, a fleece pullover and waterproofs as well as a small cooker and first aid kit

If I am lucky (or can squash it all down) I can fit my gear and the chest vest in at the top of my rucksack. If not the chest vest (as the name implies) is worn on my chest and does not interfere with wearing a rucksack or vice versa

Although I use apple devices I am pretty sure this can be done with Android devices and there are probably similar if not compatible apps

Well that’s it for now, time to see if all my kit will squish down with the aid of my boot on top of it!

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