Now Gear This!

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Doorway, 9th Ave, NYC

It pretty much takes an act of God for me to buy new gear. It’s not that I don’t like shiny new things…who doesn’t?

But when you’re heading up a family with three kids, two dogs, one wife and everything that goes along with all that, I just take good hard looks at things before I make the purchase.

And then there comes a time when I just bite the trigger and pull the bullet (or something like that) and go on a spree.

2016 seems to be that spree.Earlier this year, I picked up the Canon 70D. So far, so good with that one. I’ve been really happy with it, especially the quality of the image files it gives me.

But then something happened recently that pushed some of my thinking into action: At my job, I got called on to plan out a multi-country, multi-location corporate photo shoot that includes Europe, the U.S. and Asia. And it all has to happen before the end of 2016.

That put  into overdrive something I had been thinking about for a few weeks. See, a  few weeks ago, I had a corporate shoot to do. Head shots of some executives, photos of them “interacting and discussing.” Environmental portraits.

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Outtake from said corporate shoot.

As I got ready for this shoot, I suddenly grew tired of the hodge-podge way I usually pull stuff together for shoots. A variety of bags that act as camera and gear bags, a collapsible step stool (I’m not the tallest dude), reflector, tripod, etc. Not to mention the laptop. I decided I needed a true camera …something. Bag, box, roller, whatever.

I know a lot of friends use ThinkTank, and they are unquestionably good. They are also pricey. If price were no object, I’d go there. I decided that what I wanted was a backpack. Something with multiple slots and had room for my at 14″ laptop. I didn’t want to spend more than $100. I put the question out to photo friends on Facebook and got some really good responses. And I looked into them all. I was ready to pull the trigger on a couple, but then started reading the reviews. Those are pretty insightful.

The one bag I really liked, due to form, functionality and look, fell flat in the reviews. Said the stitching was strong and it was ripping or falling apart after just a few weeks. In the end, after much deliberation, I purchased the Case Logic SLRC-206 Camera and Laptop Backpack.

So far, it looks pretty good.Here’s what it looks like (reflector in back), and most of what I’ll be taking, on this upcoming trip:

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And here’s what will be “in the bag”….

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I have high hopes for this bag. Let’s see what adventures we can go on together.

The next purchase I made was to replace a lost friend. A couple of months ago, I accidentally dropped my favorite little point-and-shoot, the Canon S100, into a full cup of water in the console of my truck.

It was a 1-in-a-million shot. Me and my boy Chase had just parked at the local farm to get some veggies. I reached over to the passenger seat to pick it up, and somehow lost my grip on it as I was bringing it over the console. PLUNK! Right into the cup of water. I quickly took the battery out, let it air dry (it was a hot day), even put it in a container of rice for a couple of days. I thought I had revived it…but no go.

The funny thing is, I really missed not having that little guy in my pocket. It does some things that even the big brother Canon and the little cousin Fuji don’t do. So, I searched around, found a good price, and bought another one. I think this is my fourth S series (I’ve also had the S95 and the S120). I like them, but they are a little fragile and I can be like a bull in a china closet (as my dad used to say when I was young).

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So I’m locked and loaded and ready now. Not much other gear I want or need.

While we’re on the subject of gear….

I was in New York on Thursday, first for a day-long conference on social media (part of my day job) and then to visit the PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Center. I haven’t been to PPE in a couple of years…last time was right before Hurricane Sandy hit.

But since I was already in town, I decided to hike over and see what I could see.

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As usual, it was loaded to the gills with gear, books, gear, people…and gear. Everyone walks around with their camera around their neck. Kinda looks silly, frankly.

I perused the stalls, saw Ami Vitale, Brad Trent, Peter Hurley, Jay Maisel,  Scott Kelby, and a few others. Best part was getting to spend a few minutes with my buddy Joe McNally and his lovely wife Annie (Joe was in kinda in the middle of a meeting but they were turning the lights down at 5 to get people to leave. He was nice enough to break away and say hello. We talk every few weeks, but it’s been a few years since I’ve seen him.

Luckily, I made it out of PPE without spending any money. But grabbed a couple of neat shots while in NYC…

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painted-lady_102016_dscf9318This was a set, and model, at PhotPlus Expo. Artist Alexa Meade paints sets..and people. Wild.

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Couple of happy New Yorkers

Oh, and about that travel upcoming: Belgium to Germany to Italy back to the U.S.It’s been a couple of years since I’d done any work travel. This will be a lot of running and gunning and long days, but it’ll be nice to be out and about.

Me and Flo (yeah, my little travel buddy, up there in the gear shot), and Gary Chapman leave Sunday.

I’ll be checking in the from the road. Follow on my Instagram, too, for more BTS goodies from these shoots.

Should be fun…stick around!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

 

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