Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vacation Traveling Light Kit

Traveling Light Kit_001After completing the last article I started to wonder what stuff could I take with me during summer or short vacation periods without having to carry too much stuff around and also because airline companies are not too much photographer's friendly.

I decided it was time to gather a setup that all of you could already have and with just a couple of simple items you can get those great summer photos improved and with great of camera lighting.

First goes the setup shot of all the gear.

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Since all of this shots were made with my small Canon Powershot G6 the settings were ISO 100, Tv 160 and Av 8.0. For light I used the Canon 220Ex and the stand was the Quick Lok microphone stand. Used the flash against a white wall of one of my rooms to create a BIG diffuse light like a huge softbox.


I assembled a good traveling kit and I think this would be my next week's kit to Croatia.

I usually travel a lot of my Manfrotto's tripod and sometimes the monopod so that's why they both are showed on the kit, you choose what you have.

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Westcott (2001) 43" Collapsible White Satin umbrella, the ultra light Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod (details here) or the Manfrotto 681B monopod, Manfrotto 486RC2 compact ball head, Manfrotto superclamp (035), Manfrotto umbrella stand adapter w/hot-shoe mount (026), Manfrotto Adapter (015) 1/4 TO 3/8, Manfrotto Adapter Spigot (119) 1/4 & 3/8. Universal short 16 mm spigot with double female thread 1/4” and 3/8, 2 Manfrotto Adapters Spigot (013) Universal 16 mm spigot with double male thread 1/4” and 3/8”, a Climbers hook (I think this is the name for it), I got mine at a Chinese store very cheap since it's aluminum stuff not for climbing and not very strong and... don't forget your Camera, Lenses, Pocket Wizards or Gadget Infinity Triggers and Velcro adjustable ties (not in the picture).

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Take a closer look at the adapter parts:

Manfrotto Adapter (015) 1/4 TO 3/8, Manfrotto Adapter Spigot (119) 1/4 & 3/8. Universal short 16 mm spigot with double female thread 1/4” and 3/8, 2 Manfrotto Adapters Spigot (013) Universal 16 mm spigot with double male thread 1/4” and 3/8” and a Climbers hook.

We will take a look at this later on in detail.

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This is the Manfrotto 486RC2 compact ball head with camera adapter, the usual :)

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This is were the camera adapter fits in.

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And the Manfrotto 486RC2 compact ball head attaches to the Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod or the Manfrotto 681B monopod like this.

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Let's begin like if you do not have, yet, the ball head. Just grab the Manfrotto Adapter (015) 1/4 TO 3/8 and screw it it to the Tripod or Monopod (My monopod has also a 3/8 spigot so it won't need this adapter, check yours first before you buy this).

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Now you can attach your Hot Shoe adapter to it so you can use your Pocket Wizards ;)

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Or you can attach your Gadget Infinity triggers.

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This is what it will look like, on the tripod and monopod, after mounting the flash onto the Gadget Infinities.

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Here are the same pictures but now on full size so you can get an idea of what they will look like.

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If you are using the Pocket Wizards here are the mounts of them using the Velcro adjustable ties.

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Do you remember that I mentioned them earlier but did not show any pictures? - So that's what they will be handy for.

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Mounted on the tripod with detail and a full version. The tripod is not full extended so it could be more visible the setup but it will get a good height.

Notice that on the full sized I attached the ball head to the tripod and the flash to the camera adapter.

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On this next 2 photos you can see why and where I use the Manfrotto Adapter Spigot (013) Universal 16 mm spigot with double male thread 1/4” and 3/8” this piece will be the support for holding the Hot Shoe or Gadget Infinity.

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Here you can see what I mean the adapter will go inside the hole in the Manfrotto superclamp (035). This way you can use it with your flash.

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Take a look at this baby... you can use it for macro shots of plants, objects, girls or to get that special light you cannot hold while taking the shot or when you do not have your personal assistant to do it for you (your wife, do not tell her that!!).

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I included this on this kit not as something you must really have but it's kind of a good tip for the monopod when you need to carry it around too much and you do not have hands for it.
You attach this to the monopod bracelet and now you can use this to attach it to the backpack, to your waist belt well I think you know what I mean... it's a hands free tip.

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Now lets see the last item so you can use the umbrella if you need it for that cool portrait of the cook chef or the cleaning maid that wants to be photographed.

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Here it is assembled to the tripod. I used the ball head so it could get a little higher.

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And here is the final look of it.

With this small kit you can travel light and can make your assignments look much more enjoyable than that on camera thing you are usually used to make.

My Gear in the Bags_010

Normally I would take my tripod or monopod, umbrella Manfrotto superclamp (035) and Manfrotto umbrella stand adapter w/hot-shoe mount (026) on the bilge luggage but the rest comes with me without any problem. I.E. Camera, Lens, Filters, Cleaning cloth and small accessories.

I also carry one Orange CTO and one Green filter to put on my flash since they have the Velcro on them and they are so portable but you can always carry the all pack of Lee filters with the adapter that could also fit into your bag without taking too much space and some more small stuff (see the picture above).

Hope this article could help you through summer since it's getting hotter and hotter each day and carrying a lot of gear would make your back and your head hurt.

Drink a lot of water and get those great pictures coming.

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