What's In the Bag? What to Pack for Every Situation!

 Hello friends! A while back I made a post called Corporate Gear Bag Review. The purpose of that post was to share some lessons leaned about the gear you might need to rise to the occasion in a business environment. That got such a great response I decided to figure out what the minimal gear was for most situations! And HERE IT IS!
 What to Pack for Every Situation!
This may not fit the bill for Every situation really, but if you are leaving your house and want the ability to take a great photograph of anything, this is a manageable amount of gear to do most of it. It all fits in this Tenba backpack and weighs 11 lb. With this kit I can shoot casually or have a full session as long as a few things are in my favor. 

 Starting off, the Camera. The new Canon 6D with built in wifi and remote shooting capability. This choice was easy. I like previewing my images with my clients on the spot and this camera can sync with my phone. Immediate gratification. Also the shoot through app for the phone will trigger the 600 flashes, so you can be in the group photos WHILE TAKING THEM! Also it's a full frame sensor and focuses quick! Not to mention you can crank the ISO to 25,600. Not a typo. Check out that review HERE! The other element here is the 50mm 1.4 lens. That thing is awesome. Great contrast, color, and fast at 1.4. It's great for casual shooting to optimize light and the shallow depth of focus makes most portraits intimate
 On the other hand, sometimes people corner you and say "...you have a camera can you photograph this elephant in a dollhouse without showing the dollhouse?" And I say yes. I can do that. I have the 24-105. On the full frame sensor 24mm is pretty wide, coupled with the photo stitching options available there aren't many things you can't handle. It also has a decent telephoto at 105 and F4 that compresses backgrounds well and looks good. 
The other new piece of gear that allows for greater versatility is the Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter.
With the option of taking both of my available lights off camera and remote ETTL I can get creative on a budget. I could always use one of the 600s on camera while controlling the other, if I needed. That's versatility. 
Which brings me to the Canon 600EX-RT speed light. They're tight. This lighting system frees you up top shoot at speeds of up to 8000th of a second on the Mk3. No longer limited to 250th, or worse 5DmkII at 200th! Now I can get the sky balanced in my images while getting great lighting on my subject!
So where am I going to put them without a stand? This little bendable armature called a Gorilla Pod is surprisingly useful. If you can't get an assistant to hold one where you want, this is the next best thing! As long as there's a ledge or a indention this thing can keep your $500 flashes from plummeting you to bankruptcy!
This is the kind of  place you can put your light with a Joby Gorilla Pod
 In the yard this morning I hung one of my 600s from the dogwood and lit Terri's tulips below. 
 Here's how the light hit when the 600 was zoomed to 200mm. 
And then with the ambient light balanced in! Total control of the light! Accents exactly where I want them!
 Speaking of control. "Every situation" sometimes calls for more than just a snapshot of what literally happened. Sometimes you need color for boring places, or compensation for white balance issues! The top of my Tenba bag has this assortment of color treatments... just in case. From gelling all my speed lights to tungsten in a lightbulb factory, to painting with flashes I have it in this zipper.
I also developed some color panels that are Velcro for the 600s! 
So that's just the functional bits related to the image itself. What about all the other things you could need when running a business from a backpack? Well, here's what I carry! This stuff is jammed into every available zipper and pocket of this bag!
 One cool additional use for the bungee cord is that you can bungee the flash to an object like a tree or poll or anything. I've even used a scarf. There's replacement batteries for anything that might go dead and the handkerchiefs have a dual duty. At least one of them you keep to place anywhere you ask a lady to sit that might be dirty. The others can be used for the cheapest, lowest wind resistance diffuser ever!
So anywhere you are you can have a remote diffused key light.  
And you can create beautiful, well lit, photographs in very little time, in almost any place. I love the challenge and I hope this helps others shoot more cool stuff! 

Happy Shooting!

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