Show us your travel rig.

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by JamieW, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 25, 2013
    For those of you who travel with multiple lights, how do you manage your equipment?

    I had a shoot at a client's office last week, and when I got there I learned a few things.

    1) The parking lot wasn't very close to the building.
    2) The stairs visited 4 zip codes before reaching their destination.
    3) The 437 bags of camera and lighting gear I loaded into the Jeep was probably not my best idea to date.

    By the time I had gotten all of the gear to it's destination and set up, I had lost 4 pant sizes.

    I came home and made some modifications. Here's the new setup:


    The tube shaped bag houses two light stands and two collapsible diffusers. The Beauty Dishes are staying in the studio unless I know for a fact I need them from now on. The backpack is my camera gear, and the yellow case is a Storm Case i2700 which houses two Alien Bees, a Vagabond Lithium Mini, spare battery, and some power cables. It has wheels and a handle, so I can just strap the stands and backpack to the i2700 and tote it behind me without having to carry anything from now on.

    I'm considering getting the Pelican 1654 soon, and two Einstein lights. The Pelican will hold 4 lights, 2 vagabonds, and my camera gear eliminating the need for the backpack entirely.

    I'll probably order new padded dividers for the i2700 when I do so I can set that up for a smaller travel kit with hotshoe flashes, cameras, lenses, etc. The i2700 travels in an overhead compartment on a plane where the 1654 won't.

    I'm curious what other people are doing.
  2. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 25, 2013
    Here's the inside of someone else's Pelican 1654 with 3 lights and some other equipment. I'd organize mine a big differently, but it would allow me to leave the backpack at home. I could squeeze my Mirrorless Mover bag inside for those times when I want to leave the Pelican case behind and just travel light.
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Hah, I thought this was going to be a thread about travel photography setups :tongue:

    I'm all speedlights at the moment so not sure I can help with this exact topic, but I'll throw it out there anyway and some if it might be useful.

    I haven't had occasion to use it yet, but in looking for easier ways to carry a couple light stands, reflectors, softboxes, etc. it suddenly occurred to me that I could repurpose an acoustic guitar gig bag. Fits light stands, boom arm and reflectors quite nicely, and I already had it laying around. :thumbup:

    Other than that, for location shoots I have a rolling case (JLab Pro Rolling Spinner) which carries my camera, lenses, and assorted odds and ends. I've also got a Tenba messenger now which has the velcro strap on the back so it can be slipped over the handle of a rolling case. I can add that to carry more lighting gear or extras that don't fit in the main roller bag.
  4. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    don't do any travel I can't do in a car :) I tend to change my kit up a bit still depending on needs often taking out a few things or example doing head shots do I need a stool also so I need background kit and more stands and lights then doing a portrait at a park kinda thing
    weddings I end up with one large pelican and stand bag

    when i did commercial work I shot on site doing architecture and resort work often a SUV full of gear my larger cases had wheels and I also had a hand truck and light stand bags
    pic is some gear changing up a few things before a recent job playing around with some of my stuff that silver case you see is the smallest of silver ones I have total 6 2 small 2 medium 2 large these days down to just 2 of the sliver cases and going to get rid of more gear
    also multiple tripods for laptop tethered gear etc..

    I have 4 larger photogenic lights left I love still but I am getting out of the need for them so going to sell them off soon that silver case has 2 photogenics (second case is duplicate 2 more lights etc..) and reflectors grids extension cords and stuff for 2 lights
    the silver storm case was my M4/3 setup and the smaller pelican near the light stand is my FF gear and the larger pelican is my standard remote light kit cheetahs and misc support gear I don't need all the time
    I have some bogen stands on wheels and also some of the stacker stands that stack together :) 4 of those and love em great stands and pack super small the C-Stand in the pic is my fav stand the dive weights I use for stands and just throw the zip tie over the stand and adds enough weight for lighter lights to have stability like a speed light or cheetah with no heavy wind easy to move they do not slip off the stand in use etc..
    what you don't see stand bags or background bags and some misc stuff like all the stands or modifier bags etc..

    with lots of soft boxes and other things my goal for moving forward again I am out of commercial stuff pretty much and just doing portraits etc.. so needs have changed my favorite modifier is a Elinchrom octal I love the light and versatility so don't want to loose light quality and will use it for portraits
    sold off my beauty dish gear etc..

    things I like to have with are of course extra clips cinefoil gaff tape cords light meter change of clothes etc.. so going to make a bag for support junk to keep in the car still

    I do like those nice quality folding hand trucks you can get at costco and places !!! very very handy

    so future is 3 bogen stacker stands 2 westcott apollo (new ones with fiberglass ribs) and grids 60 inch soft lighter 19 soft beauty dish and my deep octal all inside a stand bag and my C-Stand in the car in case wind picks up

    also dumping all my older speedlights for the new cheetah V850 or whatever they are called :) no more AA management and no more extra 8 AA power pack etc.. dumping my phottix triggers so my future will be one stand bag with the stands modifiers a sling bag for my camera and on camera flash units and either pelican or another soft bag for my cheetah 360 lights and 2 more V850 a extra bag for extra junk
    stil have a background bag stands and backdrops and stuff
    wanting for portable one of those westcott X setups have a few friends who use them and like them
    for full size I use the stretch westcott stuff and like them since easy to pull taught no wrinkles

    still not sure I will keep this setup
    carry wise to site I am looking more at a large Kata rolling organizer and keep my stands and modifiers and lights in that then just drop in my sling bag with my camera
    keep my stand bags and modifier bags and then drop it and soft sling of my camera and soft of my cheetah lights and extra bag into one of these

    I hate going into a clients home with to much going on so leaning more toward the kata bag ! again I could put all my stands modifiers lights and even just have my camera bag with me doing head shots or something I could bring it and my background kit and my bag without to much trouble ?

    things like reflectors and reflector holders and stange things I use at times avenger grip gear flags gobos etc.. all took up room most I don't use anymore
    soem grip I still use avenger drop pins or E700 drop I love for booming etc.. all are heavy is my main issue :) and bulky but find worth it on the job

    I hear ya though gear management can be a major pain

    when I go to weddings I use pelican cases and padlock them with a cable to DJ stand when I do other work say event work I use a belt bag system to be %100 portable and make sure I get a place I can lock up my gear at the event safely again hard cases

  5. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
  6. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 25, 2013
    Funny story. I tried to sign up after you sent me the link and it told me I was already a member. I restored my password. Turns out I've been a member there since 2006. It's probably been just as long since I had visited. I've been lurking there for a few days now, but I try not to get wrapped up in too many forums. It keeps me from getting my work done. :)

    Here's a thread I posted in about 8 years ago, still talking about lighting. It's kind of like a time capsule. (I'm Fubuki).

    That KATA bag is pretty nice, but I feel like I could make something better for a lot less money.

    I've been toying with the idea of building my own cases. I've got a wood shop in my garage, and I'm a certified welder. It gives me a few options, but I fear the wood would be heavy and I don't have a TIG welder any more for working with aluminum. Definitely wouldn't want to make it out of steel.

    How cool would it be though to show up with something like the old harp ship's trunks, only much smaller and lighter, and tailor made for my needs (and with wheels and handles)?

    And this is about $120 worth of metal.

    I have a buddy that owns a sheet metal fab shop with a CNC Laser cutter and a 10' CNC metal break. I might have to fire up SolidWorks and see if I could create something that would have any demand. If I can sell enough to make it worth my time I might make a few of them.
  7. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    if you were like me been on for over ten years its just forum overload :) to many forums :)hahahahah

    only reason I like soft for client homes is bumping a wall or furniture or coming in the door :) while I am insane careful it can happen :)

    since I used to shoot 5 million plus dollar homes about 2-3x a week I would bring everything to the door and lay a carpet over the threshold if it had a wood threshold most were some kinda stone though :) once inside I even had my in home shoes ;)

    can say anything I had on wheels I would use a cart to the door then bring inside and use the wheels to move once inside but the wheels never hit the ground outside ? again I did Arch work on a pretty high level so was insane careful about the homes

    but again for other stuff did not matter as much :)

    yeah wood would be cool but to heavy :) even my pelicans get heavy feeling once I hit a set of stairs :) hahahahaha

    these days I would wheel in something and not worry about the floor as much my luck will be some tiny stone get caught in a wheel then nice wood floors as I slide my case by accident and scratch :) paranoid sometimes I am :) ahhaahhaha

    that aluminum case is cool :) I have something like it that river rafters use for kitchen stuff for our off roading kitchen setup :) nice set of wheels on that could be cool and lighter than a pelican :)
  8. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 25, 2013
    Your argument for a soft case makes a lot of sense. $500 caused a bit of shell shock though. I may warm up to it though. I love the idea of carrying the stands and diffusers in the bag with the lights and camera gear. Wish I could see one in person.
  9. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    I know some generic cases are cheaper ? kata are nice though and well built :) also like bright interiors easier to see things that bury down in the depths :)

    ditto seeing it want to try my gear in and try it out first ? at least with prime I can return easy enough if not happy :) one thing I have done on a few things is get close to the size with cardboard and duct tape and see how things fit :)

    I am in such a wanting to downsize kick right now and maybe just simplify as much as downsize
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