In the Bag: Garrett Cortese
Being a photographer I am often asked what I shoot with or what I take with me on big trips, and I was recently asked what exactly was in my camera bag right now. Everything I travel and shoot with varies from assignment to assignment, but I figured I’d dump everything in my camera bag out and let you see what I am most often using on a day-to-day basis. I tried my best to lay it out in that über trendy organized way and shoot it straight from above, just in the hopes that some hipster/tech blog picks up on it and will repost it for me…
These are the primary contents of my daily camera bag, a ThinkTank Airport International rolling case.
Canon 5D Mark III (x2): I’ve been using the 5D Mark III cameras since they were released and they are surprisingly good at shooting wakeboarding. The autofocus is quick and consistent. I really like the smaller size, too, it makes traveling with and carrying equipment much easier.
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L: I use this wide angle zoom for everything, from lifestyle and portraits to action. It is also the lens I use when shooting from the water with a water housing.
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L: I like shooting wide open at f/1.2 with this lens. It’s great for portraits and lifestyle stuff, but I’ll also use it for action from time-to-time.
Canon 135mm f/2.0 L: this is my favorite lens in my bag. I picked it up a couple years ago and I use it all the time. It’s got enough reach to shoot action from a chase boat, but it is also a fantastic portrait and lifestyle lens. Being able to shoot at f/2.0 is awesome for killing the background of an image, and in my opinion this is the best lens in the Canon lineup for the money (you can find them used in great condition for ~$750-800, which for an L series lens is an unbelievable deal).
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II: the 70-200 is the workhorse of all types of photographers, especially sports/action shooters. You will most often see it being used from a chase boat for wake shoots, but it’s so versatile it can be used almost anywhere.
Canon 300mm f/4.0 L IS: I use the 300 when I need a little extra reach or want to try something different. Often times I’m using this lens to cover events like Wake Park Triple Crown contests. It’s not as sharp or fast as the 70-200, but for the price it is a great lens, and the f/4.0 size is easy to travel with.
Canon 1.4x II extender: In case the 70-200 or 300mm lenses don’t have enough reach, I can use this extender to give me a little more. It’s saved me on several occasions, especially when shooting at cable parks and obstacles are far from shore or a chase vehicle isn’t available.
Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye: every action sports photographer needs a fisheye lens…
ThinkTank Pixel Pocket Rocket: memory card holder with all my extra cards
Canon TC-80N3 Timer Remote: this remote lets me do long exposures, time lapses and a bunch of other stuff when my camera is on a tripod.
Leatherman Fuse: Leatherman tools are awesome; they make you feel like MacGyver, and that’s never a bad thing
Canon battery charger + extra batteries
SanDisk SD card reader
Business cards: you never know when you might have to shake some hands or kiss some babies
GoPuck portable charger: for when your GoPro and iPhone need some extra juice
Pocket Wizard Plus II transceiver (x3): I use these to remotely trigger my flashes or studio strobes
Canon remote cable: This extension cable plugs into one of the Pocket Wizards and allows me to mount my camera to a monopod and fire it. Now everybody just puts a GoPro on a stick, but I’m old school and still like using my camera.
Canon 580 EX II flash (x2): sometimes I can’t travel with my studio lights, but these two Canon flashes work great when needed
Clear Eyes: I was wondering where this was the other day… turns out it was buried in my camera bag
Spare change: a couple bucks in spare change can come in really handy sometimes
The other bag I regularly use and travel with is a backpack for my laptop and some extra things. A lot of these are what I consider travel essentials, especially on long, international trips.
MacBook Pro 15″: it’s hard to be a photographer and editor of a magazine without a laptop. This guy gets the job done
Lexar FireWire 800 card reader: you gotta get your photos into your computer…
WD MyPassport HD: this 2TB hard drive is my primary backup for storing photos and files while on the road
Lacie Rugged Thunderbolt HD: this 2TB drive is my secondary backup for photos. Always have multiple backups of your work, because if you only have it stored on one drive and it goes down you’re screwed
GoPro Hero 4 (x2): these bad boys are great for anything and super versatile, but you probably already know that
GoPro Handler: The Handler is a floating handle mount
GoPro Gooseneck: The Gooseneck is a flexible arm mount great for twisting a GoPro into a spot and having it stay securely
GoPro Remote + accessories: I keep a bag with a variety of sticky mounts, screw locks, a floaty Backdoor, and other GoPro necessities. Some of the most important are the dual USB wall mount and auto chargers, as well as the dual battery charger
GoPole Arm: the Arm is an extension from GoPole that comes in really handy when you need a little extra reach and perspective from your shooting angle
Mophie Juice Pack Helium: this case gives my iPhone extra life, which can be daily if I’m out shooting for an extended period of time
Polaroid 300 + extra film: Who needs Instagram when you can have instant photos in hand? The Polaroid 300 is a ton of fun to have around, especially for social shenanigans
USB game controller: I have Nintendo and Super Nintendo emulators on my laptop. Why? Because if you grew up in the 80’s + 90’s like me there is nothing better than playing some Super Mario Bros, Punch Out, Contra, Donkey Kong Country, or Super Mario Kart. These are a lifesaver on long flights and a hilarious form of entertainment with riders when there is some downtime on trips
Kicker Vapor headphones: A good pair of headphones are a necessity for any trip, and the Vapors are my favorite for both audio quality and comfort. Plus they fold up so they are easier to travel with. On top of all that they’re also iPhone compatible, which is nice