Digital Photography Toolkit–Hardware

So, for the professional photographer who works on location, here are hardware suggestions that can help avert a “photo disaster.”

  1. Plentiful supply of an assortment of batteries whether rechargeables or disposables. Radio slaves might use 9-volt batteries, triple or double As.
  2. Proprietary batteries for digital slrs are problematic and pricey but they tend to hold the longest charge. Some manufacturers have battery holders that allow you to pop in double A’s.

    The battery grip for the Canon 40D for instance accepts 2 proprietary Canon batteries or 8 double A’s.

    It is obvious that without power, you are “up the creek.” Everything you do depends on you having power whether it is ac (alternating current) or dc (direct current).

  3. A power inverter which plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter. Since the cigarette lighter is fast becoming an artifact in today’s car, you should put that “jack” to good use.
  4. Besides giving the ability to charge your batteries when driving, the inverter will also allow you to run small appliances like a laptop for on-location editing or power small appliances.

    Don’t forget a ample supply of fuses for your car.
    When there are blackouts, this inverter may be your only source of power to charge your various batteries.

  5. A portable battery powered dvd burner like the Delkin Burnaway which allows you to download images and clear your memory cards so you can continue shooting on location.
  6. A similar portable device like the JOBO Giga is a battery operated hard drive of varying capacity ranging from 200 GB to 80 GB.

    The Gig has slots for inserting your memory cards to allow you to download your images from your memory cards without the hassle of pulling out your laptop.

  7. Gaffer tape. Don’t mistaken this for duct tape.
  8. Gaffer is the same color but is matte and not shiny like duct tape. More importantly Gaffer tape leaves little or no residue and costs more.

  9. Large black fabric of at least 9′ x 6′. This “portable background” can be make any distracting background disappear when strategically draped.
  10. A gray card/white on the other side for setting a custom white balance when you’re caught in a room with mixed lighting.
  11. A light stand and at least a heavy duty clamp. The light stand in a jam can stand in as a tripod or when used with the clamp can hold in place a makeshift reflector or hold a portable flash unit off camera.
  12. Extension cords of varying lengths.