Sunday, January 25, 2009

My lighting kit

ATA sized rolling case, the Hardigg stormcase im2500. Waterproof, durable, and it's nice to be able to wheel it when I have my clothes on a bag on my back.

Open, it's filled with foam. The top is egg carton foam, the bottom is "pick and pluck" so you can customize it to your own shape. I keep my 1x1.2 meter silver/gold reflector in the lid, behind the top foam insert.

Closeup of all of it packed. I like briefcase style, rather than bags, because it's much easier to access everything, and also easy to place everything back where it goes. Everything can be accessed at any time in any order, or placed back in any order.

The contents laid out.

Canon 5D with 50mm 1.8 lens attached.
35mm 1.4 lens
85mm 1.8 lens
Spare canon battery for 5D
2x 580ex II
2x Skyport receivers
2x flashzebra screwlock skyport to pc-sync cables
Skyport transmitter
spare skyport transmitter battery
Honl honeycomb grid.
2x Manfrotto nano light stands
2x custom aluminum umbrella swivels from Germany. (these are tinier than any commercial umbrella stand, and the only way my kit fits in this case)
110cm silver umbrella
1x1.2 meter silver/gold reflector panel
16x AA 2900mh batteries. 8 inside the flashes, 4 loose, and 4 in the charger
Impact rapid charger
canon battery charger
stock flash tabletop stand (for placing the flash on the ground or a table.
3x CF cards (8 gb, 4 gb, 2, gb)
80 gb harddrive with built in CF slot (this lets me back up my memory cards without a computer, in the field, so that I have 2 copies of all image files)
lenspen (for cleaning the lenses of debris or fingerprint smudges)

I shoot all my photo shoots with this kit. I sometimes switch out the silver umbrella for a smaller one, or a white one. I can also cram both umbrellas in if I think I will need them. It's very convenient to have one case, and for it to be a hard roller. It frees you up while moving around, and gives you another arm to carry other things. Not having to worry what kind of ground you place it on is quite convenient too. It's carryon sized, so I don't have to check my camera equipment and risk it being stolen. I normally fly with a small sling bag of clothes, and this camera case. The sling I keep on my back and the case I roll. It was very inconvenient when I was using a camera bag still, carrying one bag on each shoulder was really tiring. The main thing that made me switch to a case, was the pain of pulling things out of a bag. I would need to make sure I brought them out in the right order, or search for things in a different area of the bag. With one compartment, and everything with it's own place, it's much more convenient.


  1. Wow, that’s some serious and heavy kit to carry around with you.

  2. Just caught up with this site. Excellent tutorials and example pics. Got a question about your gear post. The case looks like exactly what I've been looking for and your explanation of the contents gives a good indication or real life fitting etc. My question is what brand/make/model of umbrella are you using that fits in this case (x2?). We can't get the westcott double fold ones here in the UK so I'm really interested to know if there's an alternative that fits in such a relatively small space. Cheers and keep up the good work, very inspiring for us beginners.


  3. Sorry, they are Wescott double folds. The only other Umbrella that fits, is the tiny 60cm Alzo Digital umbrellas. I love the silver, because it works like a beauty dish, but it's a bit small if you want something super soft. The Wescott's are 110cm. Maybe try Ebay for generic double folds from china? they normally ship anywhere.

  4. I’m so impressed with your tutorials. It’s obvious that you’re good at your craft. What caught me is your issue about the bag vs. case. It’s really difficult to keep the gadgets on place. I’m glad that you switched. The cases would not only give convenience, but it would also protect your sensitive gadgets from physical damage due to friction.

    Mana Smoot

  5. Thanks Mana. This is a bit older post of mine, but I still use this case. I find it very versatile, though I have switched to the velcro padded inserts from the tear-apart foam.