In My Bag, The Killers' Asia Tour Edition

It's been a few years since I've blogged. With the exception of The Killers' section below, it's been even longer since I've updated my website. Half my brain thinks this will kickstart my blogging career. The other half thinks this will be 1 of 3 posts over the next 18 months and it's just a way to procrastinate packing.

And that leads us to why the hell my gear is spread out across my coffee table. It wasn't to take this stupid flatlay. It was to pull out all my shit and get it organized, bc sometimes, well, what I bring to a gig doesn't always return home with me. (As an aside, am I the only one that notices when those lumbersexual stores (that's what we're calling them, right) of the world do these kind of shots, they always include an ax? Like who carries an ax? You know the only camping those dudes do is at Coachella, and that's actually called glamping guys. Rant over). 

So this is what's in my camera bags. Plural. I use a Lowepro Fastback 250 backpack that carries my bare essentials (2 DSLR's, 2 lenses, flash, batteries, cards, card reader, computers) I also use a ThinkTank Airport Roller. This has my not as essentials, and I usually check this. It's filled with film, audio gear, cables, backup batteries, some film cameras, and the endless little pieces of gear that I rarely use but could single handedly take down an entire photo shoot.

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Disclaimer - I like to travel light. I am not a gear guy. I believe gear is not important. However, I believe more that it is not important till you can't accomplish what you're trying to accomplish. So while traveling the world, I do travel with more than I'd like to. Some things won't leave my bag. Some things I'll use everyday. 

A. Manfrotto Be Free tripod - I don't use this much, but occasionally I'll use it to lock a camera down if I'm shooting video. This disappeared (lost) on a tour bus one day, only to be found on another tour bus 5 months later, so good to have you back tripod. It's small and light and "good enough."

B. Polaroid 600 film (color and bw), Fuji Instax wide film (color and bw), Fuji Superia 400, and Kodak TriX 400. It's film, there's more where they came from. Not much else to report here.

C. Nikon D4s - 1 of 2 DSLR workhorses. I started with Nikon, I still use Nikon. It does the trick, great for action, super fast auto focus, great in low light. And shoots a pretty decent video file.

D. Nikon D4 - Same as above, just a tad older, and doesn't shoot HD at 60fps. It's a few years old, so I let it slide. 

E. Nikon 70-200 VRII 2.8 - Very much the workhorse for live shows lately. The Killers typically play huge stages, so unless I'm on stage and very close, this is the lens I use 75% of the time. Also a great portrait lens.

F. Nikon 24-70 2.8 - Sharp, fast, the lens I use the second most for shows. It's big and heavy, so I don't like carrying it around too much unless I need to. I've been deferring to some of the other cameras for the walking around and backstage photos bc it's just more camera than I need most of the time.

G. Lomo Instant Wide - Alex Cameron turned me on to this instant camera. Just got it, it's slightly overpriced, but I like that you have some control over exposure and focus, and you can easily shoot double exposures. The build seems weak, especially the way I treat gear. So stand by for the full review. 

 Photo by me, pulled from Alex's Instagram -  https://www.instagram.com/alkcm/

Photo by me, pulled from Alex's Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/alkcm/

G. Polaroid 600 - Yup I labeled two G's. This is probably from the early 80's, and I've been using this on tour for the past 6 months. Pretty good results, it's a Polaroid, you get what you get and deal with it. It's fun, and rugged. Like me.

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I.  Fuji Flash - This came with the Fuji XT-2, it's tiny and awesome. I wish this worked on my Nikons. 

 Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant with Brandon Flowers of The Killers.

Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant with Brandon Flowers of The Killers.

J. Fuji 27mm 2.8 - Tiny pancake lens, I got this specifically for the size to shoot backstage at Jimmy Kimmel without raising any eyebrows. It's a little slow and quirky. But good for candids.

K. Fuji XT-2 w/18mm 2.0 - I love this camera, particularly for it's unobtrusive nature. It's so small (and affordable) and produces a nice image. I use this primarily backstage, and as a walk around camera. It also looks cool. Dig this lens, it's kind of wide, but great for small spaces. And you can change the F stop on the lens barrel which I love. And F2.0!

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L. Hoodman LCD Loupe - I had a great Zacuto LCD magnifier that I use when shooting video. The Hoodman is 1/3 the price, and for a reason. Now that I got myself a pair of glasses I don't need this as much, but it's great for shooting video in the bright sun when seeing your LCD is problematic.

M. Zoom H4N - I'll throw this down if the band are practicing a song backstage, and plug in to the soundboard to get recordings of soundcheck and the show. You don't have to work in sound to know you're getting shit audio from a hotshoe mounted or onboard mic. Never know when you'll need that clean audio.

N. Sennheiser MKE400 - Hotshoe mounted mic, it's fine. The lack of indicator lights and on/off switch drive me crazy. I basically go through two batteries every time I use this thing. There's better out there.

O. Nikon SB 800 - Was once flagship flash, like 5 years ago. It's makes a bright light when you click the button. Nothing much more to report.

P. Sony Wireless Lavs - I asked a sound friend about good lavs. He had an extra set. I bought them from him. This is why I hire sound people. My knowledge basically ends at don't let your levels peak. 

Q. Canon Sureshot Multi Tele 35mm - This shitty little camera can shoot in full frame, or as half frames, giving you 72 photos on a 36 exposure roll. It also has two lenses built in (a 35mm and a 60mm I think). I'm going to do something with all the photos I've been shooting with this thing bc the photos look terribly awesome. 

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R. Pocketwizard Plus III - Remote triggers for the lights I don't bring on tour. I do use these with my Nikon speedlight for off camera flash. And shoot into (or through) a not pictured umbrella.

S. Hasselbad 500 - First time bringing this out on the road. It's big, clunky, slow, fully manual, and takes absolutely beautiful photos. I hope this does not fall into the never leaves my bag category.

T. Manfrotto MVM500M Video Head - Nice compact video head, I mostly use this on the monopod on the road. Fluid and stable. Not much more you want from a video head.

U. Manfrotto MVMXPRO500US Monopod - I use this primarily for one reason, and that's for "aerial" shots behind our drummer Ronnie. It's also good for stabilized but handheld looking shot when shooting video.

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If you've read this far, you either love photography, or are related to me. Bless you. Excited to share what we come up with in Asia, it will no doubt provide a great backdrop for photos. Maybe even recreate some of these - 

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