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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2011-10-14

IN THE BAG
Traveling Light in Afghanistan

By David Honl

Photo by Mobin Jamshady

Photo by Mobin Jamshady

David Honl (left) and his armed guard (right) walking with Afghan children in central Afghanistan.
As I ready for my third trip to Afghanistan this year, I reflect on how little equipment I carry, how well it's serves me, and how easy it's been on my bones and back.

Little things add up, like how amazingly light my MacBook Air is - half the weight of my nearly 5 pound 12" PowerBook back in 2006. My lighting kit has also been trimmed down, but still allows studio quality effect in a pinch. Here are the meat and bones of my traveling kit: - half the weight of my nearly 5 pound 12" PowerBook back in 2006. My lighting kit has also been trimmed down, but still allows studio quality effect in a pinch. Here are the meat and bones of my traveling kit:

Cameras and Lenses
Nikon D3S, D700 and CoolPix P7000 Nikkor 24-70 2.8, 50 1.4, 85, 70-200 2.8

Lighting
Nikon SB800 & SB900 Pocket Wizard Plus II 2 HonlPhoto traveller8 softboxes, 1/8 Speed Grid, and assorted filters

Workflow Hardware
11" MacBook Air (latest model) 2 G-Drive Slim 320gb drives 10 Lexar 32GB 600x CF cards Lexar USB 3.0 Reader

I run PhotoShop CS5, Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro X on the Air. All data (photos, video, etc.) are kept on the external drives, leaving the Air's drive streamlined for speed.

Photo by David Honl / ZUMA Press

Photo by David Honl / ZUMA Press

A makeshift studio portrait in Bamiyan Afghnaistan using 2 Nikon Speedlights.
Support
Induro CT014 carbon fiber tripod with MagicBall head Manfrotto 5001B light stand 2 Bogen Justin Clamps outfitted with frio cold shoes

Bags
Think Tank Photo ShapeShifter -as a carry-on for my cameras, lenses, and flashes Think Tank Photo Airport Addicted-as a carry-on for all my computer gear Think Tank Photo Airport Addicted-as checked baggage inside a large North Face Base Camp Duffel. Carries all my clothing, toiletries, as well as tripod and light stand gear. On my return trip I use the North Face to carry all the stuff I accumulate on my trips; i.e. rugs, jewelry, pottery, etc.

One of my favorite pieces of new gear are camera straps by BlackRapid. They attach to the tripod socket of my cameras and operate light a sling over your opposite shoulder, making it nearly impossible to slip off. And more importantly, they make shooting much more intuitive for me. I've definitely gained a few good pictures after using the BlackRapids.


Dave Honl is a freelance photographer based in Southern California and his work has appeared in major publications worldwide. Dave is also the creator the popular a line of speedlight modifiers that bear his name. You can see his work on his Sports Shooter member page: on his Sports Shooter member page: http://www.sportsshooter.com/members.html?id=4501 and at his personal website: http://davidhonl.photoshelter.com/; his products can be found at this site: http://www.honlphoto.com/.

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