DON'T MISS: Italian conceptual portrait photographer Sara Lando coming to US for two weekends of workshops in August.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Travel, Light

UPDATE: Corrects backpack, adds links to backpack and duffel.
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I have logged a lot of air miles over the last few years, and am getting ready to pile on a few more en route to Dubai this week.

On of the biggest advantages of being speedlight-based is being able to avoid the excess-baggage mafia. Given that I usually travel with computer, camera gear, lighting gear (including stands, etc.) in addition to the typical clothing stuff, I thought I would do a quick post on what and how I pack.
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Two In the Belly

First off, I always strive to get all of my clothing/personal items into a medium-sized L.L. Bean White Mountain backpack. I can get a ton of stuff in there, and it doesn't take any hands to schlep it. That bag always gets checked.

The second checked bag is an L.L. Bean roller duffel. It is modestly sized but can really swell up to handle extra clothing and/or souvies for the kids. That bag takes my light stands, umbrellas, grip, mods, etc. Nothing in the soft roller is very fragile. And more important, if it gets lost there is nothing in there that I cannot replace quickly in any medium-sized city.

Being able to throw four light stands and umbrellas into a normal-sized bag and still have room for plenty of other stuff is one of the reasons I love 5-section compact stands and Westcott double-fold umbrellas. Pint-sized powerhouses.


Two in the Cabin

Never lost a bag yet, knock wood. But if I do, the goal is to still be able to do a shoot with the carry-on stuff. To that end, the most important stuff stays with me.

My one carry-on bag, pictured above, is a Think Tank Airport International Security. I cannot tell you how much I love this roller. It is built like a tank, has locks (and locking cable), holds all of my critical stuff and is designed to be a legal carry on just about anywhere in the world. They make a bigger one that meets U.S. domestic limits, but that one is too big for many international carriers.

Pictured above, it has my core and/or breakable gear. In addition to the pockets full of cards, papers, gels, fold-flat Lumiquest mods, speedstraps, etc., here is what I typically take in the main compartment:


1. Nikon D3 -- main body.

2. Nikon D300 -- backup body. Bought two weeks before the D700 was announced, of course. Grr.

3. Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 -- my most frequently used lens by a mile.

4. Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 -- great lens, but I use it way less now that I do not shoot for papers anymore.

5. Nikon 55 f/2.8 AI (MF) Macro lens

6. Holga (80mm portrait) and Diana (wide) plastic lenses in Nikon mounts -- light, cheap, quirky and occasionally invaluable.

7. Six Nikon SB-800s -- I know, I am a little bit addicted.

8. Orbis Ring Flash Adapter -- gets heavy use. Will sometimes take a Ray Flash, depending on circumstances.

9. Charger for D3 -- (D300 charger rides in checked bag.)

10. Two Nikon SC-17 cords -- one neutered, one not.

11. Honl grids (underneath other stuff) -- prefer the 1/8 to the 1/4.

12. Four Nikon diffuser domes for SB-800s.

13. Three PW Plus II's (and 4 more in the second case.) These will get me by just in case, as I can SU-4 the other SB-800's.

14. Extra AA's -- Kodak slow-drain Ni-MH's are my favorites.

and, special for this trip…

15. A couple RadioPopperJrX's, because I am doing the GPP Shootout against JoeyL and Zack Arias. And I just know Zack is planning on trying to pwn me with his Pocket Wizards after what we did to him last year.

Oh, and I got me a nice, long SYNC CORD, too, Mr. Zack. 'Cause I wasn't born yesterday.


Last, I have a small "personal" bag which gets the laptop, iPhone, spare hard drive, coupla magazines and a book. And, just in case: An extra T-shirt, skvvies and a toothbrush for the inevitable airport delays/cancellations. And for overnight flights, I have a big, poofy jacket that I wear onto the plane. It transforms into a pretty nice pillow once I am curled into that window seat.

I shop for tickets inclusive of baggage fees, so I compare apples to apples. (That's one reason I love Southwest airlines.) Delta, which charges out the wazoo for checked bags, for some reason has no fees if you are going to the Middle East. So this week, it's Delta for me.

(For lots more very good gear/packing/flying info, I recommend the blog Flying With Fish, by Steve Frischling.)

Seventeen-hour trip up next = guaranteed Hobbit feet by the time we get to DXB. But at least my gear will be none the worse for wear.
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NOTE: If you are posting Q's on the Flickr photo page about the Think Tank bag, please be aware tham I am in Dubai right now and cannot access Flickr as it is a banned site. The Firefox plugin that worked last year is not working this year, either. Solutions welcomed!


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69 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Just what I needed, I'm flying out for a shoot this week and was not 100% sure on how to pack everything!

February 25, 2010 4:17 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Which LL Bean duffle roller Dave?

February 25, 2010 4:21 PM  
OpenID Mike Mooney said...

David, just curious about how customs agents treat you and your gear, particularly in the Middle East.

February 25, 2010 4:26 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

David,
Looks like my bag! I'm a Navy photog who moves from ship to ship and country to country... a lot (I'm on my 4th deployment in 5 years). One thing you didn't mention is when you gear is set up properly in a good bag (I use a tamrac Cyberpac 8) it can get run over with a tank and not be damaged... too much... (Gabonese Comandoes are crazy when they do training...) thanks for the site I've learned a lot over the years!!
MC3 (SW) Matt Bookwalter

February 25, 2010 4:27 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Thank you for this information. I am going to Italy in Sept. for 2 wks and have been researching how I am going to get everything I want to take as safely and lightly as possible. I don't have nearly as much equipment as you (probably more clothes though), but it gives me a blueprint to plan my own packing.

February 25, 2010 4:51 PM  
Blogger AlexJB said...

Dave, thanks for sharing your bag choice! I've been hunting recently for a case to store my lighting-related gear (strobes, cables, diffusers). A place where I can store them in the closet and then grab for any job that will involve more than a single on-cam flash (light stands and longer things like umbrellas aside).

Your airline bag is a *little* big for my needs, but might still be the right way to go.

February 25, 2010 4:55 PM  
Blogger Moby said...

How much does your carryon weigh? I've had a legal-sized roller thrown in the hold because it exceeded the 25 lbs limit of a particular airline. How do you get around that?

Thanks

February 25, 2010 4:55 PM  
Blogger Thomas Edward said...

How do you handle a situation where there is no room left in the overhead compartments for that size bag? I'm sure it's not going to fit under the seat. I've even been on planes where the Cabin Staff had extra bags and first aid supplies taking up space in the overhead bins, resulting in people's regulation-sized carry-on bags being stowed below deck. The last thing I would want is to be forced to trust the baggage handlers with photo gear.

February 25, 2010 5:04 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Timely! I'm going to the middle east next month, and am racking my brain on what I want to bring since I can't bring everything.

The one thing I wish I could bring: a professional photographer's brain.

*sigh*

Until then, I'll be stuck with my amateur's brain. (which has been greatly enhanced over the past few years thanks to this site, btw).

TIM

February 25, 2010 5:32 PM  
Blogger SuperSteve said...

New reader, love your blogs...

i believe that FAA regulations allow you to bring and extra carry-on for photography equipment in addition to your normal carry-on and personal item. i saw this on a chase jarvis youtube movie. however, some airlines may not always let you bring in 2 carry-on's, but he says that is the FAA regulation for photography equipment :)

February 25, 2010 5:52 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Nice!
Always interesting to know what the real Pros have in their bags :)

And I see you have upgraded your gear since you shot the DVDs (which were amazing BTW)

Nice article!

February 25, 2010 6:08 PM  
Blogger glenn said...

David,
where did you get an 85mm Holga lens? I`ve not seen them anywhwere.

glenn

February 25, 2010 6:21 PM  
Blogger Debbi_in_California said...

Hey!! Thanks David! I wondered what all was in there!

Debbi

February 25, 2010 6:41 PM  
Blogger Rishi said...

Where in in India are you coming??? Is it a personal trip, or will you be conducting workshops? Can we still sign up?

February 25, 2010 8:03 PM  
Blogger Stephen Reid said...

Hi David, any chance you can give some idea of the weight of that hand luggage combo? A number of the international airlines are getting a bit sticky about hand luggage weight and throwing around limits of about 7kg, although no one has weighed mine yet.

February 25, 2010 8:56 PM  
Blogger Ankur said...

Can't wait to see pictures from India and especially the GPP shootout against JoeyL and Zack.

February 25, 2010 9:50 PM  
Blogger David said...

@ Jim-

L.L. Bean roller. I updated with a link.

@Mike Mooney-

Arrived Dubai last night. Customs gave Joe McNally and I the Evil Eye for about 20 mins, but we had a letter of intro from the conference, explaining that we were bringing in gear to use. The worry is that you are bringing it in to sell. 'Cause, you know, there really is nothing to buy in Dubai already . . .


@ Meredith-

re more clothes, you probably wear long pants occasionally. My shorts mos def help me in the packing dept. :)

@ Moby; Stephen-

Yesterday, packed, it weighed in a 36 lbs. The key for me has always been handling it as if it was lighter. It looks like a plain-old civilian roller (thanks again, Think Tank) so does not look like it weighs a ton loaded down. You do not stand out at check-in -- or at baggage to thieves.

Never had it weighed yet, knock wood.

@ Thomas -

I really, really do not want to be separated from this bag. So if it looks like it is even gonna be close to a gate check situation, I make sure it goes into the first overhead compartment I see as I am boarding the plane. I know some people see that as not cool, but neither is losing a bag with $10k gear inside. I have inly had it gate checked once, and was nervous the whole flight.

@ Tim-

Oh, trust me, I tend to leave that at home sometimes, too...

@ SuperSteve-

Some airlines gave special rules for PJs, both to suck up to the media and to avoid $$$ lost baggage issues. Not aware of FAA exemptions.

@ Rishi-

Unfortunately, I had to change my plans for India at the last minute. Just going to Dubai now. Bummed, but will try to get back soon. Was going to Mumbai for a few days to see some people and walk the streets.

@ Glenn-

http://www.holgamods.com/xt/xt.html

February 25, 2010 10:40 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

that think tank bag is AMAZING. You can fit a crap load of crap in that thing (as you've shown here). and it rolls really smoothly. good choice my friend.

now you crazy kids stay out of trouble over there. try to keep drew and joe in line. and good luck with your shootout at the end of the week!

February 25, 2010 11:14 PM  
Blogger IRA said...

I have one of those Holga lenses mounted to a body cap for my Canon but I don't like it nearly as much as my actual Holga. Mounted on a DSLR it feels kind of like a soft-focus filter but nothing special. I'm curious if there are particular times you find it useful?

February 25, 2010 11:16 PM  
Blogger K.S. said...

Hey David, here in Dubai we use Flickr Open 2.0 to access flickr after the "access flickr" addon stopped working. Hopefully it will work for you.

February 25, 2010 11:30 PM  
Blogger spiritualspatula said...

Regarding the "make it look light" thing- I found the same thing. On a recent trip to New Zealand, I had a D300+grip+3 lenses + books + coat and travel necessities carefully packaged into a minimalist backpack made for mountain summitting (I know it was over weight because I checked beforehand). Because the pack was so small and obviously not intended to carry heavy weight, nor did I look burdened by it, they didn't even look twice. Ladies with big, heavy, purses on the other hand.... all had to pare down their bags to make weight.

February 26, 2010 12:13 AM  
OpenID adamstevensphotography said...

6. Holga (80mm portrait) and Diana (wide) plastic lenses in Nikon mounts -- light, cheap, quirky and occasionally invaluable.

OK mr. Nikon shooter. The link you left for Glen is for Canon junk er mods. Anything for the Nikon?

February 26, 2010 12:24 AM  
Blogger 4 the One said...

I am a tour manager for a band and do a lot of int'l travel.

We've seen our fare share of road cases, smashed road cases, lost luggage, you name we've seen it, done it or wrote the book.

I do a lot of our on road photography as well as for fun in the few down times. So I have a decent sized kit that goes with me.

Things I have noted

1. Road cases, pelican cases or similiar hard shelled carriage items dont work as well as soft shell or tough shell equipment because when the luggage is dropped (and you better believe it gets smashed when checked in . . . oh the stories) the hard shell doesnt absorb the hit but bounces which places a lovely whiplash effect on all the internal electrics which has seen many of our items damaged.

You need luggage that absorbs and deflects a hit.

2. You can get away with some real heavy carry on luggage if you can act as though it aint heavy. Out of the hundreds of flights I have done my hand luggage has only been weighed twice and failed miserably. But after arguing the point and establishing the fact they wont cover any damage to $1000's of dollars worth of equipment they have let it slide.

But what ever happens your always guaranteed an adventure one way or another so make sure you have all essentials in your carry on (including a spare pair of underwear . . . the most important piece of equipment you have!!)

February 26, 2010 12:24 AM  
Blogger Patrick Smith said...

I've been really thinking of getting that roller for a long, long time. But with 5 weddings booked in Baltimore, I might need to get one...like tomorrow. That's a F ton o gear in there, man!

February 26, 2010 12:38 AM  
Blogger Yoram said...

...ah... I was wondering what I should bring to Dubai to the workshop :-) See you down there.

February 26, 2010 1:47 AM  
Blogger the manbagaholic said...

a lesser known trick is that you can ask when you book your ticket for a weight exception. although this only applies to checked baggage, it has helped me with my carry on in the past when it was weighed and i mentioned it. i just say i'm a photographer and every time i've asked have managed to get a few extra pounds of allowance for free. but you have to do it early when you book your ticket, and i've always done it through my travel agent.

February 26, 2010 3:47 AM  
Blogger Raahib said...

Hi David,

Have you considered a personal VPN connection (eg WiTopia) - this secure "tunnel" allows you to access the internet securely (even from public locations) and (usually) with unrestricted access. It is also a useful way to bypass restrictions placed on certain sites in some locations. The site (and everyone else) will think you have logged in from the US (or the UK or Hong Kong), allowing you regular freedom of access. Hope this helps!

Thanks for all the great posts and inspiration!

Raahib.

February 26, 2010 4:24 AM  
Blogger D. Segers said...

If you want to travel very compact, but very complete, check out this website: http://www.onebag.com/pack.html
It just amazed me what I can now stuff in the trunk of my small roadster.

February 26, 2010 4:25 AM  
Blogger Calvin said...

Try https://dtunnel.com to access Flickr.

We are banned from certain sites at work and this always saves my bacon

February 26, 2010 4:30 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

What I really want to know is who scored higher on the Delta in flight trivia game, you or McNally?

February 26, 2010 9:34 AM  
Blogger NP36 said...

Dave ..something you might want to check out is the Scottevest. Great for "wearing" a piece of gear that will hold a ton of stuff.

http://www.scottevest.com/

Cheers,
JI

February 26, 2010 10:51 AM  
Blogger paul said...

Hey David,

My recommendation for chocked internet access is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Most places you can get a VPN up home, as its a common business tool.

Once you have the secure link up to home, all your traffic goes secure to your place, then out onto the internet. No filtering limitations.

You may find your home router already supports VPN, a pretty cheap upgrade may resolve that if it doesn't.

Exception is China, where the great internet firewall is a bit more problematic...

February 26, 2010 11:27 AM  
Blogger PhxAZCraig said...

I'm also a Think Tank bag user. I use the Airport Acclerator II, which is like David's, but without wheels. (A bit more capacity, less weight).

I can assure you these bags do fit under seats, and in normal airliner overheads. I've flown with it a lot. Think Tank bags are correctly sized for airline travel, and hold a lot more than you might expect.

I've also seen carry on bag weight limits enforced, in Auckland, New Zealand, at the 7kg level. My bag weighs 32lbs packed, but they did not check it. They DID check every single rolling bag that came through, and the checkpoint was just before the security check. I had the backpack on my back, and while they asked me if it was ok (I said yes), they didn't force it onto the scales. They did catch my wife's roller and force it to be checked.

February 26, 2010 12:00 PM  
Blogger Glyn Dewis said...

David,

Couldn't agree more; just love the Airport Security Roller. I got one after popping over to Atlanta to spend time with Zack Arias...he raved about it...I brought it...simple...lol

Cheers,
Glyn

February 26, 2010 12:09 PM  
Blogger Sidock said...

Check to see if eyeOS, (cloud computing site) is available over there. Use the built in browser, the server is in Barcelona, Spain.

February 26, 2010 12:39 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

The overhead lockers over the first row of seats in a cabin are usually used for the blankets, first-aid kits, etc. Plus there is no seat in front of you to stuff a bag under if you have to. Avoid these rows when you check in.

February 26, 2010 12:50 PM  
Blogger johnny yaesu said...

great bag of gear to keep TSA busy on your return trip

seriously, how or where does one get holga/diana lenses in a nikon mount???

February 26, 2010 1:27 PM  
Blogger jlarson said...

David, you should be able to use a proxy site like http://cantblock.me/ to get to flickr on your travels.

Good luck.

February 26, 2010 2:12 PM  
Blogger Ryan Brenizer said...

I really like how your update notices are posted in the style of AP wire edits.

February 26, 2010 2:12 PM  
Blogger solah said...

No starter pistol for extra tracking?

February 26, 2010 2:16 PM  
Blogger Tim N said...

The gem you are after is HalaFlickr. It will fill all your access flickr woes. Look forward to seeing you at the shoot out next week.

February 26, 2010 2:35 PM  
Blogger Dusan Smolnikar said...

You can also try accessing flickr via hidemyass.com

February 26, 2010 2:52 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

My usual photo backpack is a Kelty Redwing - it's far more comfortable than any of the photo-optimized backpacks. However, I'm still trying to figure out a retrofit divider solution.

photobackpacker.com does Redwing modifications - extending the zipper to allow the pack to open further, and converting the "rounded" top into a "square" top, adding extra storage.

The LL Bean pack David linked to is similar in concept to what I do, however the LL Bean pack appears to be topload-only - the Redwing is one of the rare frontload packs in its size range.

As to VPNs - Dave needs to get a router that supports DD-WRT! :)

February 26, 2010 3:02 PM  
OpenID corkap said...

you're obviously not flying Ryanair - only one small carry on bad allowed!!

February 26, 2010 5:57 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I've had my Airport International weighed many times in Europe. To get around this, I carry an Urban Disguise 60 as my personal bag and swap over lenses to it when I weigh in heavy. This has the added advantage of a usable bag to use as I walk around shooting in the city. The Airport International, despite being an awesome travel bag, is not a great street bag! ;-)

February 26, 2010 8:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Just make sure that when you get to where you're going you take off your shoes and socks and walk around barefoot on the carpet and make fists with your toes.

February 26, 2010 8:54 PM  
OpenID realitytourist said...

For those looking for the direct Nikon/Holga lens page, it's http://www.holgamods.com/nikonpurchase/nikonpurchase.html

Mike

February 26, 2010 11:14 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

for access to country banned sites ie flickr. use dynamic ssh port forwarding.

See sites bellow

http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/449

http://www.irongeek.com/i.php?page=videos/sshdynamicportforwarding

February 27, 2010 10:19 AM  
Blogger Sheri said...

certainly great info in this post, thanks!

February 27, 2010 12:02 PM  
Blogger Fenix Fotography said...

Super Steve,

I believe Chase said we were allowed to take an extra bag through security. Which gets it inspected in front of us and bypasses the baggage handlers (I once saw the handlers throw my bag from the plane on the ground where it bounced three times - Northwest). That's no guarantee we we will be allowed on the plane with it and they may choose to gate check it, which is better than the normal procedure. Regardless Chase said to check tbe ever changing TSA rules and those of the individual airline.

I also carry a couple of $20's for bribes--"anyone willing to give up their overhead spot?"

Frequent flyers like David usually have a preferred status (one reason to use a given airline as exclusively as possible) and get to board the plane earlier and thus are more likely to get good overhead space.

And finally, I love, love, love, my Think Tank Airport Security 2 (the bigger one David mentioned)--best feature is the straps. I haven't tried flying international with it though yet.

Ryan
Fenix Fotography
fenixfoto.com

February 27, 2010 12:10 PM  
OpenID lolaorlando said...

hey hey, im enjoying soaking up your posts. I wonder if you would do a wee little post for me. Im starting out and i want to know what i should have in my kit. Im thinking of a d700,i wanna shoot weddings and portraits, but also other things like everything else. Do you think i need more than one flash unit? and what about lenses? sheeesh! i have 10.000 to spend, thats nz dollars. any suggestions would rule. yours in light ak

February 27, 2010 6:49 PM  
Blogger Morgan said...

Extension tubes are much lighter and smaller (and often more effective) than dedicated macro lenses - why do you use a macro lens instead of bringing along an extension tube or two, which you can use with your regular lenses?

February 28, 2010 1:26 AM  
Blogger Tonya said...

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) will usually get you around any blocked sites. Enjoy Dubai!

February 28, 2010 2:01 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

David,
I was hoping you could comment about how exactly you have your SB800's in the bag.

When I looked at the photo of your bag it looks as if the heads of the flashes are pointed directly at the back of the bag. Is this correct?

I'm wondering if this is the case how far above the zipper line your contact points on the bottom of the flash sit?

I've got a compu-trekker pro, which is not as deep, but only by a 1/2", but if I try and replicate your speedlight loading style my contact points stick out a good 2" and get crushed when i try and close the bag.

Have fun in the sandbox.

February 28, 2010 2:50 AM  
Blogger David said...

Yoram-

If you are on the two-day portrait class, bring your gear and small lights. If you are in the lighting in layers or still-life class, just a camera to make visual notes if you like.

@Mike-

We both had high scores in the "sleeping" game.

@Andrew-

Yep, I just drop the SB-800s straight in. They fit great. That is because (a) the ThinkTank bag is nice and deep, and (b) I stuck with '800s instead of SB-900s. There is a method to my madness. :)

@All-

Thanks much for the net blockage workarounds. Much appreciated!

February 28, 2010 6:07 AM  
Blogger JASPhoto said...

If your checking 2 bags why not split up gear between the 2. Just in case 1 gets lost, you'll still have half your stuff. I also had the habit of putting a backup body & wide zoom or 55 macro in the checked bags as backup if my "Carry on" stuff get lost or stolen.

February 28, 2010 10:35 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

David, does you LL Bean rolling duffel have the cute flowers on it? That says David Hobby, for sure.

February 28, 2010 2:07 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Have you ever had any problems with lost bags that show up with broken items inside?

February 28, 2010 5:42 PM  
Blogger s.e. miller said...

So no rechargeable batteries for you David? I've been thinking lately that they really are a waste of money myself...

March 01, 2010 1:00 PM  
Blogger clayton said...

Google and download freegate to let you on banned sites.

March 01, 2010 2:16 PM  
Blogger mickeyjuice said...

@s. e. miller - NiMH batteries ARE rechargables.

March 02, 2010 3:35 AM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Welcome to Dubai. If you need more gear, please let me know. I'm in 2 of your classes :Object-Oriented, Lighting In Layers. The big one is expensive for me :-(
I started my Strobism life and got all my flashes and gears thanks to you.

March 02, 2010 6:24 AM  
Blogger markus_bangkok said...

I used to travel frequently to international conferences, packing the D3, 24-70; 70-200; just one SB-900 and the Apple 13" in my trolley would already weigh about 12Kg. 5Kg more than allowed in Europe. Especially Lufthansa seems to train their people to harass passengers like me even though my Body Mass Index is just 23 and I am sure that I am below the average traveller weight. Anyway, one easy way is to simply take out the D3 with the 70-200 and the SB-900 attached and put it around your neck. Most airlines have special regulations regarding camera equipment and will not count its weight as long as its not in a bag :P

Markus Staas, Photographer in Bangkok

March 02, 2010 9:09 AM  
Blogger Tittan said...

I work at an airport, and I wish people would read this blog post before travelling! It would have made my life at work so much easier :)

March 07, 2010 4:41 AM  
Blogger Ian Coble said...

I saw that a couple people brought up the "extra bag" allowance that TSA has built in for working photographers. The rumor is true and I use it every time I fly.
The link to that document being referenced is here:
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1248.shtm
Print out a copy and carry it with you. I've been stopped numerous times and told I was only allowed 2 bags. Upon showing any TSA agent that document, I was instantly ushered through.
The trick here lies with the individual airlines. Most every carrier only allows 2 bags... period. You can get through security no problem, but the airline might not let you on board with all your gear. However, if you try and arrange your bags so they looks smaller and lighter or drape a jacket over one of the bags in your hand, they tend not to notice. Try holding your bags on the side opposite the boarding agent.
Also, board the plane early in the boarding process and you won't have any issues with space in the overhead bins.
It might not be 100% honest, but it works and you're gear won't get lost in transit.
There's a post on my blog with some other travel recommendations along these lines if you're interested in reading more.
http://iancoble.blogspot.com/2009/12/traveling-with-photo-equipment-on.html
Hope it helps.
Best.
Ian

March 10, 2010 4:34 PM  
Blogger neal said...

I fly a lot, use a Mountainsmith photo back and around 40-45 lbs of gear plus a rain parka. When stopped for weight, I take out the parka and put it on. I put 3 heaviest lenses in the pockets, the Canon w/70-200mm around my neck and the laptop under my arm. If you're nice about it and do it like you have all the time in the world they usually they don't bother weighing the emptied bag a second time.

March 13, 2010 4:33 AM  
Blogger Justine B said...

Dave — with your collapsible stands + double fold umbrellas, what lights would you recommend buying as a entry-level wedding photographer? Do you like that student kit that is available on the Midwest site?

March 26, 2010 4:04 PM  
Blogger Sharon Greenaway said...

wow is that really travelling light?
OMG there is alot of stuff there

May 28, 2010 8:49 AM  
OpenID ladykingdom.com said...

Waw, it's very awesome travel light

Very great job

July 04, 2010 5:00 AM  

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