By Gudio Locatti, SU Class of 1985
One of my troops walked in after a few hours of shooting and complained about his sore back. When asked why his back was aching he replied that his camera bag was too heavy. I lifted his bag and immediately hurt my back too. I thought my bag was heavy! When asked why his bag was so heavy, his answer was that he carried only the things he needed to do his photo job. Carrying everything one needs should not result in a hernia, so I dragged the anchor and the photographer to my desk for a quick look-see inventory. At first everything looked normal. There were a couple of Nikon F3 bodies with motors, a not unusual set o f lenses (24, 35, 50, 85, 105, 135, and 18) two 283′s two Quantums and a polarizer. Acceptable so far, but from there normalcy went askew.
There were more lenses, a 35-70, and 80-200 and a 55 micro. In another pocket there was no less than 102 rolls of film, all out of their plastic canisters and appearing quite old. Around to the other side of the bag, crammed into a pocket were 17 glass filters ranging from ND to Orange and Red. In the same pocket with the colorful glass was a tangled ball of PC cords; the final count was 9. The stuff kept piling up. Dozens of pens, pencils, note pads and assorted pieces of a paper combined with numerous other office supplies. Five packs of lens tissue in various stages of decomposition, three flash brackets, several lens hoods, five slaves, one of which as trashed. There were bounce cards, flash couplers, two dozen AA batteries with holders, a miniature tripod and vice grips, plus a small bean bag! The only thing he didn’t have was a darkroom sink and the vacuum cleaner we’re missing. At this point, I fully expected to find it there.
There was more. Nestled in a corner were two antique granola bars, a package of those ever-durable MRE crackers and a pack of Hubba Buba that had seen better days. Scattered through the bag in every compartment and pocket was $4.27 in change with 2.20 in German Marks, and 100 Japanese Yen thrown in for good measure. The tattered Domke bag finally empty I set down to explain the importance of mission planning to the young photographer.
Granted, the preceding story is fictional, but does illustrated a problem we all have; the tendency to collect things in our camera bags. It also points to a much larger problem: the inability to PLAN our assignments. If we plan our shoots, whether alert jobs, or JCS exercises, we eliminate the need to drag a lot of extra weight out on location.
Why take your zoom lens if all you are shooting is low light situations with Kodachrome 25? If the subject is researched and you feel you want to make some zoom pix, then take it, but don’t drag it around “just in case.” I’m not saying don’t take everything you can’t live without, who know, you may have a real need for that teddy bear you’ve been dragging around. Just separate the things you need for the moment and cram them into the bag, and leave the other stuff in your locker. Realistically, we can’t haul everything around that we have ever used, at least not until we have the time, money and reputation of Dean Collins.
If you find yourself in a situation you didn’t plan for, just fall back and punt. Rely on your creativity and ingenuity. After all, that’s why we love this job, for the challenge and results that we create. So remember, research, plan and travel light. –GL–
It is time to “talk it up,” and discuss what goals need to be set and accomplished. Supervisors can play a key role in developing corporate goals and explain how individual ambitions and shop requirements can work well together. The military provides excellent training, equipment and assignment opportunities. It is incumbent upon each of us to push for success. -DCS-