2018-09-03 - Think Tank Airport TakeOff


Think Tank makes the best travelling bags for photographers.

The Airport TakeOff rolling camera bag is my number one travelling necessity. It can pretty much carry half a studio, plus a fair bit of office, in relative comfort.

I usually fit in two pro-sized Canon camera bodies with my "most used" lenses attached, plus two additional lenses (all with lens caps), light meter, all the spare batteries, memory cards and filters I would normally use, as well as my laptop, tablet, phone and chargers for all the above. There’s even a stretchable side pocket for storing a compact tripod or monopod.

There are enough outside pockets to store pretty much eveything you may need in a hurry and a few waterproof zip pockets inside as well. More than enough compartments to keep everything organised - from backups of my paperwork to business cards, emergency medical kit to cash, sunglasses, prescription glasses, recreational reading ... everything but the kitchen sink.

With two of these - the second to carry Profoto lights, the “just-in-case” extra camera body, batteries, the make-up kit for portrait subjects and all the bits and pieces that didn’t fit in the first bag, you really do have everything you need at your fingertips.

The bag is made from fairly water-repellent, abrasion resistant material (featuring ballistic nylon and coated fabric) and has tall skid plates on the bottom that help protect the bag and your equipment from moisture, abrasion and dust, while the padded inside and padded, touch-fastening dividers cushion everything from shocks.

The dividers are all movable and removable and can fasten anywhere and in any orientation inside the case, so the layout is completely customisable. The sturdy YKK zippers are lockable, with the bag sporting a security cable as well.

The 80mm wheels are well designed, quiet and big enough to handle most terrain, and the telescoping handle is actually long enough at full extension so even a tall guy doesn't look like a knuckle-dragging gorilla when pulling it along. But the bag also has a neat set of tuck-away padded shoulder straps for those situations where the wheels can't cut it. Lastly it sports the traditional side carrying handle. as well as a top carrying handle with a second handle at the bottom - just in case you have to go fording rivers with the case held on your head ...

Lastly, at 355mm x 530mm x 220mm, it falls neatly within the size parameters most airlines have for carry-on bags. Which means even if they lose your luggage or leave it behind at OR Tambo International, you'll still have your most important equipment.

2018-05-30 - Cape Town

Discovery Foundation Awards - Week 3 - Western Cape

We flew Mango to Cape Town on Monday morning.  The airport was completely crazy with people, colour and noise enough to wake the dead and seriously confuse the living.  Michelle and I had endless fun - ha - lugging equipment through airport traffic to the rental car.

We spent the rest of the day getting settled in, finding the best places to eat, admiring the views from Signal Hill,  and getting ready for the week's photoshoots at Grootte Schuur Hospital & UCT.