Gearing up for AToC 2009


The Tour of California is like photo Christmas for me. As it comes at the start of the season, I usually use this time to figure out what gear upgrades I want. Last year I ended up buying a Canon 40D body. I also got AquaTech rain cover and Canon battery grip, though those purchases came after I was thoroughly drenched at the Tour of California.

I was less extravagant with my upgrades this year -- unless you count the new MacBook Pro and Lightroom 2 upgrade several months back. I was thinking of getting a Canon 5D Mark II until negative reviews from photographer Liz Kreutz plus my own experiments with it soured me on its focusing performance. So, here's the list:

The needs were simple this time around. I'll be renting a 300 f/2.8 (from -- thanks Carson B), so I'll have more glass to deal with than usual. I normally just carry all my extras in my pockets and leave my backpack in the car (it's too big to work in close quarters with others). Now I'll be shifting to a belt plus harness that will let me keep my extra lens close by.

As for the PocketWizards and Gorillapod, I've been trying to maximize the number of shots I get per stop along the route. Without a setup to fire a camera remotely, I'm forced to stand in one spot. I can still swap between two camera bodies, but the composition for one of the two will usually be compromised. The PocketWizards are known as rock-solid remotes and the Gorillapod should let me position the camera where I want. If I even get one extra shot worth selling, they will pay off well.

And the haircut? It's hard to shoot with your hair covering the viewfinder.

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Comments (4)

FWIW, my Gorillapod fell apart after about two weeks of use.

Rain forecast for this weekend. Bleh.

Interesting. Looks and sounds like you are getting ready for serious combat!


It might have been a better investment just to buy a new umbrella

But, umbrella should clash with your armored vest.

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