One of the reasons for going to Romania was because I had offered my services to photograph the children in the orphanage at Campulung. These kids had probably never had a professional portrait taken of them in their lives. As we all know, having a great portrait of yourself can do wonders for your self-esteem! What better way to share with someone who speaks a different language than you do, that they are loved unconditionally and that they are uniquely and wonderfully made, than to give them a beautiful portrait of themselves?!? So I brought a small lighting kit with 2-Manfrotto 5001B light stands, 2-Westcott Collapsible Umbrellas, and 2-SB800 strobes. All of this stored perfectly into my ultra-compact lighting kit, which you can see here with the rest of the gear I took: https://chrisandcami.com/blog/2010/07/30/packing-for-romania/. I used a white window curtain with the sun back-lighting it for a nice high-key background. Along with this setup, we brought a small Canon Selphy die-sub printer, thanks to Erika. I set my D3 up so that one CF card slot was recording RAW files, and the other was recording a duplicate medium sized JPG file. As I photographed each child, Terry would take the card with the JPG image, help them pick out their favorite, and instantly pop out a print for them. Then Erika would take it over and help them place it in one of the colorful frames she’d brought. They LOVED IT!!! We were so blessed to see the excitement on their faces as they walked out and showed their portrait to their friends. J
Gypsy Village in Romania
One day while we were in Romania we visited a Gypsy Village. It really touched my heart to see the conditions these people live in. They were so kind and gracious, allowing me to photograph them, photograph their families. One lady even came up to me and motioned for me to follow her. We wound our way back through the shacks to HER shack. It was a humble one-bedroom home…but it was HER home and she wanted her portrait in front of it! I was honored to oblige.
Packing for Romania
While thinking about what I wanted to take to Romania, I knew I wanted to pack light. So I left my main ThinkTank Take-Off bag at home. But I also knew I wanted to have as full a range of equipment at my disposal as possible, since I didn’t know what kinds of photographic opportunities were going to avail themselves. So here’s what I packed:
Nikon D300 + MBD10 Grip with ENEL4a adapter
Nikkor 10.5mm f2.8 fisheye
Nikkor 24-70 f2.8
Nikkor 70-200 f2.8
3 – RadioPoppers (1 transmitter, 2 receivers)
3 – SB800 strobes
2 – Bogen 5001B light stands
All of this gear along with spare batteries, chargers, compact flash cards, lens cleaning pens, and the usual assortment of doodads all fit into my ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro and this super small generic light stand bag pictured in the photo. I was very happy with my selection and used every piece of equipment I brought, without being left wanting for anything I didn’t!
My thinking on bringing the D300 instead of two D3 bodies was because it gave me a little more reach, turning my 70-200 into a 105-300 f2.8 if I needed it. Plus in a pinch I could command my remote flashes with its built-in pop-up flash. Both proved to be scenarios I would be glad I had. I fitted it with the MBD10 Grip with the ENEL4a adapter so that I could use the same larger capacity batteries for both cameras and only have to bring one charger.
For image management and storage, I brought my smaller 14” Toshiba laptop in a small backpack. That and my Streetwalker Pro were my carry-on luggage. The light stand case fit easily into my checked bag. I’ve mounted this laptop with a small 320GB external drive and software that backs up all the important data off my laptop every night. After each day of shooting I transferred all the images from my CF cards to my laptop, which then got backed up to the external hard drive. I brought enough CF cards that I never had to re-use them. I kept each copy of my images separate from the other…especially during the 26-hour trip home.
I hope some of this info helps you out the next time you have to pack light…
Photographing in Romania
Buna! (Hello!) I’ll be photographing in Romania all next week! Our church sends a mission team there every year to work with the orphanage, school children, and others in need. This year I’m excited to be going along as the “team photographer”. We’ll be flying into Bucharest where we’ll be picked up for the long drive to Campulung. I’ll be gone from July 18th – July 26th. If you have any questions while I’m gone, don’t hesitate to call Cami at 843-324-0010. I look forward to catching up with everyone when I return!