Packing for Los Angeles

I’m in the middle of packing my gear for a quick trip down to Los Angeles to learn how Hollywood makes movie magic. HP is hosting several events, including visits to Dreamworks and Raleigh Studios.

Instead of shoving all of my bag as I gather it all up, I’ve spread it out on my living room floor to make sure I’ve got everything I need for the week. It also gives me the opportunity to get ditch gear so I’m not weighed down unnecessarily.


Cameras and Accessories

I plan on shooting a bunch of videos and photos. Since it’s not everyday that I get to visit a movie studio I’m bringing my best photo and video equipment. This photo and video gear make up the bulk of my gear for this trip.


For still shots I’ll be using my Nikon D700 and array of Nikon and Sigma lenses. I’ll also have my Canon S90 for quick snapshots and videos. I keep a SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB card in the Nikon and a 4GB  Eye-Fi Pro card in the Canon.


My big video camera is a Panasonic with three sensors. To get the best quality sound I use Sennheiser transmitters. To make sure my subjects are nice and bright I’m bringing my larger Lite Panel.

To stabilize my video I’m bringing my Monfrotto monopod, which has three little feet on it for steadier shots. The big head next to it is going to end up staying home.


I’m using my HP Envy 13 for this trip. It has the best display of any notebook I have right now and I want to work on some photos while I’m down there. It also has great battery life thanks to the extended slice battery.


The Bags

Rather than using a computer backpack, I’m now using a military backpack. I’ve found the Voodoo Tactical backpack to be more durable and versatile than any computer backpack I’ve found so far. I’ll shoot a quick video of me unpacking it.

I’m bringing my Timbuk2 Vert laptop sleeve for added protection and so my notebook doesn’t have to go bare through the x-ray machine.I’m also bringing my Tenba camera sling (not pictured) for my DSLR gear. My trust SeV Tropical jacket/vest  is also coming along for the trip.

Power, Cords and Cables

The main reason I’ve spread everything out is because a couple of years ago I had to scramble around Las Vegas looking for power adapters after I’d forgotten some of them at home.  As you can see, I have quite a few devices that need batteries and chargers.


One gadget that’s going to help me out a ton at the hotel is my CallPod charger. You can see that my BlackBerry, Mophie Juice Pack, iPhone, MiFi and CallPod Duo can all be charged simultaneously. I hate running out of juice, but I think I’ll be covered pretty well.


After writing this, I realize I’m overpacked by most people’s standards. If I didn’t love photography, I’d probably travel with a fraction of the gear I do. But bringing gear on trips gives me the opportunity to try different things on the road and make recommendations for GBM and readers. For example, I’m taking HP’s new mini projector along for the trip to see how it works in a hotel room. I also don’t need my Airport Express router, but like creating my own hotspot by plugging it into an Ethernet jack rather than rely on hotels’ WiFi.

If I had to cut down to just the essentials, it would just be my Envy 13, my iPhone 3GS, Canon S90 and the necessary adapters. I could still record videos, but they probably wouldn’t look as good.