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Photo 5 Aug 31, 2008 10:49 PM

Not sure where to post this so I placed it here.

One of my friends in the world of fire rescue photography has been deployed to Atlanta as part of an Urban Search and Rescue task force as their photo guy, also handles PIO duties. They are being depolyed ahead of Gustav for possible deployment to Miss or LA.

He gave me a list of his gear yesetrday and I thought you all might be interested in what he carried into disasters. Remember getting AC can be a challenge look at post Katrina, although his USAR team has generators with them that he can use to charge batteries when he can get to base camp.

Joe Farece Backpack with a waist belt added

Canon 5D

Canon Flash (no specific info given)

Batteries For Flash (16 Sanyo Rechargeable Enveleops)

AA Battery Charge AC/DC type

14-55mm, 70-300mm lenses (he owns several more but travels with only two to save carrying them around on his back)

5 Batteries For Canon 5D

Battery Charger for Cannon battery packs

UV Filter on camera and a spare, Circular P

Olympus 770 SW (80% for capturing video, 20% stills)

5 Batteries For Olympus

Battery Charger For Olympus

Wolverine Flash Pack 120GB model with AC Cord

2x 1GB xD Cards

2x 2GB xD Cards

2GB sandisc exterme III CF

2x 8GB sandiscextereme IIICF

2x 16GB transcend 133x CF

Sandisc large hard shell memory card holder (all CF and xD go in)

lens cleaning kit for cannon and lense cleaning cloth and fuild for olympus - stored in 1 gallon ziplock bag

Multi Tool with small driver bits

6 Pens/2x Pocket memo books


TCav Sep 1, 2008 12:12 PM

Impressive kit.

The only alarm that went off in my head is that he's storing all his flash memory cards in the same container. I think I'd keep all the gear for the Olympus in one bag and all the gear for the Canon in a seperate bag. If he keeps all the flash memory cards in one bag, and loses that bag, the camera he might still have is useless.

That goes for the Wolverine too, I guess. And the tools, pens and memo pads.

Photo 5 Sep 1, 2008 8:17 PM

I can underatand why the alarm went off.Keeping all your eggs in one basket may not be the smartest thing........Basically he need to travel light and keep his hands free. Carrying two bags might make it hard for someone of his type to get around.He wears the backpack any time he is in the field (told me a shoulder bag just won't hack it), except when he is eating or at base camp sleeping etc. The otherguys carry search and rescue gear in their backpacks. They go through some though terrian and flooding and he needs something that can go on his back.


BillDrew Sep 1, 2008 9:06 PM

Photo 5 wrote:

... Keeping all your eggs in one basket may not be the smartest thing........
The basket/eggs metaphor is fundementally flawed because of the unstated assumption that the multiple baskets will recieve the same care as a single basket. In other words, one carefully handled basket is better than several baskets being hit by hammers before being dropped off cliffs. Your friend seems to have grasped that point, though many do not.

Additional gadgets that might make sense are a simple USB card reader and some large thumb drives. Then if he found a computer to use, copies of the images could be put on the thumb drives.

vIZnquest Sep 2, 2008 9:58 AM


I am with you on that. Keeping it together for me is the best way so I don't have to keep track of so many things. I use a modular belt and backpack and have one camera in hand and switch to the other when I need either more wide angle or telephoto. I use lenses 2.8 or better and always have my flash on hand on the modular belt as well. Memory cards on the belt as well. Only way I am going to lose this stuff is if I happen to go with it as well.



Photo 5 Sep 2, 2008 8:20 PM

Bill very good point, I guess having one properly handeled basket is better than leaving on lying around somewhere else. He told me more than once that shoulder bags and multi bags didn't hack it because of the terrian and stuff they deal with. SO I think he thought it out and got the backpack.

The large thumb drives..... I have to tell him that next time I see him. I do believe he takes in the neighborhood of 20 to 22GB on a deployment, so maybe carrying 3 or 4 8GB would be a good insurance policy.


Photo 5 Sep 13, 2008 9:14 PM


Just got a cell call from the guy and he told me this is by far one of the worest hurricanes he has seen in life time. He is now in the Houston TX area. He is taking pictures everywhere he turns.He told me you got see what happened to the JP Morgasn building looks like theyhired a contractor to rip out all the windows..... He has already filled up 20GB in the storage device and its only day 1 of what could be 4 or 5 days. He exspects the real work to begin at daylight tomorrow and to fill up many memory cards as they do water rescue, search and rescue etc. They may be sent south if the work is light here in the morning. He said that he was outside with 55mph winds and his Cannon 5D held up well although he had to wiipe the lense off every few minutes. He also said in 55mph winds the olympus camera made two impressive video clips.

I also pray that no one here at the board died or had family that died in the storm.


Photo 5 Sep 16, 2008 11:16 AM

2nd Update:

The team is still in TX they were sent from Houston to about 30 minutes South of Houston. He told me the debrie is big problem downthere. Its just everywhere and its gonna takes weeks to clear it all. He has filled about 72GB of his external storage device so far witha couple dozenmovie clips and 1000s of stills. He has been authorized if nned be to buy another external storage device on location where ever he can find one....... He also has contact with TX national guard that can bring in supplies for this teams from northern TX so he could probbaly get one out of Dallas.

Anyway he told me his Cannon and Olympus both held up well under 55mph winds. The winds are down now and all the gear is still working well for him. The only downside he tells me is the WOlverine takes a long while to off load his 16GB card.He wishes he had one of those newer devices that can off load 1GB in a minute. He mentioned it takes about an hour to get his 16GB fully offloaded and erased.


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