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Inside My Digital camera Bag | Gregg Brekke

I’m a contract picture and video journalist primarily based in Washington State, nevertheless, a lot of my task work happens exterior of the USA. Along with being represented by Zuma Press for editorial content material, I work with a number of NGOs and faith-based humanitarian teams within the reduction, improvement, well being care sectors and produce business tasks for different purchasers.


I  have used Nikon cameras for many of my profession with a quick foray into the Canon system at one company. In mid 2020 I traded my Nikon D5, D810 and Z6 cameras and a steady of lenses for a light-weight mirrorless package with two Sony A9 our bodies, three Sony prime lenses, and a Tamron zoom.

The A9 is a tremendous digicam and the mirrorless system permits me to work sooner and journey lighter than with DSLRs. The A9’s focus, accuracy and pace, together with its excessive body price and silent taking pictures with out banding, are large advantages to my work.


The Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G and 85mm f/1.8 lenses stay more often than not on the 2 A9 our bodies. The 20mm is my go-to lens for nearly every little thing and the selection when a one physique plus one lens resolution is required. They’re each stunning huge open, compact, and steadiness very well on the A9.

Making an attempt to anticipate quite a lot of conditions within the subject, I added the versatile Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di II VXD for when further attain is required and the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8, which is great for video interviews. These two lenses don’t see a lot outing of the bag however glad they’re in my bag.

I actually need to be one of many cool children and just like the 35mm field-of-view greater than I do. Don’t get me mistaken, I do prefer it for some issues however the pictures I make at 20mm really feel far more intimate.

My Treasured

A Leica M2 with the legendary Nineteen Sixties 50mm f/2.0 Summicron typically comes alongside for particular tasks, although it’s getting harder to journey with movie. I develop my very own B & W movie and scan it utilizing a light-weight desk, damaging holder, and macro lens. It’s a gradual course of however I just like the outcomes.

Area Gear

Within the subject I put on the BlackRapid Double Breath harness to maintain each A9s on the prepared and a Newswear Giant Fanny Pack holds further lenses, a Godox TT350S flash, spare digicam and flash batteries, sunscreen, Starbucks Vias, Rode Videomic Professional shotgun and Wi-fi Go lavalier mics, my press move, and some different equipment.

Relying on the task I’ll change gear into the Domke F2 I’ve had for 20 years. All the pieces will get transported to location in a Pelican 1510SC case. A ballistic vest and helmet are on the prepared for protest conditions.

When permissible and wanted, I deploy a DJI Mavic Air drone for aerial photographs and video. Video and nonetheless tripods are carbon fashions from Benro.

{Hardware} and Software program

I take advantage of a Macbook Air (M1) to cull and catalog photographs with Picture Mechanic Plus, develop RAW recordsdata in Photoshop, and use SanDisk Excessive Transportable 1TB SSDs to retailer backups on the street. This all synchronizes to an off-site Synology NAS RAID system when again within the workplace or when web speeds permit. The NAS can be the place I deposit consumer recordsdata for supply.

If quick supply is required I take advantage of my iPhone 12 Professional and Sony’s Imaging Edge Cellular app to switch recordsdata onto the cellphone for mild modifying. I then caption, add key phrases and different metadata in Sony’s Switch & Tag app earlier than FTPing them on to Zuma or different purchasers. With in-built metadata templates and FTP locations, Switch & Tag makes fast work of getting pictures out on the wire.

In fact a passport, COVID vaccine card and vaccination information, further passport photographs for visa purposes, together with a lot of persistence and an affordable stash of US {dollars}, makes worldwide journey rather less painful. I’ve logged over 125,000 air miles because the starting of the coronavirus pandemic and with numerous controls and testing necessities in every nation, worldwide journey has by no means been extra difficult.

Photojournalism has taken me to dozens of nations, most just lately to Sudan to doc Tigrayan refugees within the east and to Darfur within the west the place persons are nonetheless being displaced by battle. It’s a privilege to satisfy so many individuals and to share their tales and pictures with others world wide.

I’d like to finish with a notice of encouragement – Don’t be a gatekeeper, share what you’ve discovered with new photographers.

I used to be drawn to photojournalism in highschool and mentored by a neighborhood newspaper photographer, Dave Samson (Twitter @samsonphoto), in my hometown of West Fargo, North Dakota. He taught me the worth of serving to folks use their very own voice by means of my pictures being beneficiant, variety and inspiring, in addition to crucial when wanted. We stay pals greater than 30 years later and he continues working as a photojournalist.

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