See how your favorite photographer lug their gear around, what they have in their everyday carry, and how they use it! This time, we put the gear spotlight on adventurer and travel photographer Luke Gram -- we featured his work a while back and we're still hungover from his fascinating stories and pictures from all over the world.
Hello, Luke! Welcome back to the Magazine! What’s in your everyday carry bag?
Thank you! Glad to be back.
My everyday carry is the Lowepro 400AW which after trial and error I’ve found to be the most versatile, and most durable bag in the market.
It’s a hub of all of my gear, which I take out/put back in depending on the day and how much I’m doing. It’s often full, but I usually take out extras that I wont need. That being said, when I’m moving from country to country and it’s loaded up, inside it is:
Canon LP-E6N Battery (3x) + charger
DJI Mavic + controller + battery (2x) + extra propellers
Canon 85mm f/1.4
Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L II
Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L II
Canon 17-40 f/4 L
Farm Fresh Speakeasy Sunglasses
iPhone 8 Plus
Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Polar Pro DJI filters
Front + rear lens cap + body cap
64 gb SD Cards (6x)
64 gb MicroSD (2x)
128 gb Compact Flash (1x)
WD 1 TB portable hard drive
Zeiss Lens Wipes
70-200 tripod mount
Midori MD Notebook A6
Oben AT-3535 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod
with BE-208T Ball Head
What do you use as your everyday shooter?
My every day, all day, is the Canon 5DSR. I don’t care what people say – no matter what, an iPhone will never stack up to a DSLR. The amount of time it takes for me to take out my iPhone vs the DSLR is minimal in difference, but the quality is unmatched. If you’re going to take a photo, it's worth it to take it right, and the 5DSR offers me 50 MP of unrivaled quality.
How do you prepare for a day’s worth of shooting?
Check all batteries. Dump all SD cards and reformat. Clean lens.
Those are the core basics. The rest entirely depends on the day and what I’m planning on shooting. If I’m going out in the daytime I generally leave the tripod at home, as well as my flash and other bits and bobs so my bag weighs less and I can fit snacks and drinks in it.
What are the top five things you can’t leave home without?
iPhone, wallet, watch, cigarettes, lighter. Simple and sweet and covers all I need.
Tell us a bit about your gear. How long have you had them?
I actually recently (past year) upgraded from a Canon 5D Mark II to the Canon 5DSR. I also upgraded all my lenses to L series and I have to say, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I definitely found my limitations in those old lenses and had grown into a need for higher quality gear. So I bought a brand new body, lens, batteries, filters, bag – the whole shebang.
I upgraded from the Lowepro 200AW to the 400AW, which was a significantly larger, more thought-out bag. I found that after 58 countries and 2 years of traveling I had figured out as to exactly what gear I needed that would make varied travel to all parts of the world possible.
By purchasing the 17-40, 24-70 and the 70-200 I have all focal bases covered for 99.9% of shots I will ever take. The higher megapixel 5DSR, coming in at 50MP vs the Mark II’s 21 means I can crop images uniquely by doing very selective, narrowed crops and producing entirely new images but retaining its pixel quality.
I find this gear now is the best set up I’ve had and I find very little to complain about or wish for more.
Do you have a number of items that you keep in rotation? What are they?
Other than my two lenses most things stay the same. I basically only cycle between the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8, just depending on the situation and location I’m in. The 17-40 comes out on rare occasions but is generally left buried in the bag all day.
How long have you had your bag? Any special memories/stories with it?
As I explained above I actually purchased a brand new bag and all new gear. That being said, my travel bag is my absolute favorite. It’s a Deuter 70+10L backpack for hiking and travel. It’s been with me for 4 years and has been on countless outdoors trips and to 6 continents and 58 countries. It’s been soaked on the floor of a Nicaraguan boat, dragged through the filthy backstreets of Mumbai, shuffled from bus to train to plain and back again 100’s of times. It’s been up the Great Wall of China with me to camp out, and it’s been on my back as I rode horses through the Bolivian desert. It’s an incredible bag, and hasn’t let me down yet!
Lastly, what’s on your gear wish list?
I’ve been flirting with the idea of picking up the Canon 100-400 L as well as a 2X extender. I’ve been wanting to experiment with extreme focal lengths but being a photographer that moves around a lot I value minimal amounts of gear, so I might hold on to my money.
Also, I've been interested in moving back into film a lot more and picking up a medium format Mamiya RB67, but again, need to be able to lug my gear around, so have to think about it more.
Take a peek into other photographers' essentials. Check out the rest of What's In Your Bag? series!