If you went out on any street in any town and asked anybody to name any three things a TV Cameraman needs to do his/her job you would probably get these answers, maybe not in this order...
Those three items are the basic tools of the trade, but logistically, there is a lot more equipment, big and small, involved in gathering the news on a daily basis.
Some of which is used on a daily basis, some things are just stuffed away and forgotten about until needed.
My news vehicle is my office. This is it. A 1999 Ford Explorer with simple logos to let the viewer's know we are on the road. (so they can call our bosses if we drive to bad)
It's not too crowded up front, but with my two scanners on the podium in the center I can keep up with the goings on in all of the counties in the market.
And news gathering can be rough on a vehicle. With 144-some-odd-thousand miles on the odometer, it has taken it's share of bumps and dings.
Into the back seat there is little room for passengers with my stash of maps, notebooks, boots, leftover lunch bags and drinkcups, and other items that I may use one day.
I try to use an old milk crate to keep everything organized but it just spills right out.
Open up the rear tailgate and you find the business end. On the right, a Port-a-brace Camera bag. In the middle, several more milk crates of varying sizes. On the left a light kit and my tripod.
The milk crates makes it easy to carry all of the accessories of news gathering and quickly make the transition into a live truck on any given day.
My tripod goes on the far left on top of the light kit. It is imperative to be easy access for getting out quickly and getting shots of quickly developing news scenes. My 'pod is a Gitzo brand tripod with an oversized O'conner head.
My Sony XDCam is about 6 months old now, but it is a gem of a camera. It uses a Proffessional Disc that is housed in a cartridge. The disc will hold up to 90 minutes of video. I love the XDCam. I could go on and on and on....but I won't. That's what the XDCam links are for at the bottom right side of this blog.
I have a Sennheiser Shotgun mic mounted to the camera on a quick release mic holder. It is ideal for the on the run interview. The Sennheiser shotgun is a great directional mic that picks up exceptionally clear sound from long distances.
My wireless options include these two Sony UHF wireless transmitters. I prefer the 'cigarette pack' style lavalier, but the Sony wireless stick mic comes in handy also.
Powering the camera are these Anton Bauer Dionic Batteries.
They have a digital readout on the side that tells me how much power is left in the battery. The 3 that I have are a far cry from the 10 NP-1s that I used to carry.
I take my camera home most of the time but when the time comes to leave the camera at the station I head to the Swamp. One might expect to find cadavers on slabs behind those doors, but aside from the occasional DOA Camera waiting for it's XD replacement, these boxes are the homes for Camcorders, batteries, tapes and whatever else we can stuff into it.
My box, which is in need of a long overdue clean up, holds lots of tapes and paperwork and a calendar or two. I post news, jokes and pictures on the inside of my door to add a little personal flair.
All that's really just a fraction of a fraction of the must have items to be an effective TV News Photojournalist. I will certainly be sharing more as the days, weeks and years go forth.
Here's the all the photog bloggers that are doing the show-n-tell today.
Be sure to check them out!