I’m a 24 years old photographer from Lisbon, Portugal. In a few days I’ll travel to New York, to study at the International Center of Photography and continue studies in my career. I think that in photography we always had to have in mind that independently of our professional status, we have always to keep learning something more every days.
I Have the opportunity to go to the center of the world and learn with biggest photographers as Harvey Stein and Beb Reynol, it’s huge! In fact, I’ll go with much more in mind, I want to walk trough the streets, talk with people, make some contacts. I was born into a traditional family that came from a rural environment into Portugal’s inland. Earlier I was been raised to appreciate simple things in life, and created a beautiful empathy with art and culture.
Documentary photography is my big passion, and it’s all I want to my future. I’m influenced by artists like James Nachtwey, Don McCullin, Sally Mann, Fan Ho, William Klein, Robert Frank, Vivien Maier, Lewis Hine, Alfred Stieglitz, Solomon Butcher and much more.
This is my survival kit to New York city.
Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop: Unless you’re a Leica photographer, and specially if you use a heavier stuff as a professional photographer, a great backpack will always need to be a big concern to yourself because if you constantly loading up a lot of stuff, and you don’t take care, all your body will suffer with that in the future.
Since I start my career I’ve only been accustomed to using Lowepro bags, which are a really good bags to your photography stuff, but I think isn’t so good for your bones. Lowepro bags are bulky and heavy, and quickly will start to massacre your backbones. So, I sold my Vertex 200W, and bought this Thule backpack. You can save your sensitive stuff, as bodies and lenses, inside the strongest bottom half, and save other stuff, as flashes, filters, batteries, cards, cables, even macbook… inside other pockets. Theres a tons of different pockets! Into on upper compartment you can carry food, drinks or clothes. It’s lightweight, it’s comfortable, and very resistant. I think it’s the best backpack for the travelers.
If your excuse is that you have lot of more stuff to carry, you can always mix this backpack with a rolling camera bag, and give some rest to the body. In case you are the Hercules and you want to carry it all at your back, so good luck for you!
Moleskine notebook: I’m too young but I have to admit that I have a lot of old costumes. My grandfather was maybe my first reference on this kind of document through the writing. He was writing about important things in all bits of paper. I think he was afraid of losing his mind before losing his physical needs, so you end up creating a method that will help you not only not to forget, but also not to be forgotten.
My notebook is one of my biggest treasures. Inside there I write about my dreams, my ideias and concepts, is a place where I can draw and scratch following. It is much more than a white sheet, it’s my past, my present and my future.
Witness in our time by Ken Light: Photography books aren’t just errant galleries. This book came to me just a couple of weeks ago, and it was asked me to read as a preparation for Documentary Photography for Social Change course,that will be provide by photographer Beb Reynol at the International Center of Photography. It’s an amazing intellectual piece that will make you traveling through almost all the history of documentary photography, with biographies and real episodes narrated by photographers, editors and curators that make us fell closer to all those experiences from those warriors. “Photography can change the world. If you have any doubts, read this book. It will change your life.” said by Brian Wallis, chief curator at International Center of Photography.
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 II and Tiffen filter polarizer: I don’t have many words to describe this lenses. Right now is the only lenses that I’m using, and I don’t need any other. Ok… if I could have two of them, I had! I will not make any personal review, theres tons of them on the internet. Obviously, when I put myself on the streets shooting the daily life, this lenses could be a problem, but I’m not a restricted street photographer so I don’t have major concerns to have bigger setups. It’s light, has definition, and is all I need to put my work at higher levels. The polarizing filter is the cherry on the top of the cake, and Tiffen is one of the biggest brands on that. Details can be expensive and Tiffen it is certainly, but a good polarizer can make the difference in your work.
Passport: If I lose this shit on the US… I can’t lose it! ahaha
MOO Design postcards and business cards: As a photographer you always need to transport a piece of your work with you. MOO Design isn’t a platform to print portfolios, it’s a creative platform to print works that will share your image as a professional. It’s easy, fluid, they give you a lot of options, with quality and not so expensive. You receive everything in your home in a few days. So, it’s all the photographers want!
Slim drive by G-Technology: When your digital archive is too important for you, you need to have much confidence in your storage. G-techs are consider one of the best brands on this external devices and totally give you that trust. They are super fast working each other with your Macs, and this one particularly are so small and fits anywhere. Obviously that any external tech is 100‰ reliable, so you always need to make your backups.
Canon EOS 7D and SanDisk CF cards: This is my personal digital camera since Canon launched this model more than four years ago I think, and still work pretty well today! 7D is considered one of the strongest camera bodies on the market but it’s important to do regular maintenance and thereby increases the lifetime. Obviously that the APS sensor is a major obstacle in my work, and if I could have a digital FullFrame sensor would much better for me. I want to buy and work with Mark III 5D, but is so expensive and I need to wait more time to that. Let’s see whats happen!
Canon EOS 3 x2: I bought this two bodies last month, and with more than ten and twelve years old this two EOS 3 models are almost new, which is impressive! I bought this two because I needed a good film cameras with a mount for FD lenses. I have to admit that if I could find the 1V model almost new, will make me a happier person but I couldn’t found yet on Europe. I have one body for color rolls, and another for black and white. I just have one lenses for all the bodies, but I don’t like to work so fast so… changing the lenses on my daily work ins’t so positive, but it’s ok!
35mm black and white films vs. 35mm negative color films: To this travel to the US, I’ll bring with me almost 50rolls. I will shoot mostly in film because it’s all I want for my personal work. Film isn’t just about the smell of chemicals and the romanticism to develop negatives, it’s all of that, but with film I have unique tones and definition. I’ll bring with me something like 26 rolls of Ilford HP5+ and the rest in color films as Agfa Vista+, Kodak Portra and Ektar, Fuji Pros, all in sensibilities between 160 and 400. I have more curiosity to work with different brands and models in color films because the changing in color tones. I think it’s the same with many film photographers!
All this rolls was provided by my friends from We Love Film, a portuguese organization that fights for the survival of the old costumes in photography. They struggle to offer lowest prices in all types of films and all the stuff needed. They also work in education of the new mentalities sharing a lot of good stuff into their network platforms. It is ridiculous the prices charges by the photography stores nowadays, a simply roll of HP5+ 36exposures at one of the biggest photo stores in Portugal it’s almost 7€ (more than 8$US).
I think that most of the new generations of young photographers don’t want to spend money on old costumes, and it’s bad for the photography world. Even if I work with a digital sensor professionally, I learned a lot working with film and I took big lessons for the digital world, so I think will be always a great reason to work with film.
Thanks for sharing your bag with us, Tiago. I hope you have a fantastic experience in New York and come out of it retaining your passion.
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