Why, Again, Do I Carry All of This?

Well you made it through the title and, if you've decided to stick around for the post, congratulations.  My name is Zach, and this is my generic, introductory "first post" in the newly created Local Voices section of Patch.com.  My hope is that, through this blog, I can describe my adventures in learning this trade, share with you what I've already learned, and document the trials and tribulations of becoming a photographer.

To get the boring stuff out of the way, a little bit about me that you might not be able to discern from my bio:

I'm an IT Professional who has lived in the Owings Mills area for the last four years.  In the last few years, I've also started dabbling in photography and officially threw my hat (or lens) into the "freelance" category about six months ago. There's a good chance that, if you've been a frequent Owings Mills Patch reader, you've seen some of my photos on the site. I also do some sidework in the engagement/family/baby/pet photo world.

What started out as a hobby has now become a source of income, which is great, because on top of all of this work, I'm also about 50 days away from marrying one of the most amazing women in the entire world; an adventure, I assure you, that continues to take me by surprise almost daily.

I really hate writing "introduction" posts on blogs.  I can think of about a half-dozen other things I'd rather do than write intro posts. The worst part of that fact is that I've started a decent number of blogs and you always have to start them with that type of post. While contemplating this outlet, I really wanted to come up with a fun way to approach the introduction post and, considering the primary focus of this blog will photography-related,

I figured that a great feature would be a "What's in my bag?" type post! I won't go through everything, at least not this time around, but I will point out a few things I carry with me, eventually getting to everything in later posts.

I think it's important to note that, in my brief time as a photographer, I've tried to minimize the equipment that I carry as much as possible. I don't think most people realize how heavy a lot of this stuff can be if you throw it all in one bag and have to carry it around with you. That being said, I decided to weigh my bag, in much the same way parents weigh their kids' backpacks full of books, to determine how badly I was going to have back problems in the future.

My shocking conclusion?  I carry around 18.7 pounds of equipment (See the image of my house scale for proof).  This has been exacerbated as of late by the replacement of some of the lighter equipment with more professional glass (glass being the vernacular used by photographers to describe lenses).  I also carry around a lot of ... crap.

As this is an introductory post, the obvious first piece of equipment to reveal is the actual camera with which I do all of my shooting.  I learned the basics on a Canon Rebel XTi that I bought with my very first "big boy" paycheck out of college. After realizing that the Rebel just wasn't going to cut it if I wanted to continue to shoot for Patch, I decided that it was time to scrape together some money and upgrade my camera body.  

Enter the Canon EOS 7D.

Some highlights from the 7D?  This bad boy sports a Magnesium alloy, weather-sealed body.  What does that mean?  It means you'll probably see me outside in the rain and snow shooting photos of the dedicated Owings Mills high school atheletes. Inside, there sits a Dual DIGIC 4 image processor, housing 19 mega pixels capable of delivering tons of color and sharpness to the finest details of the images.  

My favorite part about this camera, however, is the fact that it's capable of shooting 15 still images per second.  Shooting that quick almost allows me to put together a flipbook of photos taken over a few seconds.  It's blindingly fast, and always gets a great reaction out of the crowd when it sounds like a machine gun going off!

I'm really pleased with this camera.  It's a small disappointment to not have a full-frame sensor (I'll go into what that means in a later post), but the build quality and technology are amazing.  I continue to learn new and exciting features while using this camera, and have a pretty good idea that it'll be my go-to device for many years to come which, naturally, will my make future wife pretty happy.