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Dream Tech: The Well-Equipped Tech


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BY Michelle Brady June 12, 2011 · Published by PhotoVideoEDU

Like a photographic MacGyver, the well-equipped tech always has just the right tool at hand, whether it's a high-tech calibrator for fine-tuning color or a bag of rocks to keep the lights from getting blown over by the wind on location. Well-equipped tech Kotaro Kawashima gives us a look inside the gear bag he brings on set.


Michelle Brady is a photographer and educator. While teaching and photographing, she spent several years as a digital tech and digital systems consultant, helping photographers set up their digital workflow. She currently owns and operates Catskills Workshops & Retreats.


Veteran New York digital tech Kotaro Kawashima opens his gear bag and shows us just what he brings to set, whether in the studio or on location.

“Know how to be a good third assistant,” Kawashima advises. "Knowing grip equipment and being able to communicate to the photographer and crew is an integral part of being a tech. It's good for morale.“

Kotaro's Studio Shoot Kit

  • 2-3 A clamps for securing the monitor to the digital cart or hanging or attaching anything anywhere
  • X-Rite i1Display 2 (or some sort of monitor calibration device)
  • 2 30-foot FireWire 800 cables
  • 1 15-foot USB cable
  • 1 booster, also known as a tether extension
  • 2 CompactFlash card readers (1 USB, 1 FireWire 800)
  • 1 external hard drive
  • 1 Leatherman or multitool
  • 1 X-Rite ColorChecker chart (a.k.a. Macbeth Color Checker) or ColorChecker Passport
  • 1 QPcard, also known as a grayscale card
  • 4 CompactFlash cards

Kotaro's Location Shoot Kit

All of the above plus . . .

  • Empty flyaway bag to fill with sand, rocks, or whatever is around to weigh down equipment
  • Car adapter to charge batteries
  • Rubber bands to organize cables or secure tether locks

Read more from the Dream Tech series:

Dream Tech: Get Your Digital Tech On
The Way of the A-List Tech
The Essential Grip Kit
What's on Your Hard Drive?
Network Your Macs

Digital Capture Tech

Featured photographer: Michelle Brady

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