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Tips & Tricks

5 Things That Can Pull Double Duty In Your Camera Bag

By Justin Heyes on August 31st 2014

Space in a camera bag is precious. First, there is your camera, then, any lenses you may need and whatever space is left, you fill with odds and ends – a filter here, a battery there. To find more room so we can carry more gadgets is something all photographers look for, so anything that can save or create more space is welcomed. Here is a list of 5 things that pull double duty in my camera bag so that I can maximize the space I have.

1. Julbo Sunglasses
We may be able to see near infrared, but we still have to worry about ultraviolet rays damaging our eyes. Julbo’s, unlike some shades that only have tinted glass, use a neutral density material to reduce the light. These will not touch the quality of dedicated ND filter, but they are good in a pinch.


2. Tascam DR-05 Flash Recorder
Audio can make or break your projects. On-board mics are so terrible that the Filmmaker’s Handbook says that you should use the book itself to break them off. Flash recorders are great for interviews, small concerts and voice overs. They are self contained and can be used off camera unlike the Rode Video Mic. The DR-05 pulls double duty in my bag as a remote release. When turned off and plugged into my camera, the power/home button can fire the shutter.

3. OTG (On-The-Go) Cable
An OTG cable is a device that plugs to the bottom of a compatible Android device (sorry, iPhone users) and provides a full sized USB port. The port can be used for mice, keyboards, flash drives, and game controllers. There are 3rd party apps that can turn your device into an external monitor with touch screen controls for your Canon or Nikon DSLR.

4. Sharpie with Gaffer Tape
Sharpies and gaffer tape are worth their weight in gold on film sets and photo shoots. It can be used to keep cables down, tighten loose clothing, labeling, fix shoes, make hangers, cover branding, etc. I could easily write a book on 1001 uses for gaffer tape and sharpies.

5. DIY In-Line Dimmer
This is something that I do not always carry with me, but it is always needed for something. I prefer constant light when shooting studio work or interiors. In my opinion, more can be done with a 650 watt DeSisti than a speedlight, but I digress. In-line dimmers can bring down that blown out light to a soft incandescent glow or create pulsating LED effects for long exposures.

Most of the items are small and take up little space so they never have to leave my bag. Do you carry anything in your bag that pulls double duty?

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kyle Felix

    It was an interesting article to read about basic things to carry while outing. Especially in summer one have to carry all the things needed like spackle, Sunglasses and many more things as you had already described, they will surely protect from harmful rays, which can even affect one’s skin, eyes and from many diseases. The wholesale distributor is available like is available online selling sunglasses in bulk.

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  2. Graham Curran

    A clean white handkerchief: reflector, diffuser, polisher and nose blower.

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  3. Basit Zargar

    Otg cable always with me

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  4. Michael Moe

    OTG Cable, sunglasses and sharpies are always in may camera bag!

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  5. mugur ic

    I like the Julbu sunglasses

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  6. Rafael Steffen

    Interesting point of view on a few extras to carry around.

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  7. Edward Solly

    As a wedding photographer i have created an ‘oh shit kit’ this isn’t limited too but includes painkillers, gum, safety pins, hair clips, hair bands, elastic bands, superglue, deodorant, aftershave and perfume samples, wipes, bluetac… ect. I always end up using a few things each wedding, The kit has been a lifesaver!

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  8. Herm Tjioe

    Number 5 & 3 , would be of much more use for me [adds to list of things to get], those others are already in use , except for the sunglass brand. Always good reminder.

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  9. Mark Iuzzolino

    Interesting. I think the dimmer switch is something that could be very useful and easy to put together.

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