Camera Bag EDC the weight on my back

camera bag every day carry

I’ve done a couple of EDC posts detailing the things I carry. I’m a big fan of being prepared, although I don’t take it quite as far as “preppers” or survivalists. I do, however, take some ideas from them and adapt it to the urban life, or in my case, the weekend warrior lifestyle. I’ve done EDC posts on my range bag (which I keep in the car), Carry Bag, and personal items. As the Coast Guard says, Semper Paratus. Here’s a list detailing the times my gear has come in useful:

  • Someone came into my workplace asking if we had duct tape. We didn’t. I ended up taking some from the mini-roll I had attached to my keychain.
  • I got a flat tire driving home from San Jose to San Francisco one night. I put on my blinkers and pulled over, but could barely see because it was so dark. Thankfully, my range bag was in the truck and I used the crap out of my flashlight.
  • The titanium spork always comes in handy for when take-out places don’t give me utensils and I’m on the move.
  • My Gerber solves everything. The scissors, screwdriver, and pliers are my most used.
  • I use the camping spork on my keychain for all sorts of minor adjustments when I need a flathead screwdriver or for opening bottles. I’ve only used the spork for eating about 3 times and as a fair warning, if you try to take it into a nightclub, they classify it as a weapon.

Now onto my Camera Bag EDC:

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Meike MK-550DL Manual part two

LCD screen and back of the grip

LCD screen and back of the grip

My post from a while back on the Meike MK-550DL Battery Grip is one of the most popular pages on my site. I still stand behind the purchase and the grip has saved me a whole lot of time and also a lot of money. I don’t need to purchase any extras in order to take time-lapses or to do long-exposure photography with exposures longer than 30 seconds. I’ve personally recommended the battery grip to a couple of my friends, although they have yet to jump in and make the purchase. It was hard to find a Meike MK-550DL Manual that made sense.

It’s been over a year since I created and published the first post, so I’ve had a really long time to learn the ins and outs of the grip. I love it and use it exclusively. I keep the grip on my camera when I store it in my bag and I’d say that 99.98% of the time, I have the battery grip attached with two batteries in. The battery life is incredible and I always have two extras in my bag that I can easily swap out.

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able brewing reuse

able brewing logo


I was over at Artis Coffee Roasters (twitter) in Berkeley a few weeks ago and discovered a company that I’d never heard of. For those of you who have never heard of Artis, I encourage you to look them up and go visit for yourself. I thought it was a neat concept because of the live-roast coffee that they do: right in front of you. It was my third time visiting. The first time, I went to get a demo of their super-cool, futuristic machines and the second time I went just to get a nice flat white and to do some writing – I was in the area already anyway.

While I was thinking about what to order, I stood right by the Aeropress section of the store and happened to see disk coffee filter made by Able Brewing (twitter). My dear friend had gotten me an Aeropress last year and I’ve since then fallen in love with it – it brews a mean cup. The Aeropress, combined with Perfect Coffee, and the disk filter from Able Brewing is unstoppable. It’s easy to clean, works like a charm, and is reusable. I invested $15 for something I can use over and over again. From the looks of it, Able Brewing is doing some great work and coming up with excellent products.

the wishful edc gear

Wishful EDC
I wrote a post earlier today about the Designer Bundle 3.0 that I purchased for about $8, beating out the average price for 6 apps full of design resources. Among these resources were these cool mockups. I think they’re meant for branding, so you can visualize how specific items would look with your brand on them, but I took it and decided to make a branded, personal edc version. It’s definitely wishful thinking because altogether, this gear would cost a fortune, but hey it never hurts to dream. If I had these items, I would carry them absolutely everywhere.

the pencil wrap burritos

I’m no good at arts & crafts and I have no experience with leather, so when I decided I wanted something to keep all of my fountain pens together, I naturally went to Amazon. I’ve always kept my pens in the case my Pelikan M150 medium nib fountain pen came in. The great thing about a hard case is that it protects quite well. The downside: it’s pretty rigid and takes up a whole lot of space. Additionally, I could only fit about three of my pens in the hard case.

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go buy a reflector, now. an experiment with a reflector

I’ve previously talked about how the placement of external flashes can have drastic effects on how images turn out. The type, configuration, and strength of your lighting can affect all sorts of things including, but not limited to: contrast and white balance. If you want to, see this post about flash placement and to see pictures of how it’ll affect your images.

Today, I want to talk about the reflector. You know, the thing you see a lot during photo shoots? For many years, I used to think that a reflector would do absolutely nothing for me in terms of improving the quality and visual appeal of my images, but I was dead wrong. I made the incorrect assumption that reflectors were only needed for portrait photography and wouldn’t help me in any other way. For a while, I was interested in doing some portrait photography, so I went ahead and bought one of the cheapest all-in-one reflectors I could find. I knew I wanted something portable, because I would be doing most of my shooting in either secluded areas or places that required travel. For the most part, I didn’t need anything for illuminating too large a swath of area, so I went with the Fotodiox 5-in-1 22” Premium-Grade Professional Collapsible Disc Reflector.

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Swallow W100S

More notebook madness! I’m not as big of a notebook curator as most people believe me to be. I’m a utilitarian, so I don’t like to buy more notebooks than I need, although I do have a medley of notebooks that each serve different purposes. For example, I have a Rhodia Dotpad that I use as a daily to-do and planner in conjunction with the bullet journal system. I have several notebooks that are dip pen friendly – I use those to practice my calligraphy and get ready for card-making or art projects. One of my Apica notebooks is dedicated to full-blown, well-developed blog posts or thoughtful pieces. My most prized notebook: the Doane Paper Idea Journal. It’s beautiful. I can pretty much do whatever I want in it. I use it with blank cutouts of the Chronodex organizer and I have a perpetual to-do list on it as well. I even dedicate full pages to projects and ideas or split pages between work and personal tasks. The cover is so durable that I’m not worried about carrying it with me all over the place – suffice it to say, I’m a proud owner.

I recently got a new notebook. I was in San Jose visiting Kinokuniya because I really wanted to see if they carried Apica notebooks. THEY DO! However, I was specifically looking for the Apica CD-40 Wirebound 8.25 x 11.75.  They didn’t have any of those. While I was busy looking at fountain pens, my friend purchased a $9.95 notebook for me. I was hesitant to take it at first, but eventually, I conceded. I decided I would give it a try, even though it wasn’t an Apica. Secretly, I hoped it would work with my fountain pens. To my surprise, it worked beautifully! The design reminds me of Apica, so I googled the number and found out that I own the Swallow W100S.

During my ink test, I wrote a bit with my Noodler’s Ahab filled with Aurora Black. It pretty much writes like the Apica. There was no snag – just smooth sailing all the way across the paper. It did take a little longer to dry, but there was absolutely NO bleed or feathering and that’s a BIG bonus. It’s a steal for the price and after I tested it, I stowed it away. I’m keeping this one safely in my drawer until I finish my Apica. It’s precious!