I’ve Been Downsized

I knew the day would come. It started like this.

“Mr. Milnor, all three of your bags are overweight.”
“WTF?”
“Yes, you are going to have to check all three bags.” “And there will be a fee.”
“WTF?”

“How did I fly here without any trouble?” I asked.
“Americans are lazy, but we enforce the rules here,” she replied.
“Ouch.” “I like blanket statements as much as anyone else but that was harsh.”
“I work for a book publishing company,” I added, looking for mercy.

I unzipped my roller bag and asked “Would YOU want to check that?”

She looked own at a massive clump of equipment, cables, drives, fan belts, antiques, solid brass bodies and photographic buzz saws. “Ah, no, not really,” she answered.

“Okay, I will give you permission this one time, but that’s it,” she said. “I love you, I mean I seriously love you to the DNA level,” I said.

Now, I thought at some point the TSA would crack down on us filmheads but I didn’t see carry on bags being the issue that forced me from my ways. The day has come when I realize I just can’t carry what I want when I fly. Bastards! They don’t care, and I get why they don’t care, but it still royally sucks. So, I was downsized. By my own free will, credit card and Amazon Prime Account.
Milnor_Downsize_001

The first and second images here are my old setup. For audio you have Zoom H6 (NO I’m not linking everything slackers.), EV mics(x2), tripods, XLR cables, dead rats, mice, cats or whatever you call them, etc. This all fit in my Tenba backpack. The second images is of my Tenba Roller Bag. (Buy Tenba, I love them.) (Buy, buy, buy….)This is where poeple think I’m crazy. Hasselblad and two lens, Leica and two lenses, Polaroids and four packs of film, iPhone film rig, two hard drives, film, Canon 5D III and three lenses, cards, card reader, cables for EVERYTHING, batteries, bellows for Blad, chargers, model releases…..WHEW. My back is KILLING ME. ALL of this fit in this roller, its’ incredible.(Buy, buy, buy.)(Tenba, Tenba, Tenba.)
Milnor_Downsize_002

But now you will meet the NEW me. The smaller, lighter, hipper me. With short hair no less. From all the above to the following.

iPhone 6 Plus

(Yes it’s big. Get over it.) I see this as my COMPUTER and much more. The iPhone is now my email, text and phone, yes, yes, but also my audio recorder, podcasting base, digital camera and movie camera.

Lav Mic

x2. So small and light and cheap.

Splitter

Runs both lav mics and my headphones

External Ambient Mic

This replaces my Zoom for ambient street recordings for my “Just Listen” series, and also runs off the phone.

Milnor_Downsize_003

Oh, and in case you were wondering where all this goes, and how I’m going to downsize my equipment…I’ll show you. From this moment forward, when I’m flying, I will carry this audio setup, my Leica M4 and two lenses, my Polaroid and film packs, my meter, film, model releases and all of it fits in ONE tiny backpack that is so comfortable. (Tenba, buy Tenba) (You know I’m kidding about this, but this bag is fantastic.) Check out the small packs inside, designed for GoPro, that work perfectly for all my stuff. I just pull out the ones I don’t need, leave them in my hotel room and take what I need.
Milnor_Downsize_004
The last thing I have to mention is, I now check a bag. Most of the time. People are insane. Seriously, they carry on so much stuff, and yes I was guilty too, that I don’t like that feeling of now knowing if your bags are going to make it without being checked. So now I will get on with my small Tenba bag and my small, leather satchel and I don’t care if you attempt to carry on a stuffed Caribou, including the antlers. Go ahead schmucko!

The new me also travels with things like a yoga mat, so I need to check anyway, and speaking of what yoga does to your brain….I’m not rushing or frantic. I’m just being……OMMMMMMMMMMMM. I’m still missing one small, extender cable, but other than that I’m loaded for bear and ready to move. Get out of my way people, I’m a media professional.
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Now, some folks asked why I just didn’t go this route from the beginning, and I’ll tell you. This new setup isn’t as good as my old one. It’s not as stable, durable and the sound quality is not the same, but it still works. Does this sound familiar? I’ve never had my Zoom crash. Ever. You could pound nails with the EV mics, and people have walked on my XLR cables without issue, but I’m in a pickle here and this was the solution I came up with. Anyone want to interview?

11 responses to “I’ve Been Downsized”

  1. James says:

    Congrats!!! Don’t stop here. Most of us don’t use the recording function and other apps that expand the functionality of the iPhone and replace other devices.

    • Smogranch says:

      James,
      Tested it yesterday. Leica File Eighteen and Nineteen were with phone. It works well, a bit delicate….a bit tinny but still good.

  2. Charlene says:

    What I took away from that entire post: “yoga mat”

    What kind of spandex do you pack? 🙂

  3. Reiner says:

    One man.
    One machine.

    Will it ever happen? ( And will there still be joy?)

  4. Mark Ivkovic says:

    A man who knows what he needs and what he needs it to do. Great travel kit for you at this moment in your career I’d say. Love the mini bags inside too, killer simple for those inspections at customs etc.

    • Smogranch says:

      Mark,
      I just let it ride through, lead bag and all. Works great. And those mini bags stick to the inside so the weight doesn’t shift in the pack.

  5. Andy says:

    What’s your iPhone app of choice for recording? I’m asking for a journalist. He just needs to record for reference sake.

  6. Harold says:

    thanks for the write up. I think I could put my gear and a weeks clothes in that bag. Of course my inner dilettante is always at odds with my inner Luddite so I’m sure I will always change. It’s probably a little soon for an interview;-)

    Many thanks for your insights from the front lines.

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