Sierra Leone Gear List

Choosing my Sierra Leone gear list was a difficult task. I wanted a balance between mobility and high quality.

What do I mean by that? I needed gear that was easy to transport but could still shoot great photos and video.

Sierra Leone Gear List

Before we travelled to Sierra Leone, I knew it would have to be light on gear. There was no way I would be casually getting a portable slider/ dolly in my flight bag. That was out of the question.

On previous trips, I have overcome this challenge by taking a steadicam with me.

This time on the Sierra Leone gear list, I wanted it to be functional and lightweight. This was going to be difficult.

FULL LIST OF GEAR AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE

 

Aerials

excitement-overload

In my bag is my favourite toy, the DJI Phantom 4 (Get it here).

This drone massively ticks those functional and lightweight boxes. Some drones are huge, this one is decent. It will still raise questions at airports. You’ll get the usual prompt to open the case and explain it’s contents. I found it much easier to describe it as a camera, until one airport security guard knew it was a drone… Fortunately, he was excited to see it. WIN 👍

Whilst the Phantom 4 does come with it’s own case, I would highly recommend getting an actual carry case as it much easier to sling a purpose built protective rucksack on your back. Best one I have seen so far is the Anbee Hard Shell (Link), but there is a cheaper alternative (here). That hard shell just gives you a bit more peace of mind knowing your drone is safe.

— Additional Note: I bought my DJI Phantom 4 with extra batteries. Trust me you’ll need them because once you fall in love with aerial photography/ filming you’ll want to keep going. Here’s an alternative bundle of the DJI Phantom 4 with extra batteries just in case (Link)

Photography and Filming

Now this is where it gets tricky…

#Repost @wildminds.co ・・・ 🇸🇱 Squad goals 💪 #wildminds #adventure

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I knew if I was going to stick to the functional and lightweight rule, it was going to be impossible to bring two cameras. One for photography, one for filming.

My first thought was “my Sony a7sii was going to be overkill” – and it’s not as robust as I would like it to be. Any dust on that mirrorless sensor and it’s game over. On this occasion I opted for the Canon 80D. A great mid-range DSLR. I knew from experience I could still get decent stills but also great video. But that’s not all.

I paired the Canon 80D body (link) with two lenses… and I spent a great deal of time justifying to myself, why these two:

  • Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS II USM Lens – Black (link)
  • Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Canon* (link)

* That ‘Canon’ bit is important to make sure you have the correct mount for your camera.

With these two lenses I covered myself all the way from big wide shots at 10mm all the way up to capturing distant shots at 105mm. Anything beyond that I was just going to have to walk nearer.

Backup Camera

Different tasks need different tools. For backup I always like to have a small compact camera on me for those occasions.

This time I took with me the ever reliable Canon G7x (link). I even shoot a good portion of my vlog series on the Canon G7x because it’s so functional and lightweight!!

A great alternative is the Sony RX100 iv (link) – only because it shoots 4k video and at 1000fps – YES, one-thousand frames per second!

Check out the vlog series here if you haven’t seen it yet.

Smooth Filming

It is not always possible to transport a stabiliser or steadicam. They are completely worth it, but not always practical.

Clearly I can’t leave it there. There is always a solution, and about one week before this trip, I found it.

DJI have their second entry on my Sierra Leone gear list. It’s the DJI Osmo Mobile (link). I’d known for a while there would be occasions where we would benefit from filming with some stabilisation, but how to achieve it had been playing on my mind.

I had come across the DJI Osmo (similar tech but more expensive – link), but once I heard there was one you could incorporate with your mobile device, I was sold. It meant I could shoot 4k stabilised footage on my iPhone, genius.

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Sierra Leone Gear List in Full

All the items mentioned in my Sierra Leone gear list are listed below on Amazon. I would be grateful if you are considering purchasing any of these items you use my affiliate links (below) as they help towards the cost of maintaining this website.

KIT LIST

Whilst this has been a very specific look at my Sierra Leone gear list. Basically what I could squeeze in my bag at the time, here is a better look at my favourite gear I take with me on my adventures.

My Gear List: VLOGGING KIT (On the Road)

Winning at 360º video

Over the last year, there’s been a lot of noise surrounding 360º video. Some has been speculation around it’s long term survival, will it just be another short-lived trend? And others have been praising, but there’s been little widespread uptake. Instead it’s been limited to just a few specialist brands and filmmakers, and those who’ve gotten into it are winning at 360º video.

In this article I will highlight a few of the people absolutely crushing it in the world of 360º video. In my opinion, it’s predominantly the bold who are winning at 360º video at the moment. From experience it’s not an easy format to work with as you’ve immediately lost the ability to frame your shot and it is immediately obvious that changes how you construct your narrative.

Worst of all, there’s nowhere to hide…

Winning at 360º video

1 // Corridor Digital

Whilst that’s an extremely daunting prospect not being able to hide from the lens, the team at Corridor Digital used that problem to their advantage. Their ‘Where’s Waldo’ 360º video addresses that head on by using their environment as their stage.

If you’ve a burning desire to see how they planned it all out, watch their Behind the Scenes.

2 // National Geographic

If performance = art, then Mother Nature is the greatest performer of all time. National Geographic have been pioneering in their field for decades, 360º video is no different. Their approach is true to their brand and in 360ºs it is formidable.

You’ll want to watch this one a few times to take in all the glory of the Victoria Falls. Whilst you’re at it check out their other 360º video on the National Geographic Facebook page.

3 // Fun for Louis

Speaking of pioneering, if vlogging wasn’t good enough for you, try 360º vlogging.

Over the past 3-5 years, vlogging has been carving its niche and building its popularity. Dubbed the Godfather of vlogging, Louis Cole (Fun for Louis) has evolved his craft to include 360º video, and its a pleasure. Just another way to immerse the audience that little more.

Future of 360º video

It is very possible you are still unconvinced by 360º video. Whilst its engaging and new, does that mean it will be around in a year’s time?

Facebook and Youtube definitely seem to think so. Facebook announced this week they are looking to bring 360º photos to the newsfeed on desktop and mobile. That makes a lot of sense as Facebook owns Oculus (the Virtual Reality headset manufacturing firm), whilst 360º video has been available on Facebook since September 2015.

Youtube have likewise had 360º video on their platform since last year, but they’ve gone one step further. It needed to happen, but LIVE 360º VIDEO is here, and I couldn’t be more excited!

 

Rimmel London Look – Sash and Bronze Style

Working with the Sash and Bronze team again for their Rimmel London Look.

Jump straight to the full entry here.

Bringing the Experience

The Sash and Bronze team are no amateurs when it comes to hair and make-up. Their wealth of talent and experience places them well to deliver a well researched and executed look.

[Refer to epic example from their Instagram below]

But how would they bring their unique style and experience to a video tutorial vlog?

https://www.instagram.com/p/6vpCazS5Ke/?taken-by=sashandbronze

The Challenge

What were the team up against? Rimmel had thrown down the gauntlet for their Rimmel London Look UK challenge.

If you’re a makeup addict with a killer #LONDONLOOKUK to share with the world, then Rita Ora wants to hear from you! You could be in with a once in a lifetime chance to meet Rita and work with Rimmel London make-up artists at Rimmel London’s YouTube Space in London. It really is that simple, just send us a video or image showing your best #LONDONLOOKUK and you could be travelling to London.

Challenge accepted. The team were keen to share their ideas and land a Rita Ora inspired look.

Research Phase

As one of the judges and style icon, the Sash and Bronze team took inspiration from Rita Ora’s music video Poison.

Landing the Rimmel London Look

As the eternal professionals, the Sash and Bronze team had lined up their plan for the shoot and delivered an incredible performance for their finished piece.

 

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That Sash and Bronze Look

Sash and Bronze specialises in high end make up and hair styling for events and fashion shoots. Founded by Sukh Bhandal and Manni Sanghera, the sister team design and create their look and photoshoots to represent their smouldering and elegant brand.