Erberto Zani (Italy, 1978) is a photographer, journalist and communication designer.
After graduating in Graphics Applied Arts at Art Institute “Paolo Toschi” and after his studies in Contemporary Art History at the University of Parma, he started to work, in 2004, as photographer and journalist for the newspaper “Gazzetta di Parma“. Freelance since 2008, his works are focused on documentary-social themes. He cooperates with No Profit Organizations, magazines and companies with photographs and graphics projects focused especially on awareness-fundraising campaigns. [Official Website]
What’s in your camera bag?
My photographic equipment, bags and lenses, can change depending on the type of assignment that I receive and the kind of country where I must work.
Now I have just one camera body (but absolutely I need buy another soon as possible) Canon 5 D MK III and I use with battery grip Vertax E-11, very useful for the double commands also in vertical.
Usually I realize photo very near my subject: as documentary photographer and working for no profit organizations in difficult areas, I prefer create a contact with people before take a shot, spending time with them and try to be a part of their lifes.
For this reason I use short, or quite short, lenses: Canon 28 f1.8 USM, Canon 85 f1.8 USM, Canon 16-35 f2.8 L USM, Sigma 24-105 f4 DG OS HSM, Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM.
Dozens of Sandisk Extreme Pro Compact Flash and SD memory cards are always included with an old but faithful Hama card reader.
During my travels, for a first selections, post production and start to write some reportage, I use an Apple Macbook 12” (very thin, light, and powerful) and two hard disk for storage the images (LaCie 2 Terabyte and Mediacom 500 Gb). Powersets for Canon and Mac, with several cables, and Matin portable reflector kits, 32 Gb usb key, one torch, one knife, one adapter, complete my equipment for travel.
For carry on equipment, on airplane, bus, car, motorbike… I use Lowepro Computrekker AW or an old Tamrac backpack.When I work directly with my camera and one or few lens, I prefer bag like Think Tank Retrospective 10, that I use most of the time, or Think Tank Spped Demon V2.0.
What’s the most surprising thing you carry?
Probably Elinchrom Range Quadra Hybrid Lightning system with Elincrhom Ringflash, but with the new laws on airplanes I need another kind of case for carry on the batteries.
What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Nothing is really essential and I like change and improve the quality of my equipment for offer to my clients always a very good quality, but I can say that for my work and my passion I cannot live without a camera.
What are some of the details that you find essential for your style of bags?
I need strength and comfort. As I told, usually I work in difficult places like desert place with dust, sand (for example in Burkina Faso, in Ghana, in Ethiopia, in Haiti, in Rajasthan…) or in wet place (as in Colombia, in Congo, in Cambodia…). I need to protect my equipment and at same time I need carry on with me easily: for arrive in some far areas I need sometime travel by motorbike, small boat or riding horse.
What are the important things for protecting your camera gear?
I use camera skin in silicone: simple gear protection who saved several times my camera body.
Can you give me the essential carry kit when traveling the globe (bags, accessories etc.)?
Depending on the type of work: if is an assignment or a personal project, which kind of subject or story. I don’t have a “recipe”, I just can say that I prefer travel light and be free in my movement.
For some situations I want two camera bodies, for don’t change lens.Very essential carry kit is my camera with one lens (and of course memory cards, batteries and powerset) all inside my strong Think Tank Retrospective 10. For example in Congo, for a dangerous reportage inside mine of coltan, I used just a Canon 28 f 1.8 USM. In Bangladesh, for a work on ship breaking yards, I used Sigma 24-105 f 4 DG OS HSM and the same in Greece during an assigment on Syrian refugee realized for an italian NPO.