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Food for Flash

Ottawa Commercial Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen - FoodiePrints

In a world of potrable strobes, pocket wizards, and flash power units, the AA battery is, for me, the food that my gadgets feed on. 4 speedlights, 2 auxilary packs, & 4 PW’s means I bring at least 40 Double-A batteries with me for every shoot, and that’s just in the clip. Of course you need extra too. On a long day your flash recycle time will dip down, or maybe you just forgot to recharge the ones in the flash unit the day before *ahem* – not that I’d do that.

Without batteries the image above, of the friendly folks from Foodieprints, a local trio of food & wine enthusiasts who share their passion in the form of a blog, would look more like this:

That’s right, THEY WOULDN’T EVEN EXIST (kidding, but you get the idea).

To transport these cumbersome metal tubes I’ve gone from elastic bands, to specialized plastic containers made exclusively for batteries: All of these break. At a few bucks a pop it’s not the end of the world, but certainly not a commodity I’m happy to replace all the time. I like to track my charged batteries from those discharged too – so keeping them organized is still important.

Think Tank Photo AA Battery Holder Review

That’s why I was so excited when I saw that Think Tank Photo released a canvas version made of the same durable material as their Pixel Pocket Rocket card holders. I asked Think Tank to send me one so I could review it here, but the opinion here is my own and not influenced by their generosity (it’s only influenced by their awesome).

The Think Tank AA Battery holder is a simple thing, and maybe that’s why it works so well. Two pockets that snuggly fit AA batteries, overlapping, and secured by a piece of velcro, it’s really all you need. All the plastic holder’s I’ve owned have had little segmented areas, clips to lock them shut, and shards of plastic everywhere every time you accidentally drop one. Of course there’s little chance the AA Battery holder will ever break, and I’m not sure it’s really capable of ripping either – it’s so well sewn together that I think I’d have to TRY and destroy it – but it is precious to me, so we will not destroy it.

$10 might seem steep for something so simple too, but like I mentioned, the plastic holders are a few bucks each, all you need to do is break 5 and you’re done: believe me, you will break them. That said, I do think it’s a bit much, especially considering the quantity you may need (any plans for a 16 AA battery holder guys?). I’d also like a small clip, or even an elastic loop like the Pixel Pocket Rocket has to clip to their bags – though the weight of the batteries might make this a bad idea anyways (I’m no engineer).

It’s obviously not for everyone, but for photographers like me who travel a lot with off-camera flash it’s certainly a valuable piece to throw into my kit and hold my AA’s when I need them.

You can view the foodieprints portrait larger over on Flickr

3 thoughts on “Food for Flash

  1. Calusarus says:

    Very nice lighting in this professional shot !

  2. DaniGirl says:

    So my takeaway from this post is (a) the FoodiePrints gang are robots powered by AA batteries or (b) Justin carries too much gear?

    I'll go with (c) all of the above.

    (Love the colour pop in the image, though!)

  3. Greg says:

    The contrast between the "no flash" and flash photos really shows how much detail and vivid..ness..osity.. you brought to the trees and car.