Kurapak’s guide to blogging gear

by Haadi Bakar
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Wanna be a popular travel blogger / social media personality like Kurapak? We take a glimpse at how this Instagram star crafts his witty videos and professional looking photos for his 17,000 followers to see.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Alin, the man behind the Kurapak persona, who shared what type of camera gear he uses primarily when he’s out travelling and covering events at home and abroad.

We were heading for Kuala Lumpur for the Santan Food Festival hosted by AirAsia earlier this week when Alin shared his essentials and tips while on an AirAsia flight en route to KLIA2.

For bloggers, Alin said, having the right set of tools is key to an efficient workflow.

For his Instagram Stories, Alin relies on his trusty iPhone 6 to take those short bursts of funny videos. This is where the majority of his audience consume his content, as his posts rake in an average of 3,000 viewers daily.

But when it comes to stills, Alin switches to a dSLR. While the iPhone 6 can take decent quality pictures, having a separate camera can help take the weight off the phone, considering its battery and storage limitations.

Those who follow Kurapak on Instagram will instantly recognise his high quality stills, particularly his model and food photoshoots. For his photography work, Alin uses a Nikon D750 and an arsenal of Nikkor prime lenses.

Previously, the blogger used a Fujifilm mirrorless camera (APS-C sensor), but made the switch to a Full Frame dSLR recently. Despite being a beast of a camera, the D750 is superior in terms of image quality and speed.

As a promoter, it is important for Alin to take the best possible looking images of products and events, and a camera with a full frame sensor delivers in this regard – more light captured, wider field of view and more pixels to work with.

Speed is also a factor, since most of Alin’s projects are fast-paced, so a professional camera with a lot of buttons, knobs and dials to work with gives him more creative control during photoshoots.

The D750 also has wi-fi for easy transfering of photos to his laptop and iPhone. More on this later.

Alin also prefers prime lenses over zooms for his work. Aside from delivering the best looking shots, primes generally perform faster and are more compact. The trick is to have a few of them to cover all focal lengths.

For Alin, his primary lenses consist of the 20mm f2.8 for wide shots, the nifty 50mm f1.8g and 85mm f1.8 for portraits. Also, a good amount of bokeh on his photos is guaranteed to please viewers.

Finally, a blogger will always need his laptop computer in hand for editing photos, managing social media accounts and other necessary paperwork, but while Alin carries his MacBook Pro with him, he also edits his photos on the fly with just his iPhone, and instantly uploads them to Instagram, thanks to a powerful photo editing app called Snapseed.

Alin also uses Nikon’s dedicated app to transfer photos from his Nikon D750 to the iPhone via the camera’s built-in wifi. This is less taxing than having to set up a laptop and data transfer cables while on the move or during and in-between events.

Here are some more gear tips from Alin:

  • Keep photo editing at a minimal to save time. This works best if you manually compose your shots.
  • A long day of shooting on a smartphone can be a huge power drain, so having multiple powerbanks is a must. Alin has three of them at all times!
  • Power extensions and multi-outlet converters are extremely handy when you’re a long way from home. Extensions with multiple USB slots are a plus.
  • Always have a spare battery for everything. Even though a dSLR can run a marathon, it pays to have a spare battery ready at all times.
  • The same goes with memory cards.
  • Invest in a good travel bag that can protect your expensive gear.
  • Camera gear is subjective. Use what works for you. If portability is important, get a mirrorless camera or a premium compact. Even today’s smartphones can take entry-level dSLR-like quality photos these days.

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