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Ed Kashi

Walter Arsenio Rivera, 29, a sugarcane worker that suffers from fatal Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown origin (CKDu), poses in the cane fields of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. Kashi is currently raising funds for his project The Island of Widows to generate education and support about this heartbreaking epidemic that affects one-in-three men in this small city.

What’s in your camera bag? Two Canon 5D Mark III camera bodies, two Canon lenses—the 16-35mm and 24-105mm, 4 CF cards ranging from 8 to 64 gb, a Canon flash and extension cord, some pens, a Moleskine book for captions and notes, a waist belt with a couple of pouches, a headlamp for nighttime work, two extra Canon camera batteries and a small Dombke bag.

What’s the most unusual item in your bag? The headlamp. There are two things I’ve learned working in the field for more than 30 years—always have backups of your important gear and always be prepared for contingencies. So one contingency is being out at night—working or not—in the field and needing to find my way in the dark. Most recently I needed the head lamp in Jordan after a day of filming young Syrian refugees in the desert into the night. I had to find my way back to our vehicle in the pitch black.

What is your “workhorse” item? The 24-105mm lens.

What’s in your bag that is specific to the type of work you shoot? The Moleskine to make basic notes for captions—who, what, where, why, etc.,  and of course to keep track of details or nuanced info to add to my captions when I download at the end of the day.

What is the one thing you would advise a photographer to carry with them at all times? Their wits, so they keep aware of their surroundings and find great images. In terms of gear, bring a camera you are comfortable using.