Reliable Power on Location: Photography

Due to the nature of the types of productions we film, one of Ultralite’s biggest challenges is reliable power on location. We’re usually not simply trying to power one device, but multiple camera batteries, MacBooksphones, GoPros, etc. On a recent shoot to Cayo Costa we had great success using two Arc 20W Solar Kits at our camp. These were enough to power a couple V72 laptop batteries (now available as the upgraded V88 Battery) daily. The batteries provided plenty of power for our various daily charges plus powered a USB Touchlight hanging over our workstation at night.

solar charger, power on location

Arc 20W kit charging up at camp

Our primary shooting location was actually from ocean kayaks around the island but because we were able to return to camp each night, we could leave the panels lashed to our tents during the day to power the batteries. Each night after we wrapped, we could then go back and get everything charged as we slept. While the island does offer a few 110 outlets at the ranger station, it was located about a mile’s walk from our camp and was generally an inconvenience to access when we returned from production each evening.

solar charger, power on location

Charging phones while taking a break from shooting

If we would have needed to charge directly while on the water, we would have used our 17 Watt Solar charging kit with a Nanuk 904 case, as it is a fully waterproof systems. While the Arc 20W kits are not, they are foldable and a bit more compact, and I personally prefer them for backpacking and carrying on planes. (You can learn how we previously used the 17 Watt Kits in Panama and the San Blas Islands here.)

macbook charger, DSLR charger, photography on location, power on location

Ultralite’s full charging setup while on location



Photo and words by Bud Force, Ultralite Films

Background: Ultralite Films‘ director Bud Force recently spent some time on the island of Cayo Costa off the West coast of Florida with Jose Azel, president of Aurora Photos, to capture still photography and video for Jackson Kayak, Backpacker Magazine, and Aurora Photos.

The island is still in a very natural state and looks much as it did when first discovered by Spanish explorers. Cay Costa is now a Florida state park and features a plethora of wildlife ranging from wild hogs to alligators to manatees.

You can read Bud’s complete field journal of the shoot at

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