What’s In My Bag?

(I originally wrote this bag-unpacking piece for japancamerahunter.com, linked HERE)

Hello and welcome to my bag! It’s a Chrome Industries Niko camera sling that I spent too much money on because the other seven or eight bags in the back of my closet didn’t fit my needs, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself otherwise. It’s durable and compact, and comfortable to wear over my shoulder as I’m motorcycling to some pretty location to take slightly above-average photos and put them on a blog that only my family reads.

I’m a New Yorker presently living in Vermont, I own too many old cameras, and my access to a wealth of scenery gives me loads of opportunities to use them. I’ve been shooting film since I was a teenager, even though everyone said it’s weird because it’s obsolete like vinyl records are and we know THOSE aren’t coming back either! I mean sure, I have a digital camera too. It’s kinda neat, Samsung makes it, and not only does it take pictures but it also has internet access and I can make phone calls with it. Slick!

I realize that the cool thing to say is I “make” pictures, not “take” them, but I’m not cool, I’m obstinate. The world will survive.

So that’s me, that’s my bag, and this is what I have in it lately‚Ķ

  • Olympus OM-2 (because I’m an SLR guy)
  • Konica Auto S3 (because I guess I like rangefinders also)
  • Yashica-Mat (okay and I’m a TLR guy too I suppose)
  • Various films I keep in handy Japan Camera Hunter plastic cases. Japan Camera Hunter cases you say? Why yes! They’re the latest! They’re affordable and portable and come in four exciting colors! Yeah, and inside them are usually Kodak Ektar, Portra, and Ilford Delta films (sold separately)
  • Peak Design “Leash” and wrist straps. When you have 25 cameras these quick-change strap systems are a no-brainer.
  • Lens wipes, because I never liked those rocket-shaped squeezey blowers that everyone swears by (remember, “obstinate”)
  • Baggy full o’ batteries
  • A Teensy Switchblade because they’ve made it so you can’t even open a candy bar without tools anymore
  • Handi-Pod mini tripod. It’s as old as these cameras and it fits in any pocket
  • Shutter release cable for slow exposures on said tripod
  • A protein bar or two, because I always forget to eat enough
  • no water bottle, because I always forget those too
  • Notebook and pen, I should use these more than I do
  • Reading glasses, because once you reach 40 you have no idea what your ASA is set to on your camera or how many exposures are left

It seems like a lot but it really isn’t. The cameras are lightweight and compact, there are no extra lenses, and everything else is of negligible size and weight. I tend to pack light, since I will be wearing this on my back, often while motorcycling on twisty roads.