Thursday, March 8, 2012

Everybody carries his load...

Thanks to my friend Ona for prompting me to write this revealing testimony (giggle).

Our needs for accessories vary because of our different approaches to photography, or diverse subjects. I've been searching for a camera bag that would suit me and, honestly haven't found anything which would satisfy me completely.
I really don't like so popular fashion camera bags - almost none of them have sufficiently padded straps and the openings are usually too narrow, so it becomes a hassle to put in a "full size" DSLR. I was also looking into backpacks - for either hiking and around the city. Backpacks can hold lots of stuff but they sit directly on the person's back and don't allow for ventilation. Which in California is a big deal, you know, I don't want to have my clothes wet from sweating.

Here is how I carry my stuff, I'm still trying to find the right setup. This is what works for me - a hiker and an active traveler.
(Photos without a location stated are from New Zealand)

 Life before I had a camera was easy - a tiny backpack for water and some food.
I remember laughing a lot.
cables to Half Dome (Yosemite NP) and Narrows Canyon (Zion NP)
Narrows in Zion NP

Still before I had any camera - I bough a great backpack for hiking - Venturi, from REI (they don't carry it anymore)...looks easy, right?
Desolation Wilderness, California

So easy to hop over logs and creeks!

The backpack seems big but in fact, it's not. It has a mesh back construction for

Then, I borrowed my husband's 4/3 format camera for my trip to Paris. Light and small, I could barely feel it in DH's unpadded bag. It was about that time when I was getting hooked on photography.

Eiffel Tower, do I need to say it?

I could carry a guide to help me to determine which Montmartre streets I shouldn't miss and still feel nothing. Even though it wasn't a fashion statement at all, it didn't clash with my dressy look much. Hello, I was in Paris!!

Montmartre, Paris

Enter my new Canon 7d. I was still trying to fit the camera into the same baggie. Clanking of the camera and an additional lens inside was telling me this wasn't the best idea.

Monterey, California

Here is a new Ape Case holster I bought. It only accommodates the camera with a lens. So I carried the camera in my hand and 70-200 mm lens in the pouch.
Mono Lake, California

The weight of the gear was so new to me, so it felt great to take it off once in a while!  lol

On trails, I started to combine my hiking backpack (where I had two additional lenses in their pouches) with the holster carried on my stomach. The holster contained the camera+lens. It might look silly this way, I have the DLSR ready in front of me but protected when climbing boulders.

Twin Lakes, California

And then I bough a Tamrac bag. By accident, actually. I use it when I'm walking and on car trips - just not hiking. It's awesome. It looks nice when just resting on my lap. It's not bulky so I can squeeze through narrow gaps. I can go shopping with it!!

Mykonos, Greece

I can attach up to 2 pouches with lenses to the sides, or none. (that is the best option, really)
island Delos, Greece

It looks good with a dress.

And if I add a tripod I still feel ok, although I'd rather walk busy streets in the morning so I don't bump into people as much.

It was kinda tricky to climb down through a narrow opening into our cave room with the equipment, though
Oia, Santorini, Greece

The bag can also serve as a scratch pad for cats, you see.

Just walking, going "light".

The "trail" setup with a tripod. The holster on the tummy.

The gear can get heavy so I have to treat my blisters. (I'd get them anyway after 10 miles lol)

Chocolate chip cookies should be included in the equipment too. Essential!

The backpack serving as a hanger for my jacket. No, I didn't carry that bag of gravel.

Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by all the baggage I carry. Please, this is not how I normally look!!!!!  lol

Happy to shed everything.

The holster has a rain cover. Very useful.

Letting everything dry after a storm.

Keeping the jacket handy for more rain.

Unfortunately, I can't handle an umbrella in addition to all the stuff.

I appreciate that my Tamrac bag is somewhat squeezable. Very handy if suddenly a penguin approaches while I take photos of some rocks and I need to squat.

The holster is a perfect platform for exchanging lenses.

I am currently looking for an upgrade bag because DH and I share long array of lenses. Tamrac has some great choices. I'm also experimenting with B-Grip system - I attach the camera on a front strap of my backpack. But not much hopes there. My legs are terribly wobbly and if I trip over, there won't be a camera anymore.
  1. Romy what a great blog!!!! I love this write up with your pictures to go with it. I too and trying to find the "perfect" bag I am going to have to check this one out!!!! Thanks alot for writing this!!!!!

  2. Beautiful images and shots ...soon ...

  3. wow Romy, what a great lot of photos, and how fun that your hubby ALSO does photography, there's photos of YOU!!! what beautiful places you have visited!!! Great post!

  4. I agree~I love how you wrote this up with all the wonderful photos. Finding the "perfect" bag seems to be a very elusive journey.