So. I’m going out to wander the streets. I want to disappear, so as to be able to get the shots I want. Unlike many street photographers, I don’t want my subject(s) to see me. I think capturing a posed image is (in the main) not really the essence of the photography I want to make.
Being invisible isn’t easy, it takes patience and judgement. I try to avoid bright coloured or patterned clothing, preferring black or dark blue wherever possible. I carry very little and use a camera that few people take seriously.
My bag of choice for a decade or so has been “the soupandsalad” a black Crumpler messenger style bag, capable of hiding a Nikon D800 and 24-70 zoom lens, but rarely called upon to do so. It’s weatherproof, as tough as nails and sadly nearing retirement, as its integrity and shape become more and more an advertisement for its age.
There is no protective padding whatsoever. Inside is a large zippered pocket and a slash pocket closed with a small strip of Velcro. The flap is held closed with three large Velcro patches, my only initial reluctance as the noise of the flap being ripped open could easily set off nearby car alarms.
Hardly the kind of discreet presence one would want on the streets, but over time, not the problem I had initially anticipated.
I’ve recently decided to replace the soupandsalad and looked at Crumpler’s more recent offerings only to find little that might work. Today’s messenger bags are designed to be bright and very attractive, which they are, but not suitable for hanging around on street corners as it were.
The replacement is a Timbuk2 of similar dimension(s) and carrying capacity. It’s too new for me to have much of an opinion as to its suitability, but the jet black finish bodes well.
And inside the bag?
Almost exclusively, Fuji’s X100F and a spare battery which I almost never seem to need. This small faux-rangefinder, fixed lens camera has been exhaustively reviewed by almost any and every photographer who blogs the Internet and I don’t plan to join them. Suffice to say, when I want it, the X100 can even fit in a largish pocket, along with a spare battery and happily be the camera I want with me on the street 99.9% of the time.
The X100 delivers RAW and JPG files, the latter in user selectable film simulation, depending on your preference for Velvia, Provia or many other of Fuji’s renowned emulsion-alikes. The later X100F model also offers Acros black and white with colour filter options as well. I generally settle for Acros + Red as I really like the deep blacks and contrast it delivers.
Attached to the camera is an after market accessory; a wrist strap that I regard as an essential to guard against being dropped, or in SE Asia, the motor cycle snatcher(s). There’s no lens hood, ND filters or other photographer’s tchotchkes.
The images here were all taken with the X100F. Hopefully, I’ve not posted any of them on DS before.
Anything else? With such a carrying capacity, the soupandsalad can (and has) also held a rain jacket and/or fleece and a beanie. But most of the time , it’s just the neoprene mitt I carry to protect the camera. That way I get to enjoy the weightlessness as I wander.
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