#805. What’s in my bag? Part 2

#805. What’s in my bag? Part 2

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.

 

Sydney
Sydney

 

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.

  

Stockholm
Stockholm

 

Glasgow
Glasgow

 

Paris
Paris

 

London
London

 

Scotland
Scotland

 

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.

 

Sydney
Sydney

 

Singapore
Singapore

 

London
London

 

South Africa
South Africa

 

Newcastle-on-Tyne
Newcastle-on-Tyne

 

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.

 

Glasgow
Glasgow

 

Berlin
Berlin

 

Singapore
Singapore

 

London
London

 

South Africa
South Africa

 

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.

 

Stockholm
Stockholm

 

London
London

 

London
London

 

South Africa
South Africa

 

Scotland
Scotland

 

Stockholm
Stockholm
 
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4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron January 03, 2019

    Well I must say you startled me, with your suggestion that a D800 with a 24-70 zoom lens would make you inconspicuous – but I agree that the Fuji X100F is a great choice for what you’re doing in the way of street photography.
    And I’m not in the least surprised when you tell us that the fixed lens it has suits 99.9% of the time. Waaaayy back, when I bought my second SLR, I kitted it with a 35mm w/angle and a 135mm tele – and looking at the results years later, I was left wondering why – because I never used either of them enough to justify the money I spent buying them. It’s a bit different these days – for a start, my w/angle is 28mm and that makes it more useful anyway, so I don’t have a problem buying it.
    But for street, you really don’t want a whole heap of gear. When I bumped into a clown from the other side of Oz (where we park our rednecks) who clearly had an acute affliction of GAS, who was traveling with a lady clown with a similar problem, and between them they had EIGHT Leicas strung around their necks, I couldn’t get away from them fast enough. Traveling in places like Montmartre, you don’t want to go telling the pickpockets and thieves that people like that are your familiars, your social milieu.
    Anyway it’s not about how much you can spend – it’s about what a good photographer you are. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your photographs. (Don’t tell Dumbo Tramp, but talent always wins, and I suspect Dumbo’s other resources aren’t going to keep him in his present line of employment for very much longer).

  2. Avatar
    Kristian Wannebo January 03, 2019

    For me a *very* inspiring set of Photos!
    A kind of ultimate un-destination photography I enjoy very much!

    I find it hard to pick favourites…
    The first Glasgow, the Newcastle and the Berlin photos as well as the two London “crowds” and the London puppet (also for its humor) were immediate favourites.
    But most of the others grow on me as I come back to them!
    – – –

    Stockholm, Old Town – your bicycle photo (?) – also has Mårten Trotzig’s lane. I went there again recently, but it sadly was all too full of un-nice graffiti.

    ( Google suggests:
    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTNV-uhpZVIadbbNYI-EbPwHiVUwMrgFlwZBrMLee2AU3o5MmK9 )

    But there a 35mm-eq lens is seldom wide enough for details as the lane is only a few feet wide…

    • Avatar
      paulperton January 03, 2019

      Wow, that’s pretty narrow. Fish eye anyone?

      Thanks for the positive comments re the pictures. The puppet is actually an undressed mannequin in a semi-dark shop window – I really liked the mystery of it.

      Cheers.

      • Avatar
        Kristian Wannebo January 03, 2019

        ( I guessed it was a mannequin, which made it humorous to me.)

        > “I really liked the mystery of it.”
        Yes!
        And the way you succeeded in cutting it vertically at the right place!

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