Photographers, Bring Your Own Bag

Okay look, I’m serious about this one my fellow photo friends, there are tons of threats out there in the world. I can only name a handful:

  • First-world problems
  • Not being able to play through fields of wheat
  • Having a camera bag with expensive gear

Today, we concentrate on the 3rd point as the first one is self-explanatory and the second is too intense and mentally straining for me to even attempt to cover.

As convenient as camera bags can be with the quick access zippers, the customisable inserts and the general feeling of having a solid, reliable camera bag on you. But there’s a couple of issues with having a bag solely made to hold your camera.

And I mean, if you do have a bag which completely fits the criteria below that I think are lacking in most bags, please do share what bag you use in the comments and just feel free to ignore everything I said.

Once again, I’ll try to explain this in a way in which (hopefully) doesn’t turn into a rant.

1. those damn thieves.

There are some anti-theft camera bags, but boy are those expensive. Most CBs, however, aren’t, and they look quite theft-worthy. I mean there are some that are subtle, but their looks and branding can give it away too; it’s worse when the branding is obnoxious as hell.

This is a robber’s thought process (or I would assume it’s like this):

*sees a nice bag – which is a “subtle” bag holding tons of camera gear* 

“mmmm dat bag looks gud, if they got a nice bag they must have nice things”

*proceeds to snatch your bag*

And bam, there goes camera gear worth more than your life taken by an outlaw who thought your bag “looks gud”.

There are some truly beautiful camera bags that can prove deadly as they’re too beautiful to be exposed in public. Sorry folks.

2. Your bag packs cameras, yes… what else can it hold?

Well? From my experiences, not very much. After 7 months of using the Lowepro D100AW and some other camera bags, I’d say that camera bags can’t do very much beyond holding camera. Maybe your keys, phone, boarding tickets, ID card… then?

Companies have been trying FOR YEARS to integrate an all-rounder bag which can serve for camera gear and for other extra stuff but the conventional camera cube proves to be incredibly difficult to work around.

Now don’t get me wrong here, such bags bring forward a whole new level of organisation.

It’s absolute genius but it isn’t a stable solution, only the thought process of something big that is soon to come.

SOLUTION

Just use a normal bag dude, one that is quite popular – Hershel’s Supply and Co or even a casual Adidas backpack – and use an insert. There are really good inserts by Tenba’s BYOB series which I definitely suggest you look at. If you’re traveling, this is great to keep your camera gear safe and remain low profile to thieves whilst ensuring your camera is adequately padded.

If you can’t live without the quick access, just get yourself a Capture Clip from Peak Design and feel free to slap your camera there and pray for the likeliness that no one knows how to steal it. Slightly inconvenient as everyone can see it but still, it works I guess \_(ツ)_/

If you’re a mirrorless user or just someone who prefers carrying the minimal gear, you can always try out Tenba’s Tool Box series, it’s just a smaller padded insert to put in whatever your heart desires.

I mean, your heart’s desires must be within reasonable size as the Tool Box can’t hol… I’ll stop. But it does save space and your non-camera-specialised bag can fit more now.

Also, may I just add that I am not sponsored or paid in any way by Tenba, they just make good stuff.

A POTENTIAL CHALLENGER TO MY POINTS ARRIVE:

Peak Design can be an exception, as their Everyday series really does live up to it’s standards. I love the side compartments of the Everyday Backpack because I can throw so much in there, but the backpack doesn’t truly utilise all the space you find in the main compartment of the Everyday Backpack – nothing fits nice and snug.

I can throw in a camera body, a couple of lenses and some accessories but I’d still be hesitant to put my lunch in there. It’s either because I’m afraid my camera is gonna smell like pasta sauce and could be possibly drenched in it too or my gear is gonna bounce around as I walk.

Another reason PD also challenges my points is because their bags are subtle enough so that you wouldn’t think about stealing it (I would, mind you, because I know it’s a PD bag hehe watch out). The Everyday Messengers are in your view and difficult to pickpocket so you’re safe there. And the Everyday Backpack does have some zip anchors made to stump thieves and though it’s not foolproof, it might save you from the casual drive-by snatch.

Something to keep in mind is that PD is brimming with so much potential and revolutionising the photography industry by a milestone, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they do fix up on these sorts of concerns too. Peak Design is a company you want to keep an eye on.

And scene

I hope this kinda brought awareness over how much of a vulnerable position your camera gear is in, and how crappy having a camera bag can be too due to a waste of space.

But I wouldn’t totally mind if you had Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack, though my only concern is if someone is bothered enough to rob it.

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#MakeFlickrGreatAgain

Ever since March 2016, Flickr’s greatest features were only available if you paid. The incredible Auto-Uploadr is gone, and I still damn miss it.

This certainly was a business move, to accentuate the portrayal of Flickr being a photographer’s hipster social network, not a backup to dump memes in. I see their point, but a hobbyist like me and my brother just can’t be bothered to spend £57.72 (during time of writing this blog) annually. And if you’re giving us 1TB of free storage, I’m sure people will still be committed to upload junk there – whatever clears up their phone at least.

Auto-Uploadr was such a huge convenience to us, and even though we have fast internet, the web upload tool is such a pain in the *** and it’s almost as if they purposefully did this to entice us to pay.

That’s why I’m enraged, because I’m trying to put up some of my best work and this uploader is screwing things up for me. It’s either the photos timing out, or the upload bar not moving a single inch for hours.

I’ve literally waited a whole weekend for just 1 batch to upload. I’M SICK OF THESE DAMN STRATEGIC MONEY-MAKING MOVES ON THIS DAMN WEBSITE. Get it together Flickr.