Finding my soulmate bag to accommodate me at my urban photography tours hasn’t been at all easy. This entry is about why I ended up getting an all-purpose
messenger bag, rather than buying a purpose designed.
The criteria for new bag
I had been looking for the right travel bag for way too long. I started out with the criteria that It had to be good for my urban tours. That criteria were only the beginning, the line of requirements grew as I examined more and more bags.
I love big bags, but I tended to overfill them with too many lenses. 10 out of 10 times I end up with never using the range of glass n’ gadgets that I carry. The fruit of big bags has more than often been that my urban photo tours has turned themselves into a painful cumbersome experience, where I looked oddly out of place on the expense of my anonymity. Attention on urban tours is less than desirable for two reasons, the first of them being the loss of anonymity, and second security. Being unnoticed is key to street photography, the purpose of shooting people in their environment without them getting the impression that you are invading their privacy. Security is also key to urban photography, looking like year’s pay walking around isn’t too healthy in some cities to walk around looking like the better part of a year’s payroll.
Ok size matters, the bag had to be small to give me hassle-free tours, yet big enough to fit a camera and 2 lenses. It has to provide anonymity, yet be of good quality. It had to be resistant to rain and dust to protect my gear from the elements but also from light physical contact, without having to save my gear should we be run over by a train, and for that It needed to have some small amount of padding.
I never liked excessive padding, it might save your glass from the worst bumps, but they also serve as dust collectors. I have been Vacuuming my AW Pro Tracker as much as my wife wished I was vacuuming our house. Getting rid of dust hasn’t been success, all sorts of unwanted filth getting stuck in the padding and it is taking much to long time to get rid of it.
Carrying less gives more comfort (no shit Sherlock), still there is more to comfort than making sure that the bag isn’t in wearing down on my shoulders. Accessibility and safety is two other major factors. Glass and gadgets needs to be accessible without having to take the bag off, yet secure so I didn’t drop things nor had unwanted fingers unnoticeable in my bag.
Read onwards … Searching for the right one