It’s in the Bag – The Camera Bag Part 2

So what else do we need in a camera bag?

For me there are a couple of key points and they’re often incompatible.

I want a camera bag that’s easy to carry and easy to use.

As far as being easy to carry I’ve found the rucksack or backpack style is the best.

You can climb in the hills with both hands free and nothing swaying around.

The trouble starts when you want to use it.

It’s not easy to get at the cameras or lenses when they’re on your back.

Of course you can keep your camera round your neck but it’s still difficult to get the accessories. Perhaps you can put the camera bag on the ground but that’s a problem too.

Still, there’s no doubt that all the commercial bag makers are producing backpack style photo bags.

For ease of use, you can’t beat the traditional shoulder bag. It’s easy to get at your equipment but of course it’s not so easy to carry.

many years ago I was in a photo shop in Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman looking for a suitable camera bag for a trip I was planning down to Salalah in the South.

The Indian assistant knew me pretty well and said to me “If you can come back tomorrow I think I’ll have something for you”.

I went back and he showed me a camera bag called a Caddy.  I liked the look of this bag. The straps went all the way round. It was a top loading bag with enough room for a camera and three lenses and the top had an inner zipper.

Anyway, I bought the bag and it has served me very well for many years.

My experiences in Peru gave me one more requirement – that my camera bag should not look like a camera bag.

So the solution seemed obvious, to put my bag in my everyday battered backpack. This means I can carry my equipment easily and safely and when I need to I can take the camera bag from the backpack and use it easily.

My trip to Salalah was magical. Oman is one of the most photo friendly and beautiful countries in the region.


Frankincense Trees In Salalah In the Sultanate of Oman.


Salalah in Dhofar in Oman is one of the few regions where frankincense trees – boswellia sacra – flourish and where frankincense is still produced.

If you want to use this stock photo of frankincence trees go to Alamy.

Photo Comments:

These trees are in a remote part of Dhofar and I was taken there by a local Frankincence tapper I met on the road.

From the photographic point of view I chose a low viewpoint to emphasise the shape of the trees against the sky while retaining enough of the surrounding environment to provide scale and location.

The low viewpoint was easier as I was using a Bronica medium format film camera with a waist level viewfinder.

This picture has proved quite successful on the stock photo market.

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2 Responses to It’s in the Bag – The Camera Bag Part 2

  • Amelia says:

    I’ve had lots of trouble thinking of ways of carrying my cameras so that i can actually use them. This seems to be a great idea. Love the desert photo

  • johnphoto says:

    Thanks for your interest Amelia. Let me know how it goes and if you have any ideas perhaps share them. I just love travelling in deserts and obviously there are great photo opportunities

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Stock photography by John Rocha at Alamy

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