f Picture This: Holding the Bag|October 2017| TPW magazine
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Picture This: Holding the Bag

Harnesses, bags and cases make carrying photo gear easier.

By Earl Nottingham

Regardless of the type of photography you enjoy, one thing is certain: If you don’t have the right equipment with you, you won’t get the shot. All too often we miss that important shot because it just wasn’t convenient to lug several pieces of equipment around so we didn’t have the needed lens or filter.

Following current trends, cameras and lenses will continue to get smaller and easier to carry, but there will always be a need to safely and comfortably transport cameras and related photo accessories to a given location. Whether you are a wildlife, landscape, portrait or travel photographer, there is a bag, backpack or case that is perfect for your task at hand and will allow you to comfortably get to your location and quickly access the tools you need to take that great photo.

Here are some examples of prime products on the market now (other makers may have variations of these products). If you’ve got to be left holding the bag, these are the ones you might want to consider!



Compagnon Messenger Bag $449 (medium) • www.compagnon-bags.com

If you’re after function, ruggedness and style from a camera bag, then look no further than the gorgeous line of leather camera bags and backpacks from Compagnon. Bags and backpacks come in several styles, sizes and color choices for your individual photo needs. One bag of note is the medium-size messenger, which will hold one full-size DSLR, two small lenses and a medium zoom, or two mirrorless cameras with two to four lenses. While they may be a little pricey, these are the types of bags that work hard and end up becoming family favorites.


Pelican Case No. 1514 $229 • www.pelican.com

For maximum equipment protection in the field or during travel, Pelican cases have always been at the top of the list. Their only downside (especially for a “seasoned” photographer such as myself) is their bulk, especially the larger cases that carry lots of equipment. They can be a hassle getting in and out of vehicles or through airports. Thankfully, several models make it easier by incorporating rollers and retractable extension handles into the case. Model 1514 is a great choice not only because of those features but also because of its size, which is the largest legal size allowed for airline carry-on. Think of the money you can save from not having to check the case as baggage when traveling! Additionally, the 1514 uses adjustable dividers for those who aren’t fans of the traditional black foam insert.



Cotton CCS G3 Camera Harness-2 $159 • www.cottoncarrier.com

From Cotton Camera Carrying Systems, this innovative chest harness system for two cameras is designed for active photographers who need to move fast and have their cameras ready to shoot but don’t want to have cameras jostling around their neck or don’t like having to fish around in a camera bag. The harness and side holster support and secure two cameras and lenses via a patented “Twist & Lock” camera mount that distributes their weight to lessen the fatigue of long shooting hours. Colors are gray or camo. Includes a tether strap and rain shell.



Filson Harvey Photo Backpack $380 (avg.) • www.filson.com

When trekking through the woods or on a rocky trail, it’s hard to beat a comfortable rucksack or backpack for carrying multiple camera bodies, lenses and accessories. It also helps if the pack blends into the surroundings and is tough enough to handle scrapes from brush and offer protection from the muck, mire, dirt and grit to which it will inevitably be exposed. Unfortunately, one of the best backpacks is no longer being produced, but it can still be found online or in some sporting goods and camera stores. It comes from the venerable Filson company, known for tough and dependable products. The Filson Harvey Photo Backpack is the essence of minimalist design with maximum function. It’s made of tough canvas, comes in the humble color of otter green and is trimmed in bridle leather. It can hold a DSLR with several lenses and accessories. Additionally, it accommodates up to a 17-inch laptop inside a special sleeve in the back of the gear compartment.

Please send questions and comments to Earl at earl.nottingham@tpwd.texas.gov. For more tips on outdoor photography, visit the magazine’s photography page at www.tpwmagazine.com/photography.


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For more on TP&W magazine photography, go to our Photography page


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