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Weekly Photo Challenge

Wednesday Challenge: Downsizing

This is my contribution to the Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge: Downsizing.

On reading the prompt one thing came to mind immediately so I decided to go with that rather than the topic discussed in the prompt.

The thought that came to mind was my downsizing of the camera equipment I carry for my personal work. I started downsizing about three years ago, I was looking to get back to basics and shoot the way I used to in the 1970s and early 1980s. A small bag with a handful of manual focus prime lenses.

Then an accident 16 months ago left me with restricted movement in the right shoulder and a weaker right arm. Another reason to further downsize.

 

A Fan Of..... Old Fashioned Camera Bags

My original small kit in the very early 1980s, a Tenba P595 in the snow. The P595 was the smallest bag in the range. A decade later I had two larger bags in the range and the P595 was stuck in the bottom of a wardrobe.

 

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge: Downsizing

What I wanted to downsize from a few years ago, my Domke F-2 containing a DSLR and three weather sealed fast zooms. This is already downsized from what I used to carry in the film era. In the 1990s and early 2000s I carried my film equipment in a backpack.

 

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Essential Tips and Tools

My current downsized bag, a Domke F-10 JD containing a small, mirrorless camera and three manual focus prime lenses. I can’t explain why all the photos were taken in the snow.

 

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Friendly Friday Photo Challenge

Friendly Friday: Surprise

This is my contribution to the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Surprise.

Something different from me for a surprise, a post about being surprised by some of the photos I have discovered while digitising my film archives.

When I was digitising some of my black and white negatives I discovered a photo of a camera bag in snow taken in the early 1980s. Shortly after that I was backing up photos on an old tablet and discovered another photo of a camera bag in snow. At that point I realised I had quite a few photos of various camera bags in snow taken over the decades.

I don’t know why I took them unless it was simply a record of the conditions. So a thought a selection of the photos would be a surprising contribution to the challenge.

 

On the Hunt for Joy Challenge: Switch It Up

My Tenba P595 in the snow in Hatherton, Cheshire in the early 1980s. Tenba bags were newly imported into the U.K. back then.

 

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Surprise

My Tenba P895 in the snow on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline at sunrise. By the time the photo was taken this bag was around 30 years old.

 

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Surprise

My Domke F-6 sitting in the snow on the South Bruce Peninsula. A smaller bag I got for my DSLR and kit of manual focus prime lenses.

 

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Surprise

My Domke F-2 sitting in the snow on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline. My bag for a DSLR and fast zoom lenses.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge

Fan of… Old Fashioned Camera Bags

This is a contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #53 challenge and a long, rambling post about camera bags.

I used the same brand and model range of camera shoulder bags for years. I got my first Tenba Pro Pak, a P595 in 1981. They were so new to the U.K. I picked it up from the importer/distributor as they didn’t have any retailers in place. I went on to get two more sizes of the bags over the next decade. I tried different brands of shoulder bags over the years but ended up going back to the Pro Pak bags every time.

My P595 in the snow at Hatherton, Cheshire, England in 1982.

A Fan Of..... Old Fashioned Camera Bags

 

Tenba discontinued the range around 2003 but it was no big deal, my bags were still going strong. They had a few stains that wouldn’t wash out but all the zips and closures still worked as if new.

However, as a result of going digital I was carrying less equipment and on occasions my smallest Tenba bag was now too big. Plus the Pro Pak bags with all their external pockets were never exactly discrete and there was times a more understated bag would have been nice. So after researching what was available I picked up a Domke F-6, a small and plain looking bag in sand canvas.

To show that some things stay the same here’s the Domke F-6 in the snow a few years ago. Around 35 years after the photo of the Tenba in the snow was taken.

A Fan Of..... Old Fashioned Camera Bags

 

I liked the simple design of the F-6 so much that two or three years ago I got the larger Domke F-2 in RuggedWear to haul my DSLR and large auto focus zoom lenses around. RuggedWear is the Domke name for waxed cotton fabric used in some waterproof jackets.

The design of the F-2 goes back to the 1970s and it’s basically a bag with a flap, a pocket at each end and two small, open pockets on the front.

Just for a change, the F-2 sitting on a rock rather than in snow.

Domke F-2 in brown RuggedWear.

 

That’s not the end of this long, rambling story however. Last spring I fell of a ladder and ended up with restricted movement in the right shoulder and a weaker right arm. As a result I had to make some changes to my kit. I went to a smaller, lighter mirrorless camera and for a lot of my personal work I put together a lightweight kit of three manual focus primes that fit into a tiny Domke F-5XB.

The Domke F-5XB hanging from a tripod on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline at sunrise.

My small and light mirrorless camera kit.

 

I should add that I’m not recommending Domke to anyone. They’ve gone out of fashion with a lot of photographers due to their lack of padding and security. I use very flexible third party padded inserts in the F-2 and F-6 rather than the poorly designed Domke padded inserts. I have always preferred a quick to open and access bag so don’t care about the lack lack of security. Indeed, the extra security of the zip on the Domke F-5XB is proving to be a minor annoyance.

 

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Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge

A Photographer’s Pet?

This is my off the wall take on Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Pets, living to stuffed animals to pet rocks. I started thinking outside the box before flattening the box and putting it in the recycling.

It occurred to me that some photographer’s have a camera bag as a stuffed pet. It goes with them everywhere and sits waiting patiently in the snow while they take photos.

Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Pets, living to stuffed animals to pet rocks

 

Or it sits on a rock on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline looking out over the bay.

Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Pets, stuffed animals to pet rocks

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Weekly Prompts

Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: Size Matters!

This is my contribution to the Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: Size Matters.

My first thought was of some nature subjects that can vary in size. Then I thought about my recent need to make changes to some of the equipment I’m using.

Up until this spring I was typically carrying a large camera bag with a DSLR and three large zoom lenses. This is my Domke F-2 on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline in the winter.

Domke F-2 in brown RuggedWear.

 

A shot from that visit to the shoreline. Waves forming icicles on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline at sunrise. The tripod ended up frozen to the stones on the shoreline.

Icicle formation.

 

Then a few days into spring this year I fell off a ladder and fractured my left tibia and right humerus. As a result I have four screws in the tibia and restricted movement in the right shoulder.

I spent most of the spring in various hospitals and a rehab unit. On being discharged from the rehab unit I started making some changes to the equipment I carry when out and about shooting personal work.

A small mirrorless camera body and three manual focus prime lenses fit into a tiny Domke F-5XB. The bag is so small and light I can hang it on a tripod. After taking the photo I went for a walk around town with the bag on my injured shoulder with no negative impact on the shoulder.

My small and light mirrorless camera kit.

 

A shot from my first outing with the bag. Soon after the photo was taken a tremendous thunderstorm with heavy rain rolled over the bay. The bag is made with what Domke call RuggedWear, a waxed cotton material. The rain beaded on the flap of the bag but didn’t come through the material.

Storm clouds over Colpoy's Bay at dawn.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Favourite Things

This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Favourite Things.

So here is a hodgepodge of some of my favourite things.

My favourite Squirrel species, an American Red Squirrel on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

Sunlit Squirrel.

One of my favourite sunrise locations, Colpoy’s Bay and the Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada.

Layers of cloud at sunrise.

One of my favourite North American shorebirds, two American Avocets feeding on a slough in Saskatchewan, Canada.

A pair of American Avocets.

My favourite North American Sparrow species, a diminutive Chipping Sparrow on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

Chipping Sparrow.

One of my favourite European birds, a European Robin given a selective colour treatment.

Robin on lens, Cheshire, England

My favourite lens, the Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm. I purchased it used nearly a quarter of a century ago and it’s still my go to lens for birds and wildlife. The ground pod set up in the photo was used to photograph the American Red Squirrel at the start of this post. The lens has also been used for quite a few landscape, sunrise and sunset images over the years.

Olympus E-410.

My favourite camera bag. The Domke F-2 RuggedWear, a waxed cotton canvas bag. I decided to try a canvas Domke F-6 bag a few years ago. I wanted a smaller, lighter shoulder bag for my retro kit of three (now four) manual focus prime lenses. I discovered that the soft canvas bag stayed on my hip without swinging and bouncing around and seemed easier on my shoulder. I needed a bigger bag than the F-6 for my regular kit of zoom lenses so I swapped the Tenba bag I had been using for decades for the Domke F-2.

Domke F-2 in brown RuggedWear.

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Weekly Prompts

A Canadian Camera Bag Requirement

The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Advertising.

I had a few ideas for the challenge including a variety of motorsports images featuring varying degrees of advertising.

Then I looked out of the patio doors and it was snowing again. Which made me think of this photo. Taken in mid December, a week before the start of winter I could repeat the shot today, nearly a week into spring. A couple of days ago the bag was sitting on the frozen surface of Colpoy’s Bay, Ontario at sunrise. A snow and rain resistant camera bag is a requirement for an outdoor photographer in Canada.

This is my Domke F-2 camera bag in what they call RuggedWear. Anyone familiar with the waxed cotton jackets made by Belstaff and Barbour in Britain will recognise the material the bag is made from. The bags come with a tin of wax to reproof the canvas.

With waxed cotton having a long history of being used for waterproof clothing and having had a Belstaff jacket in the 1970s and 1980s the idea of a camera bag made from similar material appealed. It’s ideal for the Canadian weather.

Canadian Camera Bag Requirements.