It was just less than a year ago now that I decided to upgrade my camera from an older model Canon (I don’t even know what model) to the Canon 70D. I thought it was also just the appropriate time to purchase a more functional camera bag. I opted for a relatively small bag that carried my essentials because the only lens I had at the time was the kit lens, a 18-135mm.
Having a background in fashion and design for many years, I loathed that my camera and bag appeared just like everyone else’s. I desperately needed something to personalize my camera and and the most effortless way I could to do so was to search for a super neck strap. I searched extensively online for something that suited my style and was functional. Comfort was not an issue for me. Hey as they say, fashion before function. However, I was astonished the camera strap not only looked great but was comfortable and durable. Even more so than the generic strap.
Now that I found a strap that somewhat showed my personality I was on the hunt for a chic camera bag. I searched endlessly, googling fashionable trendy camera bags online and kept coming up empty handed. Finally I found a DSLR bag by Rebecca Minkoff that was featured on several popular fashion blogs and sported by several well known fashion bloggers. I read the reviews and everything came up positive. However, even though it said that it would be able to support the size of my camera, it barely fit. With that said, I was still determined to find a way to use it. When I went to Paris last summer and would carry my camera around by the neck-strap, I would throw my flexible tripod, extra battery, remote control along with my usual purse essentials in my Rebecca Minkoff bag. Although not practical in housing my DSLR, I managed to make it work when carrying limited items.
A few months after purchasing my camera, I bought a new lens in hopes of expanding my versatility. When I was living in Paris I would spend hours at places like the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower with my telephoto lens watching and photographing people candidly. There is something fascinating about capturing people’s expressions without them being self-conscious. I could snap a picture of almost anyone and find some sort of interesting expression on their face or by their body language. I figured the obvious lens choice for me other than my kit lens would be a telephoto. I opted for a Sigma 150-500mm telephoto lens. At the time I had not even looked at lenses with other capabilities. I am kicking myself now since most of my photography consists of architecture since I moved back to Toronto.
When I went back to Paris this past June I knew what I wanted to accomplish as a photographer that I wasn’t able to achieve previously. My knowledge of camera use and having a much greater understanding of photography had definitely evolved from the time I was living there just shy of a year. I was anticipating that I would be able to perform long exposure shots during the day capturing moving clouds, cars, water and eliminating people from my images. I was told that the most versatile filter for my needs was a variable six stop neutral density filter. I had never used one before. Needless to say when I attempted my first shot, I achieved far less than perfect results.
After spending a greater amount of time shooting and having a lot more practice in various settings, I now know how to achieve my desired finished image using my ND filter. l love using it to create some movement in images during the day which is more easily achieved having a filter with up to six stops. I also find myself using my Sigma DG 67mm wide polarized filter reasonably often. It increases saturation, deepens a sky full of clouds and reduces reflections. Since I like doing night photography most, I find these two filters allow me to be more creative during the daytime.
While in Paris, I realized my tripod was too cumbersome and weighty to travel wandering the city for hours. I needed something lighter and more portable. The only option I had and was easily accessible was the Xseries bendy tripod. It’s small enough to fit in my purse and not break my back. I actually find in certain situations it works better that the larger tripod and much easier to manuever the desired angle I am wishing to achieve.
What’s actually in my Lowepro bag:
- Canon 70D with 18-135mm lens
- Sigma 150-500mm f /5-6.3
- Energizer LED flashlight
- glow sticks in multiple colours
- Canon shutter release
- lens pen brush
- extra Canon battery
- Cameron 67MM MC Fader ND Filter
- Sigma DG 67mm wide polarized filter
- cleaning cloth
- Xsories transformer tripod
- SIrui aluminum tripod
- Champion easy touch gloves
Presently I am limited pretty much to one lens since I rarely use the telephoto lens and I find that by using my filters it gives me the versatility I need. Thankfully my friend Marni owns the Canon 70D as well and has a various selection of lenses and is always more than generous to let me borrow them.
Although I find my bag serves it’s purpose, I find it rather large especially for someone at the towering height of 5’2″. One strong gust of wind and I will be plummeted through the air landing forcefully on my back. So for now, I will risk the consequences that come with carrying a massive bag until I find the perfect bag that suits someone of my stature and needs.
Until next time,