camera bag

Photography Tip - own more than one camera bag

I use this camera bag when bringing my Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 lens along.You might have started out with just a DSLR body and a single lens, but chances are, as time has gone on you have accumulated a lot more photography gear.  So when people ask me what camera bag should I get, I usually answer, "you should actually get two bags."  A solid photography tip is definitely have more than one camera bag.  I have only two myself, and I could definitely use a third because neither of my bags can hold all my photography gear for a typical job in a single bag.  

The Lowepro Flipside 200 has been a great bag.  I can hold a lot in its very slim profile.  As you can see it can hold one DSLR body, a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, a second medium sized lens, a speedlight, and hidden at the very bottom of the bag in a small compartment is a 50mm lens.  It also holds spare batteries, memory cards, camera cleaning equipment and a water bottle (very important!).

My traveling light camera bag is this Lowepro Nova 160 AWWhen I do not need to bring my long Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 lens, then I can often get away with just using my much smaller Lowepro Nova 160 AW bag.  Despite its small size, I can still fit a DSLR body, medium sized lens, speedlight and a 50mm lens plus memory cards and extra batteries, and the all important water bottle.  

Having these two camera bags provides great flexibility in how heavy or light I travelBasically, the amount of gear dictates how many bags you need and what sizes.  If you have a lot of gear and one big bag that can hold everything, I recommend getting a smaller bag for times you only need one lens with you.  Likewise, if you just have one big bag and it makes you not want to go out shooting as much because it is too heavy to lug around all the time, a second smaller bag is a must have.

How many camera bags do you have?

Photography Tip - always close your camera bag

This is a true story -- I was walking in downtown St. Petersburg toward The Pier with a student while we were having a lesson.  A woman with a Canon DSLR and large camera bag walked past us.  Ten seconds later we heard a crash and a scream.  The woman had not closed her camera bag all the way and some of her gear fell onto the sidewalk.  Even before this I was already obsessed with closing my camera bag immediately after taking out what I needed, even if I knew I would be going right back into my bag only a minute later.  It is a pain in the neck no doubt to zip and unzip and zip and unzip all the time, but that minor annoyance is nothing compared to the ill feeling that woman with the spilled gear might have felt.  

Even if your camera bag is not in motion while left open, I still think it's dangerous.  In the photo above my camera bag is set in a chair.  I made sure it was firmly in the chair.  However, I have set countless things firmly in chairs, on countertops, totally sure there is no way those things could fall over, yet many have.  At least if my bag falls out of the chair closed, the ample, stiff padding of my Lowepro bag will protect it.  

What if you see something interesting and you just grab your bag and head towards it?  If it's open you will maybe risk spilling stuff just grabbing it, or at the least you'll have to take a few seconds to close it up then go, which you may know in photography, a few seconds can make all the difference between getting a shot and getting nothing.

Therefore, I recommend becoming obsessive about closing your camera bag right back up.