In your bag 257, Conrado Orcajo
Todays bag is super cool, and picture intensive. We have a real treat for you today. All the way from Bahrain too. Yesterday Qatar, today Bahrain. Come and have a look.
My name is Conrado Orcajo. Born in Argentina, grew up in the states, living/shooting in Bahrain, and married with a kid on the way. I’m 33 years old and my first experience with photography was during senior year in high school graphics class. Our last project was B&W film photography, hand process and print in our lab in school. I dabbled a little in digital between then and now, but it never was quite the same as seeing an image appear on photo paper in a developing tray. I just started focusing on street photography about last March. I have been looking at pictures I have taken in the past, like August 2011, and see that my better shots tend to be street photos, and I shot those with a Nikon D300s! So let me get into what I carry in my newest daily bag that I carry at all times.
Bag 1 – Blackhawk Battle Bag. Yup, it’s for getting your GTA on, but I use it to carry my camera. I started with a couple DSLR bags that carry an extra lens or two, tried some THINKTANKPHOTO stuff, and now I use this to keep things as simple as possible, one camera, one lens, one bag. I like the bag, but the strap is lacking on padding. Just nylon, no padding, John Wayne style. I can fit my Hasselblad 500 in there with my RF, but it gets heavy quick and digs into my neck. For one shot, one kill, it does the job.
- I took the padding out of my THINKTANK Chimp Cage and use it in the bag, works well. Even has a little space to fit an extra lens next to the camera, oh so tempting.
Film – Kodak Porta 400, sometimes B&W is too easy, and shooting color here can be difficult since there’s mostly just one color around here, sand. Figured if I can make color work here, I can do it anywhere.
- Ilford XP2, C41 processing. The labs won’t process any other way, and the film processing is a dying business here. Most labs do it, but they don’t sell film. I don’t get that. Why have the chemistry and equipment and not sell film???
- Kodak BW400. It’s loaded in my camera right now. Both the Kodak and Ilford look the same to me. They do not however come close to comparing to Tri-X. I think that’s my favorite. And now that I have gotten some BW chemistry of my own I will be developing my own film.
Camera – Bessa R3M. It does the job, haven’t had any issues, and I didn’t go bust! I made a wrist strap with some paracord, tying a lanyard knot at the end, and using an s-clip carbiner. Nothing fancy, but it works.
Lens – 28mm MS OPTICAL SUPER TRIPLET (FROM BELLAMY). This lens makes film photos look like digital. It’s really nice. Been using it since I got it paired with a 28mm Voightlander viewfinder.
Headphones – Koss Porta Pro. The best headphones I’ve ever had. They’ve been with me since 2000. Not sure if Koss still makes them how the used to, but they are still priced the same so I hope so. The only thing I have replaced on them is the padding. I use them with my Ipod nano, the new one, old one got hijacked. I have seen a lot of people put headphones in the bags and didn’t understand why they listened to music while they took pictures. I was struggling a little myself, worried about pissing people off, maybe even breaking some of the local culture common courtesies, and then I decided to take some tunes with me, and it put me in a good mood while making feel like I blended in and didn’t stand out so much. So for anyone who is feeling a little awkward taking pictures of strangers I recommend trying it out.
Pens & Notebook – Fine tip Sharpie of course. Lamy 2000 fountain pen from the Goulet Pen Company ( http://www.gouletpens.com/ ) and a Quo Vadis notebook, from Goulet Pens also. The Quo Vadis is a little bigger then a Moleskine, and the elastic doesn’t sag when you remove it. It works great with the fountain pen and I’ll up more when I’m done with this one. Trip notes, ideas and everything else gets documented here.
Book – My photo book that I had published and printed here in Bahrain, Fotografia Bahrain. Carrying it around because you never know when you run by someone and they want to put in their shop.
Extras – Lens cloth from Froknowsphoto.com, great source for LR3 videos and for beginners. Really got to thank him, puts out a lot of information, helps beginners and such. Business cards, and a stamp with my domain name, CONRADOORCAJO.COM was here!
This is how things go together in the bag. Front pocket carrying film, back pocket has a compartment where I tuck away the notebook, pens have a place they slide into, little pouch I keep the lens cloth in, and the chimp cage padding where the camera sleeps.
One cool thing about the bag is the cover has an insert area, probably for maps, but I put in a quick print out of a meters-to-feet conversion for the 28mm. Don’t use it so much now.
Bag 2 – THINKTANKPHOTO Retro 30. I was using this with my Nikon D300s and all my lenses. I sold most of the DX stuff. Then I used it to carry my RF and Hasselblad, but I was using the Hasselblad all the time, I love that camera. I shoot some Porta 160 with it and some Fuji Across. I keep an extra back in the middle pocket and the Bessa in the last pocket. This was my set up for a while, no 28mm MS OPTICAL, I was using a 50mm Leica Summarit (also from Bellamy). This bag is great, I have seen a lot of THINKTANK bags on JCH so I won’t go into a review on it. It’s just a little big to carry one RF, that’s why I picked up the Blackhawk, and it was like $60 USD, cheapo. The Retro 30 is really comfortable, I miss the padding on the strap all the time. But I know if I take it I will put more than just the RF in there :(
This is how everything sits when it’s out on the streets and my RF now sitting in one of the front pouches for quick grab and shoot. That’s because I would get looks and feel awkward carrying it in my hand, and that caused me to miss so many photo opportunities. The wrist strap I made from paracord keeps it in my hand and is probably the best upgrade to the camera I have made. Always ready.
The R3M with the 50mm Leica Summarit.
You can see some of my photos here:
Thanks for sharing your bags with us Conrado. They are fantastic. I love the pictures too, showing us everything. This is about as detailed as it gets for a bag shot.
Check out the links and make sure you come and comment.
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