In your bag 1145, Jorge León
Todays bag hails from Colombia and it is awesome, not only for its simplicity, but for Jorge’s perseverance. Check it out.
My name is Jorge León, I am from Colombia and live in Cartagena, on the Caribbean shore. For people who love all that film photography implies, living here has brought interesting challenges to us.
While there are still (I assume) at several universities darkrooms for those studying photography where supplies and equipment should be available, for common people finding black and white film is almost impossible since at least 5 years ago, so we are pretty much restricted to use color negative film, buy online or ask friends to buy for use when visiting.
Also, last year the film lab I used went out of business and just couples of weeks ago I found another one close to home. Being this a 1 million people city with (a rough guess) between 10 to 15 places to process film is no wonder that analog photography is becoming more of a persistent “aficionados” hobby day by day faster than in other places.
There is anyway a whole bunch of beach photographers who still use only film to capture photos of tourist on the beach on the mornings and later in the evening sell these pictures to them at their hotels as prints, in a fast and “vertigoneusness” (new word for English language, you are welcome) which to me resembles what photojournalism job should be back before internet came to this world, when immediate photo sharing meant dried prints or developed and fixed negatives in your client’s hands. These beach photographers are a really interesting group of people, and thanks to their current demand of film is that is possible for me to still buy locally color negative film at least. The style of their pictures and the daily rush to get prints to tourist clients might be good material for an essay or something.
Well, going back to the subject of this letter let me share with you my camera bag. This is strictly what I carry on when shooting film, so it is pretty simple. First, thank to fellow beach photographers demands, I can still buy locally the marvelous Kodak Color ISO 200 Negative Film, which considering the offer in this market think of them like the last Ektachrome on earth, which leads me to tell you that finding here a roll of anything from Ilford, for instance, is as feasible as finding an unicorn.
So yes, that cheap color reversal film is the star, the protagonist of my bag (No camera porn here…). Most of the time I use that camera, a pure solid metal Mamiya Sekor 1000 DSX, which has an inoperative meter, but no worries, I use my guess while shooting outside or the Sekonic Studio Delux when in interiors or in doubt. That’s all regarding gear. The bag it’s a beautiful handmade “Mochila Arhuaca”, so densely made from sheep wool that can carry water. The hand belt of the Mamiya is a hand bracelet made by Wayuu people. A pretty Japanese-Colombian mixture if you ask me.
Also, note that any of these require a battery at all. It’s a very low environmental impact photography bag, and since photography labs are disappearing here, too bad, but their chemical residues too, very good, I have learn how to develop using coffee, vinegar, baking soda and salt, but obviously, not Colombian coffee, it is too good to be used to develop film instead of drinking it.
Some of my photo could be seen here, some made with film, some with digital:
and my Flickr, but there most are made with digital:
Thanks for sharing your beautiful bag. What would be really cool is if someone sent you some film so that you could shoot even more.
Check it out and make sure you come and comment.
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