In your bag No: 1009 – Dan K- Umbrella Movement


by Bellamy /

3 min read

In your bag 1009, Dan K – Umbrella Movement – Hong Kong Democracy Protests
Dan shares with us an important bag. The protest that are going on in Hong Kong now have the whole world watching as to what China’s reaction will be. Dan shares with us not only a bag, but scenes from the movement. I hope that Dan and all the people in Hong Kong are safe and that China listens to the will of the people.

This is an unusual bag, as I put it together with a special situation in mind: covering the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. On the night in question, I was advised that things would likely kick off and the riot police had already use tear gas and pepper spray on a previous night. Hence, my bag was packed with chaos and police action in mind.

My bag was kept deliberately light. The system was built around my Sony A7R for low light performance under the street lights. The lenses however were selected for their balance of quality, aperture, but also lightness and low cost. There was no sense committing too much high level gear that would get probably get trashed. I went with Nikon lenses as I was planning to shoot the late afternoon with Tri-X, but departed late and left the Nikon FG SLR at home.


It turns out that not everyone was shooting digital after dark and I came across one citizen protester sporting a Canon F-1, though I didn’t see him shooting much and I don’t think he could without pushing his film very high, as I was metering about 1/60s at 3200 ISO and f/2.8. It’s a testament to how well film is coming back among our younger generation that some people chose to bring their film cameras to a protest.

This is one situation that calls for flash and/or high-end digital. I was taking lots of night landscapes of the crowds and that precluded flash. The ideal lenses were the Nikon Series E 100mm 1:2.8, Nikon Series E 50mm 1:1.8 and Tamron 17mm 1:3.5. Prime lenses made sense, as I couldn’t get the same quality, focal range length and low light performance out of a zoom lens. I needed this range, from 17mm to 100mm, to capture the range of situations encountered in a night crowd of such proportions.

My backup was a Ricoh GR for fast moving close ups.

Solidarity – A Sea Of Lights
Solidarity A Sea Of Lights

Gassing the city’s unarmed and peaceful kids backfired on the authorities and our middle classes came out en masse, with many bringing their kids. The student movement was exemplary in their behaviour, well organised with first aid and supply stations well stocked by donations from the public.

Ramen Kitchen
Ramen Kitchen

There were even racks of umbrellas for people to take in case it rained or the police decided to over do it again. However, given no excuse to get heavy, the police kept their distance and my smoke hood saw no use.

Manning The Barricades
Manning The Barricades

This time, gear took a second place to actually being there.





Umbrella Revolution

We Love Hong Kong

On The Shoulders of Giants

Text and copyright Dan K. Photos may be reproduced with attribution.

You can see more of Dan K’s work and articles by following these links.

He has a number of ‘In your bag’ shots
You can read all of Dan’s other articles here

Thanks for sharing this with us Dan. I hope you and yours are all safe.
Check out the links and make sure you come and comment.

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Send me a hi resolution image of the bag (please make sure it is horizontal, 720px across is optimal) and its contents, with some details about yourself and what you shoot. Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here. Please understand that there is a long wait now as there is a backlog of submissions. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, as the ones that are not do not go up.

7 comments on “In your bag No: 1009 – Dan K- Umbrella Movement”

    John Kossik October 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm / Reply

    Bravo to the people of Hong Kong. I was especially moved by the man with the child on his shoulders. Even if this child never remembers this event, she will be reminded of it by her parents in years to come. What a way to teach youth of democracy. Why do I feel that so many of my fellow Americans have lost this type of drive, a drive we held so close to our hearts when I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s? Perhaps we can recapture it by watching the people of Hong Kong!

    lewy October 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm / Reply

    Thanks Bellamy,
    Its nice to see Dan K and Alice Ngan photos on your site all about the Umbrella protest in Hong Kong.
    Very journalistic and true images about this issue.


    Mark October 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm / Reply

    Wow. This has to be one of my favourite entries. What incredible scenes, really shows the power of photography to communicate and press on issues of real relevance. Let’s hope that the protestors get the democracy that they want.

    Paul Schofield October 3, 2014 at 11:01 pm / Reply

    Great stuff, Dan. You and Alice have brought this amazing event alive.

    alex t October 4, 2014 at 6:15 am / Reply

    I want to thank you all, Bellamy, Dan K and Alice for helping to spread out the truth about what is happening in Hong Kong!!!
    And all the best to all this peaceful and brave people in Hong Kong!!

    Matt October 4, 2014 at 6:21 am / Reply

    Definitely one of my favorite entries of late. Thank you Dan for being there, capturing the moments, and sharing them with the rest of us.

    Toby Madrigal October 13, 2014 at 2:49 am / Reply

    Thank you for sharing your bang-up-to-date pix with us. Also the interesting shot of someones Canon F1. This caught my eye as I bought one 19 years ago at a dealers that had been traded in by a local paper. Still in good working order including metering. Got half a dozen FD lenses and made quite a lot of cash with it.
    These days I’ve become a fan of autoexposure so use Nikon F3 for my enviro pj.
    Will not part with the F1 or it’s lenses. The metering is far more reliable than Nikon F & F2 Photomic heads (including F2AS) and the slight (very slight) underexposure of the meter when using the 1.5v battery as opposed to a 1.35v now unobtainable mercury cell does not unduly bother me. It gives a richness to colour, not much change in mono. I heartily recommend the Canon F1 and F1n (but not F1N (6 volt battery)).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.