In your bag No: 1145 – Jorge León


by Bellamy /

4 min read

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.

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Send me a hi resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 620×473. Please ensure there is a bag in the shot, unless you don’t use one. The more you can write about yourself the better, make it appealing and tell us a story. 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.

13 comments on “In your bag No: 1145 – Jorge León”

    Dundo March 14, 2015 at 7:40 pm / Reply

    Fancy bag and camera hand strap. Get yourself a vintage light meter strap and you’ll be complete :D

      Jorge Leon March 27, 2015 at 9:03 am /

      good idea, something made of leather maybe…

    Dan Castelli March 15, 2015 at 4:52 am / Reply

    This is a kit boiled down to bare bones.

      Jorge Leon March 27, 2015 at 9:03 am /

      thanks bro!

    MM March 15, 2015 at 3:40 pm / Reply

    Beautiful setup, love the simplicity!!

    More please!

      Jorge Leon March 27, 2015 at 9:04 am /

      thanks a lot!

    Geoff March 16, 2015 at 8:49 pm / Reply

    Really love the back to basics setup here….fab

      Jorge Leon March 27, 2015 at 9:05 am /

      thank you very much!

    matthew victor March 28, 2015 at 1:02 am / Reply

    Simplicity its self! Very well appointed, Jorge.
    Would you be willing to share details of your film processing with us here (or links foe us to read about)? Perhaps better still, an article or detailed write up with Bellamy for Japan Camera Hunter site? Please!!
    Thank you ;-)

      Jorge April 7, 2015 at 6:21 am /

      Hi Matthew!, well the thing is kind of spread along different websites, and differente process. there is the half and half (develop with Cafenol fix with traditional chemistry) and the whole “organic” (develop with something like Cafenol-Chainol-Wineol-etcol, fix with sea salt). I am more in the McGyver side of things, all things home, all things eadible, all thigs biodegradable: Develop with Cafenol, stop with vinegar, fix with salt or seasalted water. But I had to built the McGyver process using several sources, some really science based like this paper here ( and here ( and other more experimental and recursive like this ( and this ( For me, this whole DIY turns Photography in a more complete and fulfillment experience. and just to make dream about the next steps… you can do the positive process (wet printing) “a la McGyver” too.. so, it’s like never ending fun

    SGB April 2, 2015 at 6:12 pm / Reply

    Great! Love it! Take care!

      Jorge April 7, 2015 at 6:22 am /

      thanks Bro!

    matthew victor May 5, 2015 at 12:07 am / Reply

    THANK YOU for the links. Now to read and learn. YES I very much agree with your McGyver approach and foodbased natural chemistry(s). I had a friend from Poland when growing up who regailed us with his experiences using polluted river wate, coke-a-cola type drinks, Cow or Horse urine, and sometimes Chicken feces, salted water fixer to process and print b&w and the ct-18 Orwo colour reversal film. I know for certain in those 1970’s days many Eastern bloc resident knew such methodologies, as I have several times over the years had others tell me similar things. You however have the real deal worked out and make me excited again to go back to ¨real¨ photgraphy.
    Thank you! ;-)

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