In your bag No: 1517 – Kate Garand

Kate checks in with another lovely shot of his latest weapons of choice.

It’s been quite a while, so I thought I would send you a snapshot of what my bag looks like these day!

I’m definitely going through what my parents might call a “phase”, photographically speaking.  For the past several months, I have been absolutely obsessed with instant film – Impossible Project in particular.

It all began when I found a long-forgotten Polaroid Spectra camera in a drawer at work, so I purchased a pack of film to try it out.  I had not shot Polaroids in years, but the results from this new Impossible film were absolutely intoxicating.

Since then, I’ve fallen pretty far down the rabbit hole.  So without further ado, here’s what you can find in my bag:

-The bag itself is an Ona Prince Street in leather that I bought when my old canvas bag finally wore out.  They aren’t inexpensive, but the quality and style cannot be beaten.  The leather is gorgeous, tactile, and naturally protective.  With regular care, it will likely last longer than I will.

-Polaroid SX-70, the original 1972 model.  I had admired the SX-70’s looks for years, but since the demise of Polaroid had thought of them as more of a museum piece than a functional camera. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case!  In actual use, the camera is far better than I had ever imagined.  The SLR viewfinder is bigger and brighter than you might expect, and very accurate to focus with the split-prism rangefinder.  The ingenious folding mechanism also makes it a pleasure to carry around.  It’s not a low-key street photography camera by any means, with the loud ka-chunk whirr of the shutter and film ejection system, but people seem to enjoy having their photo taken by an unusual camera that lets them hold the photo in their hands soon afterwards.

By the way, if you ever need an SX-70 serviced, Roger Garrell (AKA Fastcat99) is definitely your guy.  He fully restored mine to like-new and perfectly working condition for a very reasonable price.

-Fuji X70.  I bought the X70 on a steep discount to use as my daily snapshot camera – basically, any situation I would have normally used my phone.  However, it’s since proven to be one of the best digital cameras I’ve ever used.  Its true trial-by-fire was my most recent trip to Israel, where a roll broke inside my Nikon Action Touch, leaving the X70 as my only remaining camera.  It did a spectacular job, and I never felt like I missed a shot!

For whatever reason, I never got along well with the X100, but the X70 just gels with me.  I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but the compact size, fantastic 28mm fixed lens, and articulating screen definitely has a lot to do with it.  It’s also quite easy to get a nice film-like rendering from the X-trans sensor.  This may be blasphemous to some, but I like it better than the Ricoh GR as well.

-Impossible Project film for SX-70.  Impossible had a rough start, which is perfectly reasonable given the magnitude of their goal. However, their film has come a long way, and these days produces absolutely lovely results.  It’s not cheap by any means, but very little has matched the photographic satisfaction it has provided me, and I feel good about supporting the company’s ongoing development. They also produce the only remaining B&W instant film on the market!

-Sunglasses, to keep my peepers safe and comfortable.

-Bluetooth headphones – no more tangled cables!

For me, so much of the satisfaction I derive from instant film comes from how much time it frees up.  With my busy work schedule, I haven’t been able to devote as much time to processing film, scanning, digital editing, and printing.  I’m also a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to editing, but Polaroids force me to give up that control and accept the shot as it is.  They feel more valuable than most photos because they are physical and tangible, and are great to share with others.

Of course, this isn’t to say I’ve given up all other formats entirely.  I’m still shooting plenty of 35mm on my Leica M3 and Hexar AF, and 120 on my Graflex Norita 66. (that one is a post for another time!)  I also recently gave away the Olympus XA from my last post as a gift to a friend, as an incentive to get him back into film. Hopefully it works!

Anyway, I haven’t been posting much online much these days, but my most recent-ish work is up at Thanks for looking!

All the best,


Thanks for giving us an update Kate.  Hope your friend fell in love with that XA. Can’t wait to see that Graflex setup!

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on
Send me a high resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 1500px across. 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. Snapshots of your gear with a camera phone and no words will not be featured.
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.