In your bag No: 1568 – Mo Liu


by Michael Nguyen /

3 min read
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In your bag No: 1568 – Mo Liu

Mo pivoted to street photography and this is all he needs when he hits the streets.

I name is Mo Liu, a Chinese student currently studying in England. The contents in my bag are boringly simple, unlike my photography career.

My photography experience dates all the way back to my primary school stage as I was looking for cameras to take pictures of the Milky Way. As everyone knows, DSLRs back in the very beginning to the century were big, bulky and extremely expensive, not to mention their hideous noise performance (I have seen people using fans to cool the camera down as a long exposure was commencing). Therefore, the choose of camera was very clear—-an old film camera.
This choice, made purely due the circumstances, has been stuck to me even when I was taking a serious course of photography. At that time, I was using my old Nikkormat with a hazy 50/1.4 when everyone else was showing off their Nikon D700 or Canon 5D II. Of course I thought about switching to digital as well, but didn’t have enough money, nor did I have the appreciation of all the buttons and dials on those camera bodies.

My mentor taught me a lot of darkroom techniques during that time. In fact, I was the only student who may ever need them. I couldn’t help but felt a bit sentimental as he told me that the darkroom would be demolished soon since he had no need for it anymore. There was nothing I could do when old technologies got pushed off the cliff by the new ones. My mentor decided to move on while I insisted in staying.

 I spent many years and a lot of effort trying to prove the superiority of films. I would use some old formula to make developers that produce the finest grain on my medium or large format negatives in order to compete with digital cameras in terms of resolution. I felt great to win arguments but the feeling of emptiness devoured me when I looked at by prints. They are correctly exposed, full of tones and details but the contents were as boring as an egg or some flowers. Is that what I want from photography? I needed to answer that question myself.

So I did. I threw out all the “arty” negatives I took, sold the gears, bought these three cameras and started my adventure of street photography:  Nikon F with 55 1.2 for general purpose, a Sigma dp1Q for landscapes and a Rollei 35S in case I need to get up close and personal. I don’t like to put anything else in my bag, not even an extra roll of film or memory cards because I want to remind myself that sometimes I only have what I have, whether I use all the frames on one scene or none at all is completely up to me.
All three of these cameras are not perfect, the Nikon is as heavy as a hammer, the Sigma is as slow as my grandma and the Rollei doesn’t even focus. So what? I myself have a lot of quirks too. As long as we cooperate well, I am a happy photographer.

Mo Liu  

Thanks for sending us your bag shot Mo. Good philosophy to live to.

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.


4 comments on “In your bag No: 1568 – Mo Liu”

    AHC McDonald March 30, 2018 at 6:16 pm / Reply

    No pictures to show boss Liu?
    Be good to see what you are doing with those three excellent choices of camera.

    eric de M March 30, 2018 at 10:13 pm / Reply

    One of the best and thoughtful description we had here for a long time. Please show us some images whenever you feel the need to share. Thank you

    JC April 4, 2018 at 3:35 pm / Reply

    Your story makes me very skypetical to see the photos you have taken with these beautiful cameras! Please share with us your Instagram or flickr or whatever you use!

    Bernhard April 6, 2018 at 4:01 am / Reply

    Yes this is very well written and makes everybody lust for some photos!

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