In your bag No: 1674 – Nicholas Reichard
With this bombproof setup Nicholas is literally ready for anything that comes his way from the mountains to the mega cities.
From 2015-2017 I backpacked over 6,000 miles while shooting almost exclusively medium format and 35mm film. I covered the entire Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Annapurna Circuit as well as the entire length of the Continental Divide. Along the way I learned a thing or two about how to pack my bag and more importantly what I could leave out of it.
It isn’t easy going from the mountains to a crowded city like Tokyo, Japan but in 2016 that’s exactly what happened. I wanted to expand my portfolio and see if I had what it takes to photograph more than just the outdoors. After covering 500 miles in 19 days I jumped on a plane and set off for the land of the rising sun. I ditched my sleeping bag and tent for a fresh pair of clothes and some much needed deodorant. I took everything I learned from the trail and applied it to my street photography.
With this setup I wanted to take a minimalist approach, allowing me to maximize my potential and cover as much ground as possible.
Backpack – Hyperlite Mountain Gear Metro Pack
Weighing in just over 8 ounces (245g) this pack is as minimalist as it gets. Not a single zipper or strap in sight. The fabric is made from Dyneema (formally known as cuben fiber) which is a waterproof material. I never liked the thought of a camera bag for two reasons. It seems like a target for someone looking to steal your expensive gear and secondly a camera can’t take a picture when it is safely stored away. This bag gives me the low profile I want and holds exactly what I need. Not to mention it can be packed up and stored inside a carry on bag and used only when needed.
Cameras – Contax G2 with 28mm 2.8 & Ricoh GR ii
I could write an entire article about my love affair with the Contax G2. I believe it is hands down the greatest street photography camera ever made. It has advanced features that I would want out of a digital camera but simple enough that won’t pull me out of a moment. I also have my Ricoh GR ii which is an incredibly powerful lens for such a compact camera. When carrying a digital and analog camera it is important to give them separate goals. That way I don’t find myself using the GR ii out of convenience for wanting to see what I’m capturing. I mainly keep it in my backpack while my Contax G2 will almost always be in my hands.
35mm Film + JCH Case
I love to carry a wide selection of film on any given day. Giving me the flexibility to use black & white, color, or slide film. Since I tend to shoot through a roll relatively fast I try to let how I feel emotionally to guide my decision when loading a new roll of film. I’ve noticed that when I hit the streets in the AM and plan to stay out all day that the JCH case is perfect for holding all of the film I need for a day of work.
Camera Bag – Montbell Aquapel Bag
As I mentioned earlier I have never been a fan of camera bags, I don’t like the thought of drawing attention to myself when trying to fit in any given culture. Most camera bags are also bulky and not very lightweight. When backpacking I use the Montbell Aquapel stuff sack which has a mesh liner on the inside to give a little protection to the camera if I end up putting it away. I use the .5L bag shown in the photo for point and shoots and the 2L bag for my G2 and medium format Hasselblad. The bag is also waterproof which gives you a better state of mind when in the backcountry or traveling aboard.
Clothing – Rain Coat
I always bring a raincoat even when the weather calls for nothing but sunshine. I put it in the bottom of the backpack which can serve as a little bit of padding for everything inside. I also think it is worth noting how important it is to wear a comfortable pair of shoes. From what I learned while hiking is that the shoes on your feet can make a huge difference in the outcome of the adventure.
Finally, I never leave the hotel, hostel, or home without some device to charge my phone in a pinch. I use an Anker 24800mAh which is more than enough power to charge whatever I need including my digital camera and phone at the same time. I also make sure to have some snack on hand like a chocolate bar in case I feel light headed or simply need a little sugar boost to finish out the day. A notebook and pen are sometimes replaced by my computer but I notice that in walking around places that I’m unfamiliar with it is nice to unplug and if I want to take notes then I can do so with any old journal. Beyond that, I’ve met a lot of other passionate film shooters all around the world so naturally I have a pack of gum with me so I don’t run people off with death breath.
Thanks for sharing with us your bag shot Nick. Yeah I love Dyneema, what an incredible feat of tech.
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