IN YOUR BAG: 1728 – Andy Eclov
Hey JCH team –
I was surprised to be reminded that I had submitted a photo of my bag that was featured nearly 10 years ago (#987) and figured it was time to update that sorry sack of gear as things have changed significantly and are probably more fun to look at now :)
My name is Andy Eclov, I’m a documentary and editorial photographer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. I live in two worlds of photography that occasionally crossover with one another.
I am the head staff photographer for a London-based music and culture magazine called Discovered (https://dscvrd.co). I cover a ton of musicians and artists which usually fall into the hardcore, punk, metal or adjacent genres. My main objective each month is to live on tour with a band for some amount of time and put together a photo essay about them. Typically these are focused on behind-the-scenes images in the green room, bus, backstage, etc and are supplemented with live concert photos.
This job also plays into my long-term documentary project about the strange, nomadic lifestyle touring musicians live – the ones who aren’t flying to gigs or traveling in a bandwagon, but rather grinding tours for 40-80 days at a time in a 15 passenger van. My project is based around the question; “what are the consequences of doing what you love for a living?”. It’s an intense and bizarre world to live in that is sometimes fueled by drugs and alcohol and sometimes grounded in a militant straight-edge lifestyle. In either case it certainly makes for a good story and interesting photography.
My other full-time job is the staff photographer for a high end menswear store which primarily sells Japanese and American made ‘heritage style’ goods – mostly selvedge denim and the clothing which surrounds it. I’m shooting in my studio most days for web and instagram content and moving throughout the city doing lifestyle and lookbook shoots for new items that come in for the shop. This is generally pretty straight-forward fashion editorial work but it’s something that every now and then crosses over with my job in the music industry (using musicians as models, etc).
Finally, I’m a part of a team putting a series of books together which examines the overlap of professional skateboarding and tattooing – that is; pro skaters who have become tattooers or vice versa. This has me traveling every couple of weeks shooting mostly environmental portraiture of (usually) retired pro skateboarders and documenting the process along the way.
I’ve always been a fan of a lean photography kit – I try to stick to just a few pieces of kit that look great and make my job as easy as possible. My kit is built around the Leica M system. I use my M10 with the 28mm Summicron ASPH for 80% of the work I do. For the M I keep the 35mm Summicron ASPH nearby when I need to do tidier portraiture on the go or need a little more drama in the shot. I also frequently use the Leica 21mm Elmarit for a lot of the work with hardcore bands, particularly with my Leica SF20 flash. This setup is usually for very fast moving action like the live show itself or wild nights at a bar, hotel room, etc. I absolutely love my M10.
I was a Fujifilm shooter from the day the original X100 came out and a few years ago, when my documentary work started to pick up, decided it was time to upgrade my photography kit and minimize distractions elsewhere in my life. I sold just about everything I owned that I couldn’t live without to buy the M10, sacrificing other hobbies and interests to put everything I had into photography. I consistently put it through intense situations where it gets dropped, splashed, smacked, covered in a lot of weird stuff you’ll find in crowds at punk shows, and any other verb you can think of. So far only one trip to Leica for a CLA.
My other camera is the original Leica SL 601. This is the camera I break out when I’m shooting in the studio or doing lifestyle shoots for the store, it’s also typically the camera I reach for when shooting a group portrait of a band that I know will be used for something like the magazine cover – sometimes I just need the assurance of seeing through the EVF. On the SL I prefer to use my M lenses when possible, but I keep the Sigma 45mm f2.8 on the body because it’s a quick and easy lens to use to knock out daily studio shoots. I would say the Sigma is a lens I do not like, but I don’t care to invest in a nicer autofocus lens and it gets the job done well enough. I also have a pair of Contax Zeiss lenses; the 85mm 1.4 and 50 1.7, which I adapt and use for portraiture, usually in the studio.
My main bag is the Peak Design 10L Everyday Sling. It’s… fine. I don’t care much for it but it is the only bag I’ve been able to find that checks all my boxes of being ultra compact, weather resistant, doesn’t make me look like I’m wearing an Indiana Jones costume, and does a decent job at protecting my gear. It has a quick release on the strap so it’s easy to slide around to the front to access gear without taking the bag off which is a clutch feature and its most redeeming quality.
I think that wraps it up. I try to keep a minimal kit so I’m not constantly changing between lenses etc. I’ve found myself in sort of a unique photography career and have been trying to pin down a lean kit that covers all my bases – this setup has been my go-to for a while now (especially the rangefinder kit) so I thought I would share.
All the best,
Long time no see, Andy. That is quite the change. Nice to see how things have developed for you.
Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com
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. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, you are a photographer after all.