For this week’s “In Your Bag” we have Alex! He shares with us his recent travel bag which is contingent on each travel locale. This one is Florida…check it out:

I’ll readily admit that one of the principle pleasures of travel for me is selecting the kit that I’ll bring. I begin thinking about it weeks before the trip, like smelling a meal before you sit down to eat it. There’s a lot to consider. Will we be traveling by car or public transit? By bicycle? Will there be places where I can buy film? Will I want to take pictures of birds? Cities? Mountains? Beaches? I know we’re supposed to pretend that gear doesn’t matter very much, to be above it all. But I don’t think that’s the case for anyone. (And painters DO talk about their brushes.)

There’s just no question that cameras impact the experience of taking pictures in significant ways. How could they not? So it’s an exercise I relish, thinking about the trip I’m about to take and attempting to anticipate what will feel right in the hand. I haven’t always gotten it right.

This time we were packing for five days in the Florida Keys and one in Miami. It was meant to be a fun escape from the cold of Wisconsin and we would mostly be revisiting places we’d been before. I felt like bringing cameras that invited a looser approach to photography. The Kodak Retina Ib is currently my most compact 35mm camera. I bought it locally last year with an accessory rangefinder for less than the rangefinder would have cost on Ebay. I didn’t know what to expect, but I’ve been pleasantly suprised by its fixed Schneider-Kreuznach 50mm Retina-Xenar 2.8 lens. It’s lack of a rangefinder invites you to think hyperfocally, it’s liberating and it works.

The Yashica-A is something I found in a closet when we were clearing out my father-in-law’s house. I’d hesitate to bring my Rolleiflex to a beach. So I was excited to have a TLR that didn’t feel like a sacred object. The test roll I shot turned out really well, so I put in the bag. Finally, I brought my Fuji X10. It’s a wonderful digicam that takes great photos, and is a lot of fun to use. It’s also versatile in a way that the Retina and Yashica definitely are not.

I’m back now from the trip and I definitely enjoyed this particular selection. Walking around touristy bits of Florida with camera gear from the mid to late 1950s was fun. It was a different experience than if I’d brought my Nikon SLRs or Fuji X-T1. The Retina can’t be used as precisely, so why bother to try? In some ways, it was more joyful. The Yashica seemed to attract less attention—which can be a drag—than the Rolleiflex does.

Also in the photo:

  • Domke F-6 camera bag. I bought this in 2000 for a trip to Southeast Asia. It’s acquired a lot of ‘beausage,’ as Grant Petersen, the owner of Rivendell Bicycles would say.
  • Manfrotto table-top tripod and a generic ballhead
  • Telex rangefinder that I used less than I thought I would
  • Sunglasses
  • Kodak slip-on lens shade with yellow filter
  • Field Notes notebook and Kaweco Sport fountain pen
  • Swiss Army knife

My Flickr is at:


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 (Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Grainery 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.