|Thirteen and Counting|
Help! I suffer from a devastating ailment which is common among photographers. Bagophilia is the pathological inability to own a sufficient number of camera bags. *
What is it about photographers and their bags? As a general, rule we can never have enough of them. Over the years I've collected
|Contoocook Rush Peterborough NH|
I have always felt the special connection that photographers have
|Shoulder and Kit Bags for the Road|
|Bag Left by the Roaring Brook|
The National Geographic shoulder bag worked out well and has been my routine "every day" bag ever since. It is nothing fancy but it is amazing the attachment that we develop to our bags. I always thought that the rule for camera bags was the grubbier the better, but Susan finally stole the thing and threw it into the sink to soak away the grimy evidence of years of photo adventures. Over the years I had dragged the poor container through the dirt, spilt coffee on it, left it by roaring brooks, and lit it on fire at my nieces wedding. I reluctantly agreed that it was time for a bath.
|The Long Wait|
while I was watching my bag soak in the Woolite, a part of me was hoping that it would shrink to wallet size, giving me the excuse to go shopping for a new shoulder bag. Such is the depth of the camera bag addiction.
Getting a Grip
The most important first step in controlling Bagophilia is to understand the magnitude of the problem, and so, I decided to collect all my bags in one frightening pile. I realized that I had to carefully watch my wife to block her from setting the whole dump on fire. It was a real danger, but it was worth the risk to appreciate the gravity of my condition. I set out to organize my current bags into categories based on type and usage with the goal of finding duplicates that could be safely retired. Of course the real goal was to see what new bags I might justify to fill gaps in my precious collection.
It is marginally easier to justify my bag excess by pointing out that they fall into a few necessary groups.
Constructing a Lame Rationale
The first are my kit bags, design to carry a the full range of equipment on shoots. These vary in size depending on the requirements of the day and include both back packs and shoulder bags.
|Imps of the Galapagos|
I learned from that trip that in addition to the big kit bag, it is worthwhile to bring a lighter shoulder bag or pack to carry just the gear needed for the day. It was for that reason that, before our trip down the Danube, I bought my soft canvas National Geographic bag. The empty bag collapsed easily into my suitcase and held all I needed for our explorations from Prague to Budapest.
|Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic|
It seems that bag purchases are often triggered by trips. Before our recent tour of Alaska, I somehow justified another somewhat smaller backpack by arguing that I didn't want to lug the behemoth along the wilderness trails and that I feared being weighed down in case I needed to escape from a rampaging grizzly. Remarkably, Susan fell for it and I didn't miss the extra big bag.
|Hiking the Alaskan Rain Forest|
I have small bags for my two pocket cameras, the Canon G11 and SX50HS. The SX50 with its ridiculous 24-1200mm lens was intended for Susan, but she absolutely refuses to go near the thing. "You're the Photographer!!" I couldn't agree more, so now I have an SX50HS and also a use for an old fanny pack.
|Distant Friends :1200mm Away|
|Rotation 180 & Sling Bag|
pack from my shoulders.
|A Bag for Every Purpose|
Ok, I am now officially out of excuses and still have several bags for which I have no earthly use. That doesn't mean I will throw them away - It's just part of the disease.
I thought I had invented the word "Bagophilia", but it turns out I'm not the first to use this term to describe the love of camera bags and, sadly there is another definition. Before the comments start rolling in from my perverted friends, I should acknowledge that I have discovered that an alternative definition for bagophilia exists. I regret to report that it has to do with the compulsion to commit unnatural acts with bagels, especially those with cream cheese. More information than I needed - Damn you Internet!
I will stick to the photographic usage!
|No Bagels Allowed|
I would love to hear about how many bags you have tucked in your closet. Perhaps we can start an internet support group. I hope that the other kind of bagophiles have already found the help they so clearly need.
|Time to Hit the Trail|
My Sad Camera Bag