I've talked before about the issue of having a large-ish camera and trying to keep it with me at all times to take photos (everything I've read about photography and getting better at it encourages you to shoot every day). While I've tried to make it easier on myself to do this (I keep buying larger and larger bags), the sad fact is that I just can't manage to lug that thing around with me every day.
However, the last time I went on vacation, I decided to purchase a couple of things to help make taking photos easier:
Black Rapid Camera Strap
I can't remember where I originally heard about this, and wasn't sure how I felt about it at first. Having my camera hang by one large sized screw made me a little nervous, but not having to switch back and forth between it hanging from my neck or hanging to my side was very appealing. So I bought one, and it turns out it's pretty awesome. The camera just hangs at my side, and the hardware feels sturdy enough that I didn't worry about the camera falling off the strap. The padding on the shoulder pad is definitely more than enough and I love that that angle the camera hangs at prevents random buttons from being pressed while it's resting against my hip. There's even a slightly more stylish women's version available now. (If it had been available before my trip, I would have gone with that one!) I know it's not as cute as some of those handmade straps out there, and maybe not as cool as the seatbelt strap I had been using, but function is totally pummeling form in this case.
Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW
I know, another camera bag, and it's not even that stylish or cute, but stay with me. The thing about this bag is that it fits my camera with a 50mm lens, it has spots for 2 more lenses, pockets for extra batteries, specific pockets for memory cards, a zip pocket on the front for other random stuff (little white balance card, cell phone) and it's got a section that fits my wallet, sunglasses and keys. Did you get that last bit? A section that fits my wallet, sunglasses and keys! If that weren't enough, the way the bag is designed, I have to wear it over the shoulder I don't normally wear things over. So it's not putting strain on that already worn out shoulder. When I need something out of it, I just sling it around to the front and it's positioned so I can easily unzip the main compartment and get my camera out. Also, the whole non-dominant shoulder thing means that while I was walking through various airports, my laptop bag was across one shoulder and the camera bag was across the other. I WAS BALANCED. There was no possible way a repeat of the Injured Back of January 2010 was going to happen. I love this camera bag!
If the camera bag sounds appealing, I do have a slightly older version of it in red that I'm looking to sell. I upgraded to the new version because my wallet wouldn't fit in the old one and I didn't want to change wallets every time I wanted to carry my camera bag around. So, if you don't tote around a gianormous wallet, it would be a fantastic camera bag! If you're interested, leave a comment or drop me an e-mail!