In The Bag

A few things to mention here today.

I’ll start by saying that I’ve been continuing my exercising by walking the stairs in my building. Saturday I walked 50 flights (5 flights up and down, 10 times) and today I did 55. I don’t plan on giving an update on this in every posting, but someone has already told me that he’s been so inspired by my exercising that he’s decided to give it a try, too. So, I’m mentioning it today in the hopes of inspiring someone else – or, at the very least, to inspire the already mentioned individual to keep with it. If a lay-about like me can do it, so can you.

Of course, I spend plenty of time in front of the tube, too, and this weekend I decided to catch up on some of my DVD watching – 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes (the original) and Twelve O’Clock High. I also watched two with the beautiful Gene Tierney: her debut film, The Return of Frank James, and the classic Laura. If you like beautiful women and you’ve never seen any films with her, you should remedy that situation. She was so gorgeous that I would have been happy to have photographed her with her clothes on!

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Saturday was the day that I assembled my camera equipment and tried to fit it all into my newly purchased camera bag. The good news is that everything seems to fit (but just barely), though I needed to use many of the dividers from the old bag to make it work. The ones that came with the new bag would not have been sufficient.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that, from what I can tell, this new bag is in every way inferior to my old bag. The waist belt on the old bag was fully integrated with the bag and really helped to distribute the weight. The belt on the new bag just slips through two loops on the bag’s side. When I pulled on the old belt to tighten it, it would tighten. With the new belt, because it’s not fixed to the bag, it just slides around my waist, not tightening anything.

The biggest problem, however, will be caused by the fact that the bag opens away from the body. When you open up a brief case or attaché case, you open the top away from you so you have the contents in front of you and not blocked by the top. For some bizarre reason, LowePro believes in opening the top the other way, forcing the user to reach around or over to get at the inside – and exposing the contents to the whole world in the process. As far as I can tell, if I want to change film or lenses, I will have to kneel down on one knee and then put the bag on my horizontally oriented thigh to do this. With the old bag I could have access to the interior while standing up. I just hope that it won’t deter me from making changes because of the hassle involved.

In short, I don’t expect this bag to be much fun to deal with. Maybe I just need to get used to it, but I don’t expect my bag search to stop anytime soon.

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I also scanned several negatives today on my new Epson V500 scanner. I continue to be impressed by it. As yet, I still have not installed the Photoshop Elements 4.0 to replace the 2.0 version that I’ve been using.
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Today is Presidents Day here in the U.S., so I’d thought of writing a big thing about the presidential election, but I won’t. First of all, does anybody know if Presidents Day is supposed to honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (in which case it should be called Washington-Lincoln Day) or all of the U.S. presidents? I’d like to think that it was the former, as I’d hate to think we’re all honoring people like Nixon or the current idiot living in the White House. (I’m not calling Nixon an idiot; only the current president.)

I voted for Hillary Clinton in the New York primary. According to demographics, a college educated Caucasian man like me should be voting for Barack Obama, but I just think Hillary’s the most qualified of the candidates left standing right now. Barack Obama is a very intelligent and well educated man, as well as being a very inspirational speaker, but I think he’d be a better president in four or eight years. I’m also dismayed that his campaign has become one of a cult of personality – or as one commentator put it, hero worship. Haven’t we learned enough not to expect the Second Coming in any politician (regardless of what Oprah might say)?

Still, if Obama gets the Democratic nomination, he’ll have my support. I respect John McCain as a veteran and someone who has not always walked in lock step with the Republican majority. In another year I might have considered voting for him if it were him against Obama, but considering what the Republicans have done to this country in the past seven years, I think we need a clean break from all that.
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I’m putting up a few travel pictures this time. I’ve posted nudes with the last few postings, so for a change, here are some photos of people in Vietnam. (Forgive me if I’ve posted some of these already, but I’m starting to lose track of what I have and have not posted here.) I’ll probably get back to nudes next time.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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2 Responses to In The Bag

  1. george says:

    Have you looked at “Think Tank”? I have one of their waist bags, the belt is integral and the top opens away from you so that everything is not exposed – it has an integral rain cover, a zipper on top, in the middle of the lid, so you don’t even have to open the whole thing to pull small items out. I can carry a 70-200 f/2.8 IS + 580EX + st-E2+ 50 f1.8 and a small flashlight in the body, a 10 pocket CF card holder, spare batteries for body & flash in the outside pocket and some other stuff…….

  2. Dave Rudin says:

    Thanks, George, but I’ve already looked up the bags by Think Tank and they’re all too small. The one you describe sounds like the kind of bag that I want, but as I use a medium format system, I need a bag with interior dimensions of around 16″ x 8″.

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