What’s In Your Bag: A Good Documentary Kit


Sudharak Olwe is a photojournalist who has received acclaim the world over for his documentation of the changes and the issues that society is afflicted with. He speaks about the gear he takes along when he is out for days at a stretch.

A good documentary kit is one that is light enough to travel with and yet comprehensive enough for a project that can last as long as a fortnight.

Sudharak Olwe's kit

Sudharak Olwe’s kit


1. Plenty of Storage
I usually carry only the Epson hard drive with me on field in order to dump my cards. When I return, I make it a point to transfer the data to two 1TB hard drives for safekeeping.

2. Bags for Transport and Travel
I carry a large but lightweight backpack that fits in all my equipment. But when I am on field, I only carry one body, one lens and a notebook in a small slingbag. I leave the other equipment wherever I am staying.

3. In Hot Weather
I wear a cap gifted to me by my daughter. Besides offering obvious protection against the elements, it is somewhat like a fond memento. The cap always finds its way into my bag every time I pack.

4. Using Mid-range Zooms
The 24–70mm f/2.8, which I use with the D700, is my favourite lens for portraits, documentary shots and landscapes. I also use a 24–120mm with the D3S, but I believe that extra zoom makes you lazy.

5. Varying Camera Bodies
While both cameras are amazing, I keep one body as backup. It doesn’t really matter which one ends up being a backup option, I usually take the D3s when I set out to shoot in the evening.


Tags: Ambarin Afsar, portraits, Sudharak Olwe, camera bags, ambarin, mid range zoom lens, hot weather