What’s In Your Bag?


The one question that everyone longs to ask a professional photographer is now answered by eight of them. Ambarin Afsar takes a look at the camera bags of some of the finest names in photography in an attempt to decode the gear they carry. 

Does equipment maketh a photographer? Very often, we are curious about the gear that our favourite photographer—a peer, a contemporary, or a legend—uses to make the kind of pictures that make us stop in our tracks.

This curiosity about equipment is only natural since of course, cameras and lenses are the tools of our trade. It is much like asking a baker which flour he uses to make that fragrant bread, or which oven does he use to make crunchy cookies. To give an example that is closer to photography, it is like asking a painter about the paints he uses or the paper he chooses as his canvas.

These things go a long way in the making of a perfect final product. But, what we often forget is that it is the manner in which these professionals apply the tools of their trade, which really makes all the difference. Their technique is what sets them apart, and not the technology they use.

So, the idea behind this story is to take you through various kinds of kits to help you understand how the right sort of equipment can simplify the process of imagemaking. This story is also an effort to create portraits of these eight photographers through the things they value the most.

The Simplest Kit to Have
is the one that is always with me. I enjoy shooting on the cellphone, and I love the fact that I can share my images with the world over, says Sooni Taraporevala. (read more)

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, says Sudharak Olwe. (read more)

An Inconspicuous Kit
is one that allows you to be unobtrusive. Earlier, I used to carry two bodies with two lenses, but people would get very conscious of the gear, says Pattabi Raman. (read more)

An Effective Interiors Kit
is inclusive of all the little things that can simplify the process of shooting and help you achieve the perfect final image, says Nrupen Madhvani. (read more)

A Comprehensive Wildlife Kit
is one that helps you prepare for any eventuality. In the wild, where nature rules the roost, situations can range from the tricky to the bizarre, says Sudhir Shivaram. (read more)

A Video and Photo Wedding Kit
helps me create that perfect blend of high quality multimedia to offer to clients in an increasingly competitive market, says Prakash Tilokani. (read more)

An Editorial and Personal Kit
is one that enables me to produce extremely stylised pictures in a timeline that can range anywhere from three minutes to an hour, says Bandeep Singh. (read more)

A Historic Analogue Kit
tells us that the process of imagemaking transcends technology. Aditya Arya, nephew of Kulwant Roy and archivist of his work, shares his kit. (read more)

Tags: Shooting Technique, Ambarin Afsar, cameras, kits, great photographers, how to shoot, compact kits, light equipment