I was invited to speak at a conference called Zero Regrets by my friends Matt & Katie Ebenezer in Melbourne, Australia. I knew I needed a bag that would allow me take most of my gear on carry-on for the flight but allow me easy access while attached to my wheelchair once I landed, enter Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-25 PL backpack!
This was first time leaving the American shores. I didn’t know what to pack or even what I would need but, I knew I wanted to take my D-SLR and some lighting, just in case. More importantly, I didn’t want to check my gear! They can lose my wheelchair but not my gear, actually no that’s wrong. My clothes and my wheelchair.
I wanted easy access to some of the things I brought along for the long flight like my battery pack and iPad if needed. The backpack was easy enough for the flight crew to handle, even if a touch heavy, when they assisted me my seat. Another cool thing was that I found the backpack could fit under the seat too depending on where I was seated. There were times it didn’t quite make it but there were no issues with it being stored in the overhead compartment.
So, what did I manage to get pack into my bag?
– Canon 1D MKIV
– Canon 24-70 2.8 II (provided by Bokeh Fire)
– Sigma 85 1.4
– Profoto B2 w/ 1 Head | Speedring | Extension Cable | 2′ Octo | Profoto Air Remore TTL-C
– Sony RX100 MKI
– Go Pro Hero 3
– iPad 3
– LemonZero SlimJuice BatteryPack for my phone and devices
– 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim HDD
– Batteriesfor various gear
– Cables and connectors for various things
I removed and added gear depending on what I needed or where I traveled. The fact I could have single bag versus a rolling bag that could do this made moving about a lot more simple.
I landed in Sydney but unfortunately my time there was limited, it was Melbourne that would be the first place I would get to go questing before the start of the conference with help of my friend Oli Sansom.
I found the city life was close to what I was use to back in Philadelphia. I explored as much as possible mostly some of the smaller back streets and alleys.
I document mostly portraits and photojournalism aka Street, but for me it’s not always about people. Sometimes it’s about textures, shapes, colors, or anything gets thinking or draws my attention.
Zero Regrets was an amazing journey and part of that journey included a couple of days where some of the speakers and attendees would get together to do photo walks. I spoke on the first day of the conference about my journey as photographer which recently found me becoming a Profoto Ambassador! Many of the attendees were curious about the B2 and on one of the walks I brought the system along with me in my Manfrotto bag. Due to the roominess of the Pro Light 3N1-25 PL backpack I could pack the system and my gear for the fun.
While my use of the Pro Light 3N1-25 PL backpack comes from a completely unique point of view, being a wheelchair user, it goes without saying this backpack holds a lot and looks great doing so. I found it easy to access my gear quickly which meant I didn’t have to constantly keep my primary camera around my neck. I rarely had it attached to the back of my wheelchair for a couple of reasons. The back of my wheelchair isn’t designed with backpacks in mind unfortunately and placing the backpack on the back of my wheelchair would make it difficult to access. I kept it attached to the front of my wheelchair on my luggage rack and kept in place with a bungee cord and side access made accessing my camera fast! This isn’t to say I didn’t have any issues though.
I initially had an issue with the backpack slipping between my luggage racks oddly enough because it’s not a small bag. However, this was easily fixed by turning one my luggage rack bars inward a little. The other issue I had was there wasn’t any place to attach the Carabiner clips that I normally use to hold my bags in place. This might be addressed in a future update of the backpack because, I believe it would also allow other things to be attached to the backpack if need be.
With that said that it is specific to my wheelchair and need or use, and much like my backrest isn’t designed for backpacks this wasn’t designed with wheelchairs in mind and why I needed the bungee cord.
I have to say that the backpack offered another bonus for me as well when using it on my wheelchair. Nearly all the straps were able to be tucked away! It’s annoying at times when I accidently run over a strap because it couldn’t tucked away neatly. If you’ve never seen someone in a wheelchair trip, straps are often the cause; at least for me! 🙂
Before heading back home to Philadelphia, I travelled back to Sydney for a few days. On my last day I travelled to Sydney Harbor with my friend and guide, wedding photographer, James Day. We opted to take a ferry around the harbor. This allowed me to get not only get a sense of how big Sydney was but, also get closer views of both the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House!
My experience in Australia is nothing short of epic because of the amazing people I connected with! It was made more memorable because I was able to bring along the right gear to capture the moments of a lifetime, thanks to the versatility of my Pro Light 3N1-25 PL backpack.