Being a hobbyist photographer means two things.

  1. You do not make money out of your photographs.
  2. You end up spending a lot acquiring gear, you realize you don’t like it much and put it up for sale, only to spot something else the next day, and the cycle continues.

These two facts, make it an expensive hobby to keep up. I once quipped to a photography buddy of mine ‘One more lens, and my gear is complete!’. To which he replied ‘Oh it’s never complete!’

This time, I was not looking to get more camera stuff, but stuff to efficiently carry my camera gear.

I am a big fan of Peakdesign, and amongst their camera bags I had shortlisted two - the 30 litre everyday backpack and the 45 litre travel backpack. For sanity sake I will refer the former as ‘smaller bag’ and the latter as ‘bigger bag’ here.

I spent a lot of time reading up bag reviews, watched quite a few youtube recommendations, and yet, I couldn’t make up my mind. I was leaning towards the bigger bag, but I decided to turn to reddit for guidance.

I created a post in Reddit’s Peakdesign community, asking for the other members to choose between the two bags. To my chagrin, most of them chose the smaller bag, and said ‘That bag is perfect’ and ‘It would be the only bag I would ever need’. I was not convinced even after a majority vote for the smaller bag, and I put my purchase plans on hold.

A week later, I got a ‘new reply’ notification to my post. Curious to see what someone’s got to say, a week after my post had became idle, I logged in. Incidentally, while creating the post, I had made a specific request, which included my needs, my gear and my physique.

A user had commented " I am larger than you, but not by much. You are not an average guy, you are a large guy. I can see that a lot of people here have suggested you to go with the smaller bag, but remember they all might not be large, they might be average or even small.

What they have suggested is something that is going to look good on themselves, not necessarily on you.

Smaller people have smaller perspectives in life, which is fine, because they are small. But you are not.

I would suggest you to go with a bigger bag. It’s gonna look good on you. If you are not convinced, go to a store and try them both."

I couldn’t stop smiling for a few seconds. For Reddit is one of the last places where you would expect someone to spell out some of the greatest truths.

In this overconnected world, too much of one’s time is spent seeking the opinions, approvals and validations of others. While conveniently forgetting the fact that, others do not see the world with the same eyes as you, and their thoughts, visions and perspectives may vary wildly, and could be an exact opposite of yours.

While seeking the thoughts of others on a subject matter, one would do well to remember a variation of the quote from my redditor guide:

Other people have other opinions about your life, which is fine, because they are, well, not you!

In the classroom of a photography school, the teacher shows a camera bag to his students and asks what do they see.

Half the class said the bag was half empty, while the other half said the bag was half full.

Terrible, terrible I know.

As you prepare to facepalm yourselves, I’m preparing to sell some of my lenses to fund my new camera bag. :)

Cover Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash