in recent comments on a recent post recently (somewhere—I get around a bit) …


a few snaps of portable photographic stability. I almost always carry a camera everywhere and sometimes (when I can be bothered) a tripod. Oftentimes a tripod is an inconvenience (even a bar to entry) whereas a shoulder bag is overlooked and/or acceptable—you go from being a threat to simply eccentric.


bag that I’ve used over many years and in which I’ve carried generations/incarnations/marques of camerae. When it was new I disfigured it with black felt pens and gave it much bashing about—I don’t want ‘nice’ or new in a camera bag, I want scruff. But I do want it to do the job of protecting the contents and Ol’ Faithful does that job very well indeed. It was possibly water-resistant enough on purchase but I’ve since given it so many coats of magic spray-on water-proofer that falling rain turns aside in panic before it even reaches …


Stability in the field when I’m a tripod-free-zone is gained (often, not always) by Plan B. The ‘B’ stands for Beanbag, which is a misnomer—it’s actually a rice bag—

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.17.09

—which I trial-and-errored until I got the feel of it just right. Ya wanna photograph a snail or something? Just flop it out, whack it down nearby and (before your target reaches flank speed) wriggle your camera down into position and SNAP~! He’s in the bag. Okay, captured on pixels but you get the picture.

Any close enough mesh bag that’s also floppy and adaptable will do. The Spouse picked this one up for me in one of her oppie shoppes (her ’boutiques’). Once you’ve got it right, sew the zipper shut.

“Why,” you may ask, “sew the zipper shut? Has ol’ Argie finally flipped?” *

I used an invisible nylon thread burgled from my stash of ‘things that may come in handy one day’. If you look carefully you can just see the invisible stitches, but the long skinny bits sticking out are a dead giveaway—I’m not so dumb as to snip ’em off. (That stuff is slippery enough to untie itself given half a Chance.)

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.18.08

The reason for sewing it shut? As mentioned in that posted comment, it’s amazing how a half-litre bean bag can both contain six litres of rice and manage to leak it all over the floor in the car … as disreputable as it undoubtedly is, who wants their camera baggie full of loose rice?

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.19.04

So here we have it. My next mission is to transfer some contents from my redundant man-bag to the above; celephone in the front pocket while a few other essentials will go under the beanie (why didn’t I think to do that before?) and we’re fully back on deck.

Beanbag works well atop the car, atop a fencepost, on the floor, on the ground … and is fairly water resistant.

And if ever marooned and starving in the desert you could always eat it (ouch) …



* Too late …




7 thoughts on “BEAN BAGs & RICE

  1. Good idea. I especially like the ‘eat if starving.’ You could even mix in some spices before sewing the package up. I think I’ll vote for beans since they have more substance. Mmmm, Mmmm. 🙂 –Curt

  2. Superb Argie, my lovely friend. I shall be whipping up such a baggie-thingie as soon as I get my camera back from the fixers. Invaluable advice.

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