New York, 10 kg of photo equipment or why women absolutely need a suitable backpack

New York, 10 kg Foto-Equipment oder warum Frau zwingend einen passenden Rucksack braucht

At last! A dream comes true. My first international photographic assignment. I can't believe it: It was to be New York! On January 1, I'm sitting on a plane, all alone, completely on my own, on my way to the USA.

How did I prepare myself? I'm not really good at "systematically planned" procedures. More like the wild bumblebee principle. First of all, I had to think about the desired motifs. What lenses do I need to take with me? Planning press appointments and obtaining special permits.

What are the dimensions and weight of the permitted hand luggage? What is allowed in which bag? All this must be clarified beforehand. The professional tripod (not a light travel model) and my seven things went into the suitcase. Three fast lenses, Canon 5D IV, a telephoto lens, also fast, various filters, mounts, flash and most importantly: chocolate! All in all, my photo backpack for boarding weighed a good 7 kg. Don't hand over your equipment or put it in your suitcase (all batteries always belong in your hand luggage) and carry it with you in your rucksack.

First test fitting at home. Ufz - heavy! But - I thought to myself - don't be like that, you're a photographer. We girls of this species are tough. Off to New York!


Now I'm standing at the immigration office at the airport with my noticeably heavier rucksack. That takes time. Give me the sweets! After an hour I was through and the first appointment was already waiting for me. A short sprint into the waiting yellow cab. Rolling my suitcase and with my rucksack on my back, I arrived in New York. Unbelievable. Big, wonderful, impressive and colorful. That was my first impression.

The days were exhausting. Walking 25 km a day, carrying 10 kg of equipment plus the tripod. U-Up and down the subway. Photographically challenging. I had to be quick, to the point. Often I barely had time to attach the lens. On the very first day, I kept the camera samt Tele (5 kg) in my hand because I just couldn't get to it quickly enough. There was also not enough room in the bag to leave it mounted.

I noticed the pressure on my shoulders and collarbone on the very first day. The rucksack was simply too wide for my narrow shoulders. The tripod, attached to the back, pulled the load down even further. Despite the wide lap belt, on the morning of day two I looked like someone had pushed me in front of the New York subway. Bruises and welts! But another five days lay ahead of me.

I simply didn't have enough time to go out to eat. But here's a tip for you. Dare to go to the small snack stores of all nationalities. They cook fresh food there, it's quick and it's cheap. So one day we had African food, the next day vegetable soup from China and so on.

The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and One World Trade Center are just some of the impressive skyscrapers. The security checks are just as strict as at the airport and take time - for every visitor. Even for photographers with special permits.

Did you know that tripods are not allowed at any of the major sights in the city of NY? Deep this in mind and most importantly: get tickets from home. It's cheaper and you save a lot of time.


The most impressive thing for me was the view from the "Top of the Rock" (Rockefeller Center). Overwhelming! Here the security had an understanding with the photographer. They guided me directly from below to the top of the world. No waiting time, including tripod. Wonderful.

Day two and three in the evening at the hotel: the bruises on my shoulders changed to green and red. The welts became sore. Where else had I seen the drugstore in town? The next few days were planned for long exposures of the skyline, so I definitely had to set off again with all my weight. The straps of my rucksack often rolled outwards - despite the connecting strap in the middle - and pressed painfully on my collarbone. The weight did the rest.

On days four and five, I gritted my teeth and continued to complete my task. I had now mentally arrived in this city, got involved in the hustle and bustle of life here and adapted. The hours at sunrise under the Brooklyn Bridge will remain unforgettable.


The special thing here is the people and the natural contrast. Nature and urban life complement each other seamlessly. The light at sunrise and sunset is wonderfully intense.

An incredibly beautiful city! Also for female photographers traveling alone. Bust... think of a suitable rucksack! One that doesn't pinch and distributes the weight well. I now know what it's like when it doesn't fit.

I called compagnon from New York and complained. The compagnon team clearly recognized the problem and turned to one of the best backpack manufacturers during the development phase and used the Deuter carrying system.

Climbing and hiking rucksacks make a distinction between narrow and broad shoulders, so why not photo rucksacks? It is not only a well thought-out interior that is needed. It is particularly important for all photographers to find a good back carrying system, adapted to the size of the wearer and the weight to be carried. Buring day shoots, this is often not noticeable (except for the sore muscles), but as a traveler in New York, it was the most important thing of all.

When I arrived home, I found the two sizes of the Explorer(+) - delivered quickly - to choose from. The proof of the pudding is in the eating:

Well, I went jogging with a loaded rucksack (10 kg), this time with the tripod fixed to the side. Nothing (!) pressed. There was no swaying anywhere. The rucksack lay quietly and painlessly on my back without any heat build-up. Even if the other runners looked a bit strangely at me as I ran - I didn't care! I ran faster than the "white men with the jackets".

The compagnon team did a great job and really thought of something. Thank you very much! Even the smaller Explorer has enough space for everything I need to take with me - including chocolate!

My next international assignments are coming up soon. In February, the team will be heading to Iceland, in spring to the Allgäu lake district and in May back to the USA. We'll have the Explorer from compagnon with us everywhere and will be happy to report back.

Your Dani

(Ponyvilla) Photographer / Freelancer

Creative mind, in love with photography and ready for new adventures

Check out Daniela on Facebook and Instagram and enjoy her great work.

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