Not too long ago cameras came in two basic colors - black or silver. Today we can choose from a rainbow of colors for our compact cameras but larger digital interchangeable lens cameras (DSLR's) for the most part still come in black or silver.
Granted, Pentax has tried to break with this tradition on their K-x and K-r cameras by offering them with brightly colored bodies but they are still the exception and not the rule.
So where do photographers turn if they wish to make a style statement while they carry and shoot a DSLR? They turn to their camera bags and neck straps. In fact whole product lines have been developed as alternatives to the traditional black, gray or red camera bag. Color and style can be found to fit almost any taste and we really don't have to look very far.
Crumpler is one of the top tradition breakers in the camera bag game. Crumpler brings style, bright colors and in many cases re-imagined design to the camera bag sector. Lime greens mix with grays and browns. Bright orange accented with red piping plus a bright yellow interior. These are examples of Crumpler's take on camera bag styling.
Jill-e goes beyond color and borrows from the world of women's handbag construction for its line of camera bags. Aimed at the female photographer, Jill-e offers bags made of leather, faux alligator or ostrich and of course canvas. Camera bags in several configurations can be found in pinks, soft yellows and even polka-dots. Jill-e also offers a line designed for men called Jack. The bags in the Jack line are topped by a leather series that looks like it is made from old bomber jackets.
Camera neck straps have actually weathered a fashion trend or two over the years. The 60's and 70's saw heavy use of woven 'guitar strap' materials. The introduction of neoprene as a neck strap material launched a whole gaggle of bright, solid colored straps from almost every manufacturer. But the introduction of the MOD strap a few years ago really changed our minds about what a strap should look like.
MOD features wild patterns, bright colors and contrasting fur-lined undersides. From hippie patterns last seen in the Mod 60's to seemingly lingerie inspired red brocade on black the MOD neck strap line will always draw notice when worn.
It's all about choices; we no longer are required to accept a monochrome world of camera bags and accessories. Today any photographer can carry and protect their photo gear with security as well as style. For me, today I think I'll be using my bright red back pack with the silver trim.
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