Pro photographer, James Carnegie, tells us what’s in his bag

#TakeLifeOutside

Posted on 25/08/21

James Carnegie is one of our favourite UK pro photographers.

“This year marks just over ten years since making the pivotal decision to redirect my attention towards photography and telling stories around subject matters I’m passionate about. I’d come to realise that creating authentic, emotive and heartfelt content that people could engage with, meant learning how to delve as far into the story as I could”.

James loves to capture and follow adventurers and athletes – telling their stories and letting people into their world is what he loves doing most.

It’s was precisely this #TakeLifeOutside ethos that meant we crossed paths with James, not to mention the fact he’s a Dorset-based trail runner and lives in one of our favourite UK destinations.

Photography is obviously a massive passion for many of you and without wanting to get into the Canon vs. Sony vs. Nikon debate, we sat down to ask James what he carries with him on any shoot, whether he’s snapping for clients or himself.

1. Sony a9

When this mirrorless camera came out in 2018, I sold every other piece of camera equipment I owned and switched brands it was that good. I was flying out to China to shoot a story in the Gobi Desert and only collected the camera en route to Heathrow, reading the manual on the flight to Beijing. It’s an absolute weapon of a device – pumping out 20 frames per second at Hi resolution but only weighing 673g. When you’re running through the dark desert night with an athlete for 42km, trying to get ’the shot’, every single gram counts.

2. Leatherman Wingman

I’ve lost count of the number of times this thing has saved the day but I can recall where it has made the difference; we used it to trim overhanging trees from a Vietnamese mountain summit, so that a Redbull wingsuit athlete could make the first known jump in the country. One word of warning however – DO NOT leave it in your carry-on luggage. You will weep as the airport security take it away from you forever…

3. Melin Hydro

I can’t really explain why, but I’ve always felt safer wearing a cap – it’s like a cloaking device, not to mention a saviour when shooting in hot conditions. The A-game Hydro is an investment worth making – it beads away water so doesn’t absorb the rain and get heavy. It floats, it’s breathable for running in and works both forwards and back!

4. OS Explorer Map

Google Maps is great and SatNav is even better but the problem is when the battery dies you’re left looking like a proper gorm. I love these OS Maps because they’re waterproof, durable and so lightweight you can have it in the front pocket of your camera bag and not know about it. Until you need it that is… The Purbecks editions is my personal favourite.


5. Fatboy 

Much of my time out on location is spent waiting for either the right lighting or for an athlete to come through on a race. I’m too old to sit on the ground but too young for a folding chair, so the Fatboy is my ultimate location lounging device – no batteries needed just some fresh air to fill it and it’s lightweight enough to lug up a mountain. I’ve spent the night on a lot worse, if push comes to shove!

To learn more about James and to see his work, visit his instagram or website.

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