Jun 5th


Objects of Beauty, 7.

Saddleback Leather Satchel, Hasselblad 500 C/M

This satchel is made by Saddleback Leather (they call it a briefcase, but I so seldom carry briefs in it…). The leather is so thick it weighs almost 7lbs empty. I rarely use it for my international travel but for weekend trips and day-to-day use, this bags carried my laptop, notebooks, assorted cameras, pens, phones, headphones, water bottle and snacks, for about 5 years. I have a couple things made by Saddleback Leather, all of them stunning, not because they are perfect, but because of the imperfections themselves. The craftsmanship is flawless, but the leather comes with the character of the beast from which it was made, and it only gets better with age. I carry this bag almost everywhere, it takes my laptop and headphones to the every coffee shop in which I write my books and blog.

The Hasselblad is just what Hasselblad has always been – a beautiful, well-made camera that forces me to take my time, consider the image, and embrace a medium that I love precisely for the imperfections and unpredictability that film offers me. Beauty, I’m finding more and more lies in the imperfections. I bought the Hasselblad used from David Odess, a man who was once a factory technician for Hasselblad and now restores and sells them himself. There are few things as satisfying to my ear as the ca-thunk of the Hassie’s shutter and the slight resistance the winder offers my hand in advancing the film.

The point of these images isn’t to sell anything but if you’re tempted, you can find Saddleback Leather online HERE (they make beautiful Moleskine and Passport covers, too) and David Odess HERE.

Comments (29)
  1. michael

    June 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

    thanks David. great series.

  2. June 5, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Looks like an awesome bag – the look seems pretty unique to me. Have considered trying film just for the exploration of something I’ve not done (really). I can imagine the feeling is pretty cool!

  3. June 5, 2012 at 10:06 am

    This has been a terrific series. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Graham

    June 5, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Oh, David. I’m so sad. It looks like your Saddleback is in desperate need of Leather Honey Leather Conditioner. I’d carry up a bottle and apply it myself but Ecuador to Canada is just a wee too far to travel. If you really love the bag, I hope you’ll take care and give it a good pampering.

    Love to see your Objects of Beauty and the touch of wabi sabi implicit in some of the shots.

  5. June 5, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Graham, I spent an hour doing just that a couple days after I shot this. It’s much happier now. :-)

  6. Graham

    June 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I feel better now. :)

  7. David

    June 5, 2012 at 11:33 am

    That’s why I’m here, Graham. And you get 10 bonus points for using the term “wabi sabi.” Well played, sir.

  8. Carla

    June 5, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Just loved this series of photos. Actually today in photography classes we viewed your objects of beauty and had a class discussion on them.

    * your email today that provided the linke to today’s blog, the link doesn’t work. I got here from my twitter account

  9. David

    June 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks Carla, had a bit of a brain fart over here. I had the wrong link. My bad. Just trying to keep y’all on your toes! :-)

  10. Graham

    June 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Oh-boy, 10 bonus points. 90 more and I should be gettin’ a gold star. Woo-hoo!

  11. craig krizek

    June 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Hey David,

    Fantastic series. Funny, I just walked out of the darkroom (wet, not digital) after processing some Fuji Acros. Could be a dynamite choice for your portrait project. Hassleblad and Acros/ ca-thunk……


  12. June 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Just love this feature of the bag, found on the manufacturer’s website:

    “1 full-sized interior pocket for handguns or power cords, which can be pressed flat when not in use”.

    David, you do know that carrying a concealed power cord is a felony in some jurisdictions….


  13. David

    June 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Stephen – Hidden or not, you can never have enough power. Pretty sure there’s something about that in the Canadian constitution…or was that a Canadian Tire ad, I don’t know…

  14. June 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Sir, Love to read your posts ‘Objects of Beauty’ ,Thanks for sharing.

    Waiting for June Desktop Wallpaper.Thank you.

  15. June 6, 2012 at 1:21 am

    […] by David du Chemin’s little Objects of Beauty series, I am going to do something like that, but with a twist. I need to find a better title, but for […]

  16. June 6, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Thanks David, the image here is very nice, You’ve inspired me to do my own little project. Mice will be a little different from yours though.

  17. David

    June 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Libby, mice are always a little bit different from mine. :-)

  18. June 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Oh good grief I must have been tired. The C is hardly close to the N on the keyboard LOL

  19. June 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Eh….where’d the whisky go?

  20. June 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    David, I can’t decide what I am more envious of, the objects you keep posting, or the genius photography of them.

    Great series of posts, thanks.

  21. mike

    June 7, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Love your Saddleback Leather Satchel.
    How do you protect your cameras in this wonderful bag?

  22. June 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

    funny how quickly innocent browsing can lead to a sudden large outlay of cash… no, its ok, honestly I don’t blame you for guiding me to Saddleback Leather and causing me to buy one of their bags, really, its not your fault! :-)

  23. June 7, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Marcus – I will happily take the blame or the credit, whichever is easiest for you. You have the hard part, you have to pay for the darn thing :-)

    Mike – My methods are simple – when I use this with a camera, I just, well, I just put the camera inside it. That’s it. I don’t use pads or anything. My cameras don’t get coddled. Poor things.

  24. June 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    In a world where everyone is comparing camera bags….this blows the doors off of mediocrity!

  25. mike

    June 10, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Love the look of this bag. I have a Think Tank 60 which is a great bag but has no character..
    Is yours the medium or large satchel?
    Can it hold a Canon 1d + bigish lens?

  26. June 11, 2012 at 6:10 am

    And at 7 lbs empty, who needs a handgun? Just swing the whole bag at them, or hide behind it!

    Really enjoying this series, David – thanks.

  27. June 14, 2012 at 5:07 am

    I’m really enjoying this series, both the images and the stories behind them. All way out of my budget, but nice to see nonetheless.

  28. June 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

    great series.
    thanks David.