In the world of analog photography of last century, equipment would be expected to last decades or longer. Lenses and cameras that I acquired in the ’80s were still going strong when I sold it all off as surplus in 2003.

Digital cameras today are plenty rugged but the technology improves so quickly that it makes sense to upgrade. Sometimes just as the equipment is getting broken in.

Right now, there’s nothing remotely old in my current kit. Except for one thing. The small backpack that I use to carry the gear. I’ve had it since 2005 and it’s as good as new.

Shortly after I got the pack, I was taking this fellow’s portrait in Sausalito, California. After the session, he noticed the label and told me I had chosen wisely. He said, “anything from LL Bean will pass the test of time.”

This time-tested man himself knew exactly what he was talking about.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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