Petrol: Big up bags, says Beijing-based doc maker

Jonah Kessel is a fan of Petrol Bags.
News, Content production


Jonah Kessel, a visual journalist based in Beijing, works mainly freelance. Profound documentaries, well-researched reports, and an eye for the extraordinary are what set Kessel apart from others. He was recently on the go for "Myanmar Emerges," a documentary for the GlobalPost about the budding democracy in what was once Burma. In addition to his documentary work, Kessel is part of the video team for the New York Times, for which the US-born cinematographer reports on China (his adopted country) and beyond. Together with his team, Kessel won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 in the category "Explanatory Reporting" for the New York Times report "iEconomy." To protect his equipment, he depends upon the Digibag DSLR Camera Bag (PD221) and the Deca Tripod Cage (PT701) by Petrol Bags, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company.

Little time for preparation and many surprises — all too familiar during run-and-gun shoots. Therefore, difficult shoots are made more convenient when the camera can be securely stored in its bag together with all of its accessories. This saves valuable time and enables that the cameraman give undivided attention what is happening in front of him. "With an external height of 28.5 cm (11.22 in), the Digibag DSLR Camera Bag is very deep. This makes it possible to comfortably transport a complete DSLR rig in the bag, so that when you want to film, all you have to do is take it out. My rigs are usually equipped with a camera cage, various grips, and a microphone. With Petrol Bags, there is no reason for me to take the rig apart, as it fits into the bag completely assembled," says Kessel. The thickly padded, removable dividers enable the camera operator to quickly and perfectly adjust the shoulder bag to every camera configuration. This way, the set-up is securely protected from damage during transport, even when it is completely assembled. The bag contains all of this support, in addition to a hinged floor, which can be quickly lifted to reveal safe storage space for extra lenses and spare batteries.

To protect his tripod system, Jonah Kessel depends upon the Petrol Bags Deca Tripod Cage. His diverse video projects take him to every continent; traveling by plane, car, or foot (or sometimes all three) is all in a day's work for the visual journalist. "I have surely flown a hundred times this year with this tripod bag, without a single piece (in the inner or outer pockets) breaking. In tight and densely populated city areas, I often have to go from one shooting location to another. I then simply pull the Petrol Bags Deca Tripod Cage behind me through the crowds. The integrated heavy-duty wheels are robust, and I don't always have to carry the weight on my back. Wherever rolling the tripod bag is not possible, I simply take out the hidden carrying straps, and the bag quickly becomes a comfortable backpack," says Kessel.

The exclusive 7-layer Protection System by Petrol Bags protects the sensitive equipment from damage during transport and makes the bags particularly resistant in adverse weather conditions. This makes Petrol Bags just the right companion for Jonah Kessel's diverse projects. Furthermore, the smaller bags meet the strict size requirements for carry-on luggage, and can be comfortably taken on board any plane.

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