Think Tank Photo of Santa Rosa, California, has been announced as the latest winner of the National Press Photographers Association’s (NPPA) J. Winton Lemen Fellowship Award. Under the Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear brands, Think Tank has been making camera bags, backpacks and gear-carrying accessories since 2005.
Think Tank Photo was founded in 2005 by two photojournalists and two designers. The photojournalists are 2005 photojournalism Pulitzer Prize winner Deanne Fitzmaurice and her husband and photojournalism veteran Kurt Rogers, both formerly of the San Francisco Chronicle, while the designers are Doug Murdoch and Mike Sturm.
Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear make the sort of camera bags and backpacks I so badly needed but did not exist when I was working as a magazine and newspaper photographer in dusty Australian towns, cities and the mining regions of Western Australia, where assistants were scarce to non-existent and you had to carry it all on your own back, everywhere.
As with photography itself, camera bag and backpack design and manufacturing have moved on leaps and bounds in recent years. The gear transportation needs of photojournalists, documentary photographers and videographers can be very different to those of others working in the moviemaking and photography fields. Think Tank Photo recognizes that by focusing on speed and accessibility in their products, under the motto Be Ready “Before The Moment”.
As a J. Winton Lemen Award winner, Think Tank Photo joins the exalted ranks of much longer established imaging hardware and software companies like Adobe Systems, Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Sony as well as a host of individuals who have rendered “continuing outstanding service in the interests of press photography and for outstanding technical achievement in photography”.Think Tank Photo wins NPPA’s J. Winton Lemen Fellowship Award, joins ranks of tech innovators. Click To Tweet
NPPA Names Think Tank Photo Winner of J. Winton Lemen Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in Photography
SANTA ROSA, CALIF. –The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) today named Think Tank Photo as the winner of the 2016 J. Winton Lemon Fellowship Award. The honor is given to those who render continuing outstanding service in the interests of press photography and for outstanding technical achievement in photography. Previous winners include Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and Adobe Systems.
Founded in 2005 by designers Doug Murdoch and Mike Sturm, and Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice and veteran photojournalist Kurt Rogers, Think Tank is a group of designers and professional photographers focused on studying how photographers work, and developing inventive new carrying solutions to meet their needs. By focusing on “speed” and “accessibility,” it prepares photographers to Be Ready “Before The Moment,” allowing them to document those historic moments that reflect their personal visions and artistic talents.
“When we started Think Tank over 10 years ago, we vowed to serve the needs of NPPA members and other working photographers,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s CEO and lead designer. “It is an extreme honor to be named for such an illustrious award, especially by an organization we hold in such high regard. We believe photojournalists and other press photographers and videographers serve such a high purpose in helping convey the truth, especially in settings where they often have to put their lives at risk.”
J. Winton Lemen was a charter member of the NPPA. In 1952, after a distinguished career as a news photographer at the Rocky Mountain News, Pittsburgh Press, and Buffalo Times, he established the photo press markets division of the Eastman Kodak Co. and served as the firm's liaison with news photographers.
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About Think Tank Photo
Headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, Think Tank Photo is a group of designers and professional photographers focused on studying how photographers work and developing inventive new carrying solutions that meet their needs. They are dedicated to using only the highest quality materials and design principles, and employing materials that are environmentally benign.
(cover photo credit: snap from Think Tank Photo)