It’s not that uncommon for a photographer to create a new photographic backpack — the folks at ThinkTank were shooters that decided to make bags to fit their specific needs, for example. But it's unusual for a photographer to put a high-tech photo streaming studio into one, creating a mobile photo transmission solution that shaves precious time off of submitting images to editors. 

Josh Haner wears his streaming backback. (The New York Times)

That, however, is just what New York Times staff photographer and Pulitzer prize winner Josh Haner did after spending a season on the presidential campaign where his video-shooting colleagues used dedicated transmission rigs to file their video without any intervention. 

Haner, who happens to be a Stanford graduate in a discipline that combines computer science and linguistics with liberal arts, made a system that automatically transmits images BitTorrent style, to off-site editors via a backpack. According to an article on the secret lies inside the pack, with four built-in cellular modems hooked up to a small battery-powered Linux computer. 

The idea is to break images down into chunks and spread them across both Verizon and AT&T’s networks so they don’t get clogged up on location when the cell towers of any one carrier become overloaded. Editors pick up the images from web-ready versions and the system can then send them high-res ones. 

Don’t expect to see the backpack on the market yet. While Haner and his associates are developing new models all the time, the Times considers the system to be a competitive advantage so it's likely that the paper will try to hold onto the technology.