Turning Any Bag Into A Camera Bag

June 18, 2012 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

Hi. My name is Ben and I’m a bag addict. It’s true, I have a problem. For years, I was convinced that there was a single, perfect camera bag out there in the world somewhere. So, over the years, I have amassed an embarrassing assortment of bags. A while ago, I came to realize that there is no single camera bag that’s appropriate for every situation, which only exacerbated my problem, because now I have a perfect justification for owning still more bags. Alas, the discovery of Mountainsmith Kit Cube has made the whole situation even worse, because with the Kit Cube, I can turn any bag into a camera bag. This means my bag fetish is no longer constrained to just camera bags!

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The iPad, the HyperDrive, and the Traveling Photographer

July 28, 2011 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Features 

Like a lot of photographers, I like gear. Lots of gear. Sometimes I think that I like gear because buying new gear is easier than trying to take a good picture. But still, I buy more. But when it comes time to actually travel somewhere, all that gear presents a bit of a quandary. The sad fact is: while I like gear, I don’t like carrying it. When traveling, I used to carry a rather full kit – lots of lenses, flashes, anything I might possibly need. But these days, even for extended travel, I tend to go pretty stripped down. Usually just two lenses, no flash, possibly a lightweight tripod. On a recent 3-week trip to Turkey, I decided to go even more bare, and travelled with only a small backpack as my only luggage – both for clothes, and camera gear. Needless to say, this presented a bit of an issue in terms of gear choice.

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Portable Printing with the Polaroid PoGo Printer

June 8, 2010 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 
PolaroidPogo

I just spent the last week motorcycling from San Francisco to Oklahoma, (to teach at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute) camping and motelling along the way. As is usual on a motorcycle, I tried to stay on the smallest roads possible, and so ended up in some fairly interesting locations. I was probably supposed to be blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking my exploits as I went, (Karaoke night in Roswell, NM will definitely make you believe in alien visitations) but to be honest, one of the nice things about such a trip is to be out of the media bubble, not engaging in it further. So rather than trying to provide heavy coverage of my trip, I decided to simply enjoy myself. But also, I have a penchant for mail – the physical kind made from crushed wood pulp. Sitting in a forest or remote desert at night, writing letters and postcards, is a pretty nice way to spend an evening, but just because I’m using analog communications doesn’t mean I have to scrimp on imagery. Thanks to the amazing Polaroid PoGo printer, I was able to print images in the middle of nowhere!

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Wacom Cintiq 21ux

May 4, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

As I’ve said before, anyone who performs a lot of image editing needs a pressure-sensitive tablet, and no one makes better tablets than Wacom. A lot of people, though, don’t like the coordination of drawing in one place while looking at another. For these people, Wacom has long sold the Cintiq line of screen/tablet combos. These are LCD screens that have a built in pressure sensitive tablet.

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Why You Need a Pressure-Sensitive Tablet

March 17, 2010 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Features 

Over the years, I’ve found that photographers tend to fall into two categories: those that edit heavily, and those that rarely edit at all. Of course, this is a generalization, and most users do some kind of editing. But in general, it seems like photographers either edit heavily, or they simply try to work with what comes out of the camera. If you’re the type who edits heavily, then you should seriously consider getting a pressure-sensitive tablet. For re-touching, cutting masks, or performing any painting-based edits, a tablet can make your editing process much easier, and even enable some edits that are impossible, or extremely difficult, with a mouse. If you’re not clear why you might want a tablet, here’s a detailed discussion of the advantages, and a look (with video) at the new Wacom Intuos 4 Wireless tablet..

Some new photo gadgets

March 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

As many of you probably know, it isn’t easy being a nerdy gearhead. Oh sure, exploring and mastering a new gizmo isn’t too hard, but keeping your gizmo fix satisfied is not only expensive, but time consuming. Fortunately, with the recent spate of photo-related trade shows, there are a number of cool new photo gadgets to consider. Here’s a quick look at seven photo-related hardware accessories that you might want to consider.

Choosing a tripod

March 4, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

You may think you’re a camera geek, but if the thought of a new tripod or head doesn’t get your palms sweaty, then you still have a ways to go to plumb the true depths of your photo-related nerd potential. Personally, I have two tripods, a couple of heads, and a fairly large assortment of smaller stabilization gizmos, and yet it’s always hard to walk past the tripod section at the camera store without stopping to feel the weight of this tripod, admire the new composite material of another tripod, or test the latest locking levers on still another tripod. If you don’t have a tripod fetish, then choosing a tripod might be something of a mystery, as it may seem like little more than three sticks joined at the top. But oh, a tripod can be so much more.

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The Mac Netbook Revisited

January 30, 2010 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

With Apple’s announcement of the iPad, there’s a lot of talk lately about the "death of the netbook." But for the photographer, a netbook is still a much better alternative to any other portable option. Smaller, lighter, and cheaper than a typical laptop, a netbook provides plenty of storage for offloading images, but can run the same software that you use on your everyday computer. In addition to replacing your digital wallet-type device, having a real keyboard and connectivity options make netbooks capable terminals for the traveling photographer. If you’re a Mac user, though, you won’t find any netbook options from Apple. However, it’s now easier than ever to hack certain netbooks to run the latest version of Snow Leopard.

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Luma Loop – A Radical Camera Strap Re-Design

January 20, 2010 by · 41 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

You wouldn’t think that there’s much you could do to change the design of a camera strap. Oh sure, you can build it out of better materials, and make the strap easier to attach or detach, and maybe make one strap that’s more fashionable than another. But actually creating a truly different strap, one that functions in a different, better way? That’s a tougher call, because a camera strap seems to be a fairly basic piece of gear. But, Luma Labs has proven that even something as seemingly simple as a camera strap can be given a radical new spin, and dramatically improved. For your consideration: the Luma Loop.

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UPstrap – The Ultimate Camera Strap

November 10, 2009 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

Upstrap

I’ve been using an UPstrap on my SLR for a couple of years now, and have previously posted about how it’s possibly the best camera accessory I’ve ever used. While something as seemingly simple as a camera strap may not sound like much to get excited about, once you use the UPstrap, you may find yourself becoming something of a camera strap connoisseur. (Or even more fun, a camera strap snob.) A whole new batch of UPstraps have been released, offering the UPstrap advantage to cameras of all sizes. Read on to find out why you might want to give up on your stock camera strap.

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Wacom Intuos4

May 9, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

So you’ve got a camera that delivers the features, quality, and performance that you want, you’ve tricked it out with high-quality, speedy lenses, multiple flash units, and a really cool bag, and you’re pumping your completed images into a fast desktop workstation with a beefy graphics card. You’re set, right? You have the dream digital photography setup, no? No. Because if you spend any appreciable time editing your images, you need a Wacom pressure sensitive tablet. For masking, retouching, cloning, dodging and burning, there’s no substitute. A Wacom tablet is truly an essential piece of photo gear. Not convinced? Read this to understand more.

The Netbook as Photo Accessory – Mac Version

March 21, 2009 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

I love my aluminum MacBook. While I used a MacBook Pro for years, the smaller MacBook is a little easier to carry, and it never feels like it flexes or bends under its own weight, as the MacBook Pro sometimes did. However, it’s still just big enough that packing it in a bicycle or motorcycle bag is problematic, and it’s heavy enough that for backcountry or extended travel, it’s a bit of a load. What’s more, a lot of times it’s overkill. Usually all I need in the field is a place to dump images, and perhaps some email access. Over the last year or so a new class of tiny, ultralight laptop computers – netbooks – have appeared on the market at extremely reasonable prices. These machines turn out to be ideal photo accessories. Of course, Apple doesn’t make such a product, but there are now quite a few netbooks that can be hacked to run the Macintosh OS, allowing you to make something that Apple doesn’t: a tiny, very portable Macintosh.

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Epson P-7000 Multimedia Viewer

October 6, 2008 by · 3 Comments
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Epson P7000

One of the great advantages of shooting digital is that you can shoot tremendous volume without having to spring for expensive film and processing costs. While this freedom allows you to experiment and learn much faster than you could with film, it also means that you need to have a lot of storage at the ready when you’re shooting in the field. Flash memory cards are cheaper than ever, but it’s still hard to beat the price-per-megabyte of hard drive storage. If you’ve been looking for a portable, hard drive-based tool for offloading images in the field, then you’ll want to take a look at the P-7000 Multimedia Viewer.

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The iPhone As Photo Accessory

March 1, 2008 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Features 
iPhone

While the iPhone has a built-in camera – and one that’s surprisingly good for a cell phone – you might find that its real photo value lies elsewhere. I recently found myself needing to shoot some product shots of a camera. I decided to use the Canon PowerShot G9 because 1) it’s a very good camera, and 2) its big LCD viewfinder makes the camera easy to use when mounted on a tripod. However, after taking a few shots and moving them to the computer, I discovered my setup had some problems. That’s where the iPhone came in…

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New Photo Gadgets

February 15, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Features 

One thing that even beginning photographers quickly learn is that there’s always a good rationalization for buying more photo gadgets. As you grow in photographic sophistication, so will your gadget rationalizations improve. Fortunately, Complete Digital Photography is here to enable your gadget buying yearnings. Take a look at this round-up of some cool photo hardware and software.

The UPstrap

February 13, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 
Upstrap

I have the good fortune to get to play with a lot of camera gear and accessories, and a lot of those things are very cool. There are new lenses, and nifty digital storage devices, and all sorts of other electronic gizmos. But I have to say, of all the things that I’ve looked at over the last six months, the one camera accessory that I use every day, and that I would unequivocally recommend to any shooter, is the UPstrap. That’s right, depsite the cool high-tech gadgets that are sitting around me as I write this, what I’d like to recomend to you right now is a camera strap.

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Gear for the Road

October 3, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Features 

Because different types of shoots require different types of gear – long lenses for an event shoot, wide lenses for landscape, etc. – figuring out how to pack your camera bag for a particular assignment or event can be tricky. But lens and camera selection is just one thing. You’ll also want to consider some other important factors.

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Three Photo Accessories

April 3, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 
Photo Gizmos

So Henri Cartier-Bresson spent his entire career working with the same old Leica and the same old 50mm lens. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have any fun, and spend your time loading up on all the cool camera gear you can find. While it’s easy to get distracted by the latest camera models and fancy new lenses, it’s helpful to remember that there are lots of other ways that you can spend your money at your favorite camera store or web site. In this article, I take a look at three photo accessories that are worth considering as additions to your camera bag.

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Wacom Cintiq 21SX

July 10, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 
I’ll be blunt: performing any kind of photo retouching with a mouse is a waste of time. Sure, you can get it done, but it’ll take far more time than using a pressure-sensitive tablet. If you’ve ever tried a tablet and found the coordination to be a little strange, then the Wacom Cintiq might be the answer for you.

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Kaidan 360One

November 26, 2002 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Need to shoot full 360ยจ? panoramas? Kaidan’s weird-looking lens attachment will let you shoot a complete panorama in a single shot.
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