Category Archives: Personal

The Canon 1DseXy is a beautiful beast ;)

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I’ve been drooling over this bad boy since the day rumors of a speedy (focus, burst & buffer), full-frame in a 1D body came about. The day when I realized I better work real hard for this hefty body was when photographer and super craftsman Ron Paulk from Anacortes and also the same fella that sold me my first Think Tank gear amongst other awesome gear, showcased his at one of our meets! Thank you Ron for the teaser!

Check out Ron’s You Tube Channel here ;)

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This body is a little taller, deeper and heavier than my previous 1d bodies, but feels much better in the hands. The material seems grippier and the slightly different shaping of the grip seems to help keep the body in your hands easier to hand hold. Aside from the newer tech incased in this sexy thing is the loads of customization and added buttons that helps with speedy changes…I just wished the quiet shutter function was as quiet as the 5dmkiii. In actuality, the 1dx quiet shutter function is louder than the 5dmkiii normal shutter function. I’ll need to wrap this body in a blanket to muffle the clapping of the shutter during ceremonies yeah ;)

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Did I mention the speedy frame-rate this bugger has…like FAST!! Something about the sound is delicious and invigorating. YES, the servo as well is mighty speedy…I’ve shot my daughters basketball games with much higher keepers than before. From side to side, to and fro it locks on very well, but ultimately would love to shoot something with much more speed, (as in fast vehicles, birds in flight etc.), and see what I come up with ;)

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The clarity of the 3.2 lcd screen is magnificent, just as the 5dmkiii. I notice the difference when I’m shooting video…I think I catch focus quicker because the detail is more pronounced than screens from older bodies…but that’s what’s expected with any newer models isn’t it ;)
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The Canon 6D is a nifty little camera!

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I enjoy my 6D so far! Not only that it’s files are similiar to my 5D MkIII files, in a smaller and much lighter body for a full-frame camera. It’s actually quite nice to handle something a little lighter when doing long gigs that produces great images…especially in locations where light is very limited. Being able to reach down to the bottom of the ‘ISO’ barrel and result in a memorable shot is refreshing. Also locking in focus in that same environment is equally refreshing.

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I’ve had this for a couple weeks now and have been needing a second full-frame body. I was curious how the 6D was going to perform and tell you what…it’s been great so far. I do wish there was a WB button integrated with the far left button on the top of the body like Canon’s other semi-pro|pro bodies with the same layout…but keeping it at AWB for everything but my strobe work has been adequate.

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In comparison with the 5D MkII, (which is about the same $$), I do favor the 6D by far and it’s pretty obvious…it’s got newer tech inside. Aside for the button layout that I’m used to, the guts is what makes this 6D favorable to the 5D MkII, in my opinion. You can make great photos with almost any camera, but newer tech makes it much easier to produce don’t you think? (Or why would companies want to be in the forefront of developing awesome goods ;)

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What feature I really dig the most is it’s internal WiFi. Being able to tether your photos without any other piece of equipment is quite nice.

Connect…Shoot…Edit…Share

YES…most smart phones do have built in cameras. YES…the 6D is another piece of gear to lug around. I don’t mind it because, if there’s a specific look that I can only achieve with a DSLR|lens combo…I’m all for it. There’s times where I lug my camera with me anyways and having the 6D will allow me to share quicker. Adjust your settings (inside your camera…’picture styles’) for the look that you want to output, shoot your subject matter, fine tune the photo with an awesome photo app editor…then share. Easypeezy ;)

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Professional or the average ‘Joe’,  WiFi is a great way to transfer files to your editing device or just to simply view unto something with a larger screen for viewing via smartphone, tablet or laptop. (With that said…I believe the files that are transferred over are just Jpeg and not RAW files…but if you can get everything right in camera first, then all should be well right?!)

-simple thoughts from a simple consumer that digs tech.

Gull-wing Design Backpack ;)

Gura Gear Kiboku 22L+I haven’t had this bag for a long period of time, but for the time that I’ve lugged it around, I can definitely tell you…It’s absolutely my favorite backpack for hauling precious cargo. It’s built like all high end camera packs out there with just a bit of design differences that fits my needs and comfort.

First: The two solidly built grab handles are wonderful and gives you a sense of security and girth. The side handle of this bag is in an 45ish degree angle that’s ergonomically true to handle. I didn’t think it would make much difference, but under heavy loads, I believe it relieves discomfort that a typical grab handle would be situated. The handles stand upright, but is pliable in situations where you need that extra clearance.

Second: The Gullwing design on this pack fits my needs perfectly. I can pack body on either side with whatever lens attached, limited to a 300 2.8, and pull a rig out without having to unzip a typical lid that may introduce gear waterfall*. I have a pro-body with long tele-zoom on one compartment with a couple of lenses and accessories…and the other compartment fitted with a pro-body with a short-zoom and another lens, speed lights, triggers and accessories. The most apparent convenience of this pack situated upright and I can unzip a side fully without the flap hitting the ground or be concerned about gear water falling. Opening 2 short gull-wing lids as opposed to the common lids out in the market threw me for a loop for a stint because, of the limited opening it would have if the pocketed lids were totally packed with junk…but that wasn’t the case. It opened freely and wide :)

Third: When traveling via airlines, busses etc, all the straps on the pack is stash-able and being able to do this, gives stowing the bags simpler without fret of snags or dangles. Transforming it into a cleaner looking bag is a definite plus on my wish list.

Fourth: It can house a laptop 15″ on the backside and an iPad on either one of the gull-wing zippered flap, pockets.

I stand about 5’6ish and this pack rests right above my hipline and sits into my back very comfortably. Jumping and running with this pack is pretty effortlessly just as long as you strap in the hip support belt nice and snug. Fully loaded with a tripod to the side is pretty hefty, but if your into heavy loads or need a full pack of gear and would like to access your rig quickly, (backpack style), then add this bag in your collection.

Me…Running? Picture that ;)

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It’s a bit of a wet evening today east of Bellingham, WA and my my wife blurts out…”Get ready for our run babe!”

“Huh??” I said.

Now, I’ve already committed when we went out last week looking for some runners for my wife and I, but it didn’t really set in real well when that day came to be TODAY. I felt like I didn’t have that ‘zen’ time with my New Balance Minimus…you know, for NB and I took hangout to get to know one another and to have an understanding of what we expect from each other and how failure may be an option for what we are about to embark as partners of this same path. That ‘Kinship’ :/

Like a soldier prepared for combat…I was on the opposite side of the spectrum. My 8 yr. old North Face running gear was in two hardly ever used spaces on each end of our home, my long sleeve wicking top was nowhere to be found, I couldn’t find our extra iPhone armband anywhere and my earphones didn’t have that convenient triple button feature for my iPhone, because my originals were misplaced. Bad soldier you’d say right? I know my Lieutenant buddy, Robert Dela Rosa of the US Marines would be all up in my face…and then we’d laugh our asses off for me being so unorganized because, I totally lost 20 mins of my life searching for things that honestly should be readily available.

We jumped in the our SUV and headed 3 mins from our house to the Deming Log Show Grounds. I guess we could of jogged it, but hey you all…it’s our first run of the year AND I DON’T run just to run. Run for sports, activities that involves competition or just plain running for your life I can jive on, but just follow a path and hit it…that’s a whole other world ;)

Well, we did one whole lap around the grounds and honestly, our lungs was trying to find another passage way for more oxygen to enter. It was just a jog!! One lap = 1 mile maybe?! After we stretched our poor oxygen deficient muscles, I actually had a bit of energy left to use up so I decided to hit up the stadium with stairs. I did short bursts up stairs to the next set, then jogged a section, then bursted a section again and so on…it was amazing and slippery but, now my lungs is truly aching not very happy with me. I had to push myself and the blaring beats into my ears helped me with that needed push. That interval type of running I like a lot…but I need to learn the pace and breathing technique for those longer runs.

I was a pretty active person though out my life from ice/street hockey, semi-extreme mountain biking, enthusiast BMX freestyle, street style roller bladed over obstruction, jumping docking areas and reverse blade down MANY flights of stairs and hit the floor at hip-hop clubs rippin’ it all night long. Not too many people can picture that, but that was me and I had so much fun doing it.

Presently my form of exercise is getting my girls ready, laundry, dishes, cleaning house and sitting in front of the something that produces images i.e. iPhone, iPad, TV, DSLR and computer. Wooohoo right? Now that most of our kids are older, I feel we have a small window to get our cardio up again and to remind our muscles what they’re made to do. We also invested in our first jogging stroller and hopefully put into use. It’s niceties should help us with the motivation we’ll need to get us out there and with one of our youngest child to soak in earths great wonders…fresh air.

We still need to initiate our jogger stroller and to test its rigidness and capabilities…but the true test is the motivation of becoming active and a healthy way of living. It’s an image of my life that I want to be proud of…and thank you so much wifey for kicking me out of my comfy office chair ;)

Can’t decide what type of camera bag to own?

Sophia with Think Tank Shape Shifter

Sophia with Think Tank Shape Shifter

Gear is exciting to look at, to wish for and especially to own…for me, the type of  gear I love, is the gear that keeps your ‘gear’ in order, protected, to be inconspicuous with and also be comfortable transporting around with. Yes…Camera Bags!!

Photographers with bags are like women with purses. There is never that one bag that will fit all events. And I’m sure most photographers with a good amount of gear and that shoots many types of events would safely say, “It’s nice to have different style bags for the different types of conditions or events.” If some of you disagree, then I may just be a bag freak and may have a spending issue with an insignificant justification for gear hauling ‘gear’ ;)

I consider myself a baby in this awesome photography world, beginning about 2 1/2 years ago with a Canon Rebel t2i, 2 kit lenses and a very compact Lowepro Slingshot 100 AW. As my camera gear grew and going through the practice of what equipment fits our shoots, I’ve spent many research visiting camera stores, websites, YouTube and Craigslisting hours looking for ways in transporting or shooting from a bag. The irritating part of my bag search was, “Well…is this bag going to be too bulky if I decide to use it for smaller bit of equipment?” or “Well…do I need a messenger or backpack style bag?” or “Well…if I have a long lens attached to a body with a hood, will I be able to realistically fit it in this bag with other gear?” But honestly, the MOST irritating issue that I had was not being able to physically try on the bag and load it with particular equipment. 1) Living in Bellingham, WA…the largest retailer of camera bags was 1 1/2 hours away (Glaziers in Seattle). 2) The closest was about 20 mins away in a local shop, but was limited in brands (Quicksilver Photo Labs in Bellingham…awesome staff by far!)

So, after owning and trying on many camera bags of different makes|models, I did find myself gravitating towards Think Tank Photo bags. The fit and finish on these bags are amazing from its tough and smooth  YKK Zippers to the premium grade ballistic nylon fabric. Design elements in each bag made sense for each primary design. Comfort was equal or better with its competitors. Styling is minimalist, but still remains very handsome. YES…I do love what Think Tank Photo has produced and will probably remain a loyal customer as their designs become more ‘with the times’ of a photographers needs and wants changes. I think the only desire that I have is, I’d love for TTP to design a skinnier, taller Logistics Manager. At the moment I’m using an Impact lighting bag (w/ 4 AB heads in it’s own cases, (2) light duty light stands, (2) short stands, grids, umbrellas, extension cords and accessories, a large Photoflex Transpack (storing Heavy duty stands, booms, extension cords, small to humongous umbrellas and accessories.) and (2) Medium Tamrac Stand Bags (empty…but will usually use a bag with an AB800 in its own bag, a PCB 47″ Octobox, Heavy duty light stand and extension cord for example and it fit snugly.) But I guess I may have to keep wishing until the demand of such a light stand bag will be developed, but it would be an impressive bag. Hey TTP…design that lighting bag and name it Logistics Apprentice or Logistics Agent ;)

So what bags do I own?

TTP:

ShapeShifter

UrbanDisguise 60v1

UrbanDisguise 40v1

Retrospective 30v2

Sling O’matic 30

ChangeUp v1

DigitalHolster 50v2

DigitalHolster 40v2

a couple of LC 50′s, 75 popdowns and all the other stuff modulars

Artificial Intelligence 17v3

Airport Security v2

…and they all serve a purpose for us and will remain an invaluable tool in our transporting and shooting gear. In fact, I’m hoping TTP would build an Airport 4-sight v2 with a more robust,single wheel rather than the double, plasticity ones fitted now on each of the four corners. I can envision a their roller blade style wheels, used now on other Airport series bags, partially tucked in a wheel well, freely spinning 360 degrees and its wheel bearings/axles held in place with a rugged, hard plastic composite forks. It’s still a very nice stiff case bag to have and be very mobile in any type of ‘rollable’ environment and can also double as a TTR…’tired toddler rider’ (…it’s inevitable in airports or hotels etc).

So how do all these bags serve their purpose on earth for CaneteCo.?

ShapeShifter (LONG hikes, attached with some modular bags and/or Holster unto front straps, some travel or light lighting rig)

UrbanDisguise 60v1 (Traveling heavy, over flow/main gear transport, city walk w/laptop)

UrbanDisguise 40v1 (Traveling light, overflow/main gear transport, city walk w/o laptop, wifey bag)

Retrospective 30v2 (Weddings, outdoor portraiture, shooting bag)

Sling O’matic 30 (Family outings as in zoos|themeparks|city walks, short hikes)

ChangeUp v1 (Events, weddings, along with other modular components)

DigitalHolster 50v2 (Events with serious elements, along with other modular components)

DigitalHolster 40v2 (Events with serious elements, along with other modular components)

a couple of LC 50′s, 75 popdowns, the other stuff modulars, pro speed belt and steroid belt and pixel harness

Artificial Intelligence 17v3 (Traveling, city walk)

*UPDATED 08.2013

*Airport Navigator (Airline Traveling, Weddings…basically smaller storage|hub. Especially with airlines becoming more stringent with baggage size and quantity, this size is the max they’d accept without questioning. Although, if they decided to have it weighed, I’d be up sh!tcreek haahaa.)

Airport Security v2 (Some Traveling, Weddings…basically storage|hub and currently full that stitching is a bit stretched…just may need to invest in a safe for in home storage. Although we have home alarm AND surveillance in place which I think is pretty cool to have and every home owner should have one)

*Modular System I also use at weddings, portraiture at times…it’s handy to have on when you want to rest your camera into a LC or simply stash it behind a modular to prevent camera swing when using it along with a Black Rapid strap or straps similar in design.

I also own the LowePro Computrekker PLUS AW which is an awesomely large, older and comfortable backpack, just a bit bulky for my taste. It mainly sits on top of my shelf and I’ll eventually sell this off if I decide to purchase a pack that carries the same amount of gear…then again I’d rather roll that much gear around on a TTP 4-sight with the new and improved wheels and a hideaway backpack straps ;)

I also own the LowePro Classified 250 AW (which is comparable to TTP’s UD 60) and I definitely like the UD 60 over the LP Classified 250 AW. There’s many brands of camera bags out there and in some form or another, some companies have the same style offerings what TTP builds very well.

For example: “In the large shoulder bag category…Think Tank Photo’s UD 60 is much more desirable than the LowePro 250 AW in my opinion (both designed with almost equal purpose and capacity).”

Why so you may ask? 

Design & Finish: UD 60′s shape is slimmer, but holds about the same amount of gear fully loaded. LPC 250 AW main compartment zipper, ‘winged out’ on both sides (maybe to help divert rainwater from entering the ends main compartment and/or to widen the mouth for ease of access). With this ‘winged out’ design, the ‘D’ ring sewn directly below it, the shoulder strap catches on the ‘winged out’ thingy’s and gets to be obtrusive…TTP UD 60 is free from obtrusiveness. When carrying TPC  250 AW by the double handles and even the shoulder strap and with the zippers shut closed, the top of the bag really concave’s, causing it to puddle when it’s raining and eventually leaks through, even with the extra flappy, zipper cover thingy over it…I don’t think LPC 250 AW zippers are YYK, but the UD 60 hasn’t leak through yet and it holds its shape better (these are bare exposure to rain without rain covers). UD 60 has neoprene side pockets on both ends for even more gear carrying capabilities if needed…TPC 250 AW does not. UD 60′s straps seems to look and feel stronger and has a much more thicker, grippier and comfortable strap pad than the LPC 250 AW by far. UD 60′s luggage panel zips closed to double as another pocket and when zipped closed, there’s a Velcro tab to hold zipper handle in place…TPC 250 AW is only an open baggage panel. UD 60′s material is a more handsome and rigid woven look and it’s smaller ‘D’ ring attachment points it metal…TCP 250 AW’s small, ‘D’ ring attachment points is plastic and it’s overall skin material is decent, but definitely not in par with TTP UD 60.

These two bags are really the only ‘real use’ comparisons I can make with bags that are similar in purpose,design and capacity that I have used intensely. I have tried other bags that has a unique design approach and features, that TTP doesn’t offer in retail stores or from other photographers. But those bags to me, would either fall short on fit and finish or doesn’t come in black ;)

Now, I understand that TTP bags are not perfect by any means…personally, no bag is. It’s just a matter of budget, taste, efficiency, comfort and usability. Can you imagine a backpack you can also sling and shoulder AND with a main compartment flap with silencer tech, that you can slim down for a handful of gear AND then convert to a fatty for 2 pro bodies attached with both a 300 2.8 and the other with a 70-200 2.8, 5-6 other lenses, 3 speedlights and accessories AND then tuck the straps away and use it as a roller bag with a retractable handle AND if your rolling two bags, you can attach it unto a luggage handle AND then you can also convert it into a modular system and strap it around your waist. PERFECT Transformer Bag right?

To me, PERFECT for 2013 would be like having (2) 14-400 1.2 Carl Zeiss glass that’s embedded into an iPhone 5s loaded with 16gb of RAM, 1TB of mem, LR4 or Aperture 3 and PS6 software and capable to Thunderbolt into a 27″ Apple LED AND can project unto a wall with 10k of lumen AND can do virtual Wacom 5 Tablet with any pointy object that resembles a pen.

How do you like them apples?!? I’d take out a second mortgage for that Super Apple Geeknology!!

I do admire other makes and model bags that are offered that’s currently on the market. Think Tank Photo is blessed with designers with my tastes in bag styling and accessories that’s honestly, reasonably priced. Sure there’s comparably sized bags out there that’s priced much cheaper and some that’s priced much more, stylized with leather and brassy material. What ever you do, don’t agonize too much on it for there is literally hundreds upon hundreds to chose from. It’s really a personal choice that you will be researching for it’s features and style. What’s your budget? How much camera gear will you be carrying? Do you like backpack, shoulder or sling style? Would you like your bag to be able to hold a laptop and other things? Some people can live with one or two bags throughout their lifetime and some love to hoard or feel the need to have plenty of choices to select the right tool in their collection.

Well, I love having just the right tools and Think Tank Photo provides…and it comes in black ;)