air travel Tag

The Camera Electronic Emporium Of Imagination has struck again. I gathered an armload of Lowepro camera cases off the racks this morning and started to think hard about them. Hard is the operative word, as these are a departure from the normal floppy cases and bags that we see. Of course Lowepro make literelally dozens of styles of bags at any one time, and I would be willing to bet that in the 11 years since I started on the CE shop floor, there have been hundreds of designs pass through. And thousands of Lowepro bags are out there in Australia right now protecting camera gear. I've got two very old Nova 1's that trot out at intervals to carry specific camera combinations on trips. Okay - I've got two  1990's Lowepro's...

News is out that the major Australian airlines will start weighing your cabin baggage and restricting you to under 7 Kg - or charging you a swingeing price for extra weight. Their stated reason is to protect their cabin staff from heavy weights overhead. Their threat is that anything over this weight will get put in the hold under the bars of pig iron and sacks of gravel. I'm not gonna be cynical about the extra charges...

Once upon a time it mattered to the pilots of the civil airliners how much weight they had on board their planes. Those were the days of the early Handley Page, Ford, and Junkers planes. The days of wicker airline seats and walking out to the plane along the tarmac-carrying your own luggage. The reason the pilots needed to know was the engines of the time were woefully underpowered and if they tried to lift too much weight in passengers and luggage, they risked not getting over the trees at the end of the runway. Then the jet engine arrived and people could take more and more with them with the prospect of getting it airborne. We all started to pack more and take bigger photographic outfits for our holidays. And ended up on the other end of the trip carrying far more than we needed. Fortunately, eventually the airline industry experienced higher fuel costs and decided to defray them by charging us more for our baggage. Cheap us, we now carry far less, or suffer for it. We buy our duty free...

Some photographers search for ready-made solutions to their problems. Others reverse it - they seek out problems to match their solutions. My favourite group - a group to which I belong - finds a solution and turns it into a problem. Then we run like blazes. I was reminded of this when inspecting the Lowepro DroneGuard CS300. It is the perfect solution for the problem of getting a drone safely to the launch site. Sturdy, fitted, and man-portable, it can house the aircraft, spare batteries, controllers, and propellers and do so while being carried the back - leaving the hands free to assist in crawling through underbrush or chain-link fences. All the interior parts are removable and fasten upon the basic shell with Velcro™. Plenty of loops on the outer face of the lid to accommodate wire-cutters, sonic screwdrivers, or limpet mines. A day's play with the drone should be easy whether visiting the local park or climbing up Bluff Knoll in a sleet storm. For the rest of us - the ones who avoid public parks and Bluff Knoll - the chief advantage...