travel Tag

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...

I am not sure if this column will sell you anything  - I'm not even sure if it will sell you on anything. But If I can make silly decisions, so can you, and sometimes they are the smartest part of the whole day. Take the business of breaking the habits of a lifetime and going against all that you have been taught? Well, if you can do this without travelling the wrong way up the Freeway at peak hour, you might just do your photography a service. I think I have done so by going strapless. Like all photographers of the 1960's I diligently threaded the leatherette straps supplied in the boxes onto the SLR and compact cameras of the period. I wore them around my neck  or over my shoulder until I had banged the lenses into enough walls to dent the filter rings. Then I kept them in camera bags and fumbled for them until I dropped them on the pavement. Then I just dropped them into Pelican cases...

Before this starts to sound like Goldilocks, I must hasten to add that I am writing about a Lowepro product  - a bag designed for mirror-less camera systems  and the averae tourist user. Whether you use it for bear-hunting or porridge-stealing is your own affair. The Lowepro m-Trekker SH 150 is a shoulder bag designed for a mirror-less body plus one or two of the smaller lenses and a few of the smaller accessoties that one would use on a day's travel.   Note the silencer tabs for the velcro and the little card pouch concealed under them. Also note the slim but strong padding in the compartment  - your camera and optics are safe in a crowd. If this all sounds like a little deal...

This one popped up on the radar in Murray Street - and it was completely unexpected - the online catalogue for the main Barbershop site did not list it at all. It was only when I looked at the images provided by or Australian wholesaler - C.R. Kennedy - that I was able to get details for this case. Well, this is magnificent. It is known and the " Heritage " and it surpasses even the " Quiff " as a period piece. Because make no mistake about it - this has gone well past the point of being a little handbag to haul to the shops - this is full-blown period travel luggage. The only other place you see things as wonderful as this are strapped to the rear of vintage cars. The term " Carry On "  on the Kennedy site suggests that it is suitable for in-cabin packing on domestic flights. These specify either 105 or 115 cm as a linear total of length, width and height. The " Heritage " comes to 106.5...

As you'll no doubt pick up before the end of the week - the Barbershop bag company like to name their products after hairstyles or things to do with facial hair. It's a harmless fantasy, and one that I find charming. I note that when you get to their camera straps they use " Sideburns ", " Moustache " and " Full Beard " as names  plus a wrist strap that is called the " Razor ". At present they do not seem to offer what is rather inelegantly termed a " bum bag ", but if they ever do, I am hanging out waiting for the name. I could suggest a few, but I'll bet they would ignore me...

This week I get to show you a line of products that have captured my imagination - the Barbershop range of camera and photographic bags. There are new stocks of these in Murray Street and Stirling Street  - and you'll be well advised to visit each shop as there are different models in each one. The Murray Street shop was my first stop but I wasn't able to take any of the bags for illustration - I had ridden the train into town rather than the car and couldn't carry any of them back home with me. So I posed them in the shop and hoped that the colour temperatures of the various light sources would not clash too much. I mention this because people seeing the pictures might get a false impression of the colours of the canvas and leather used in the bags. Yet another reason for coming down and actually hefting the goods in-store and seeing them in their true hues. The basic display of the smaller bags is shown in the heading image. Barbershop make models ranging from compact shoulder...

Shocked, I tell you. But there is good news  - Manfrotto has come up with a cure for shock. I was intrigued to see this big rectangular messenger bag in the storeroom. In the Manfrotto section as well, were you only expect to find light stands, tripods, and other hardware. And even more intrigued with two things - it had a sign on it promising anti-shock...

When you are three weeks old? When you are 65 years old? Or when you take the kit lens off your DSLR and put on the one you have bought especially for your next photoshoot? Well, all three occasions, actually. The first one is when the world swims into focus, the second is when it swims out again, and the third is when you actually get down to business with your photography. Don't misunderstand what I am saying - the kit lens that was on the camera when you bought it was not a mistake. Indeed, if you are just now looking at it after 5 years of fabulous images and wondering whether you should replace it because someone at the camera club bragged about their new $ 4000 acquisition...