Tripod or Not?

I rummaged through the pile of camera gear cluttering the studio.  And then I discovered a tripod I had bought some time ago:  The Manfrotto MKC3-H01.  It will fit in my suitcase!  And, with small cameras, it should be just fine.

Image result for manfrotto mkc3-h01

It’s really small and lightweight.  I like the lever clamps, instead of twisty ones.  It’s got nice features, such as a swivel head, thumb thingies, and can handle up to 3.3 lbs (2.5 kilos) of camera.  Given I am bringing only small and light – except when the V3 has the 70-300 on it – it should work out really well.

Image result for manfrotto mkc3-h01

A tripod is honestly something I have been wanting to bring as I want to get the long exposures you can get with ND filters.  The smoothness of water can make for great photographs – and I want to do this with both film and digital.  Maybe I will even do a video, just for grins, but they aren’t things I really ever do.  So, problem solved, eh?  At least, I think it is!!  An 18-inch-tall-when-compacted tripod is a pretty cool thing.

 

 

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Photography Decisions for Vacation

 

Yesterday, I packed up the rest of the choices I’d made for the photographic gear I want to take on our trip.  It was a really hard, but choices had to be made.

My first decision was the bag size.  I have back packs and over-the-shoulder bags of varying sizes, along with a sling bag.  I decided on an over-the-shoulder bag, which is roomy, but not large, and is now carrying the following:

  • Nikon V3
  • 1 Nikon 70-300mm
  • 1 Nikon 10-110mm
  • 1 Nikon 6.7-13mm
  • 1 Nikon 10mm
  • 1 Nikon 18.5mm
  • 1 Nikon 32mm
  • Olympus OM-1n
  • Olympus Zuiko 50mm
  • Olympus Zuiko 35-70mm Close Focus
  • 49mm yellow, orange, and UV filters
  • 55mm ND filters

The OM system and the Nikon 1 system were chosen because they are small and lightweight, but deliver good quality.

I am also bringing 12 rolls of 35mm film, in black and white, and in color, ranging in speed.  It’s still a toss-up between the XA4 and the Trip 35, but I am inclined to take the XA4 as it is more diverse, smaller, and has a covered lens.  No medium format camera made it to the final mix.  I may bring a tripod.   I am also packing some art supplies and my Kindle.  Some knitting, too.  Headphones.  Chrome Book.  Plugs and cords and a power strip.  Yeah, stuff.  Clothes, shoes, and a toothbrush!

Traveling Light with Photography

I am finding myself in a bit of a dilemma.

My laptop took a bit of a dump, and I really don’t feel like messing around with it.  However, it is a very important piece of equipment when traveling and taking digital photos – I need to store my images somewhere.  Basically, it is a system running Windows 8.1, and when I fired it up a couple of weeks ago, it wouldn’t start properly.  Eventually I managed to roll back the system to Windows 8.0.  Upgrades to 8.1 failed multiple times, so now I have a laptop that I really don’t feel I can rely on to deliver.

So, the dilemma.  Do I invest in a new laptop?  Should I take a chance on the Windows 8.0 system?  Do I take an old and very slow one for the trip, and hope for the best?  Or, is there some way, using my Chrome Book and the Cloud, or an external HD, to back up my SD cards?

I need to back up my SD cards – I take too many pictures.  Buying oodles of SD cards seems rather dumb, and potentially expensive.

I have small external HD I used on my questionable laptop . . . . so this afternoon, when I get home from work, I plan to take a camera, take some pictures – maybe a lot of them – and connect it to the Chrome Book.   The external HD will be in the other USB port.  And then let’s see how the transfer works out.  I might be able to use a USB flash drive instead – and it will be smaller in size than the external HD.

I expect it may be horribly slow.  And, I will not be too happy.

Another option is to use a cloud-based storage system, but I need to find out about that one.

And I also need to look at one of our old laptops from 1732.  Considering we are leaving in 10 days, I better get my ass in gear.

Travelin’

First View of Mt. Shasta

We are off on a road trip for the next few weeks!  It is so exciting to “get out of Dodge” and see other parts of the world, familiar and new.  The morning of the 6th is when we slid out of town, stopping for a fast food breakfast just because we could.  And then out to the I-5 to head up to Chico to stay at our favorite place there, the Goodman House Bed & Breakfast.

I always enjoy the drive up to Chico.  There are so many changes in the landscape on the trip.  Where we live, in the suburbs, we move into the congestion of Los Angeles to connect to the I-5, and from there drive through the craziness of the Grapevine, only to end up in the vast expanses of the Central Valley.  This valley is one of the most productive areas in the country for crops, ranging from rice and cotton to stone fruits and nuts.  Unfortunately, with the drought of the last few years, irrigation has become a problem as water is becoming more scarce and more stringently rationed by the state to farmers.  Some crops require more water than others, which means some farmers suffer more than others.  Fruit and nut trees take time to grow, as do vines, while other crops may be seasonal.  I wonder, though, what the future holds for us as the planet continues to warm – what can we do as far as sustainable food production with more drought-tolerant crops?  Some farmers are blaming it on Congress and the Democrats – there were signs posted along the roadside saying “Thank Obama and Congress for another dust bowl” or something like that.  These days, water is power.

That said, the San Joaquin (another name for the Central Valley) is impressive!  The closer we got to Chico, the closer the hills came, and the more the crops became fruits and nuts.  Orchards never cease to draw my eye; I love trees, and lines of trees are endlessly fascinating to me.  Chico is a college town, with a state university in its midst, as well as the famous Sierra Nevada Brewery.  Walking around Chico is very pleasant as there are tall, old trees lining so many of the streets.  It was rather sticky and muggy, but still worth the bit of sweat we worked up just to be able to enjoy another city.

At the very top of the Central Valley along the I-5, you move into mountains formed by volcanos, the most famous of which is Mt. Shasta.  To me, that first look at that snow-covered ancient volcano is awesome – snow in the middle of summer, pointed, and unlike everything else around it.  That, to me, tells me I am moving into new territory.