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Monday, July 29, 2013

Photographer's jacket

This is Peter Randell's well-wornversion of the great helper. 

"I can fit a 70-200 lens in the loose flaps on one side and the 24-120 in the other,with battery&memory card in a velcro breast pocket.Other pocket fits a 77mm polariser and big low pockets take the Lee GND filters and holder.If it rains,I have thrust the body  inside the lot too.The body is at risk of swinging and hitting something still with a vest;but I wear the neck strap fairly short. I will send  a 122KB image if this one is too small."

Tips for Outback Photographers

Dick Stein and staff at  Camera Electronic are a font of knowledge when it comes to gadgets and gizmos to make your photography tour just that bit more pleasurable and rewarding.  Ask Dick anything about photography ... (but don't ask him to cook for you!)

Participants in Dale Neill’s Karigini adventures will need to take a number of things on their trip – some will be big items like suitcases and giant camera backpacks, but there are a also a few smaller items that will prove invaluable on the daily bushwalks. See if you can find space in your luggage for some of these:

1.       Rainsleeve camera and lens protectors – two in a packet and good protection for the sudden shower.
2.       A remote release – look at your camera manual and see if it can be set off with either a wireless or cable release. Good for night-time exposures and close-up shots.
3.       A packet of bread crumbs. Lay a trail of these behind you as you leave camp and if Dale gets lost you just turn around and find your way back. Avoid gingerbread houses.
4.       A lightweight tripod. If you have a lightweight camera. Remember that you can have cheap, lightweight, small, and strong, but only two of these at any one time...
5.       A portable power inverter that can run off the cigar lighter – produce 230vAC or a 2.1A USB port. Film shooters can laugh now.
6.       Lowepro Dryzone DF20L camera bag. Impervious to rain or dust and bright yellow so you can see it in the dusk.

Extra memory cards are always a good idea. Not for the off-chance that one will go wrong – they rarely do that. Take them as primary storage and just fill them as you go. You can download to various memory devices as you shoot but taking extra gear and items that can get dusty or wet is not as good an idea as just taking extra memory. It is so inexpensive these days that you really do not need to scrimp on it. By all means get one of the Pelican or Gepe memory card cases – they are sealed items that can survive any amount of bush treatment.

Also remember to turn on all the recording options on your camera to let you know later what you did then. Dale will explain the EXIF data that goes into every image and the various programs – like Lightroom or Aperture that let you see it later. You may find that you do indeed need to know when the sun went down over the ocean at the end of a particular day and if you caught it on the horizon your camera will tell you when. If upon later examination you find that your sunset is over the eastern shore at 4:30 AM you can discuss basic navigation with Dale...remember the breadcrumbs...

Available from Camera Electronic  230 Stirling St Perth. Tel 9328 4405  

Friday, July 26, 2013

ThinkTank Camera Bags

At the Outback workshop last Sunday we discussed the advantages of having a smaller camera bag as well as your main camera bag. The smaller camera bag is a plus if trekking a fair distance and particularly in hilly terrain and broken ground.

Rob Lewis researched the ThinkTank Retrospective 30 and 40 models. ThinkTank is a good brand and these bags are professional quality and a little larger. Prices are around $200.
Available from Camera Electronic 230 Stirling St, Perth WA 6000
Phone:(08) 9328 4405

Kata bag for single DSLR


Access-16 PL
$59 incl. GST

Info & pics below:

Carrying Options
Access your camera quick and clean by using the quick access flap. Carry across your shoulder using the provided shoulder strap or comfortably on your belt with the rear belt loops.

When needed the bag can be elongated by unzipping a bottom extension for carrying your lens with sun hood attached when shooting. (please note that the extension is not padded and extra caution is advised when this is in use).

This bag can be ordered from Team Digital (allow one week min from order date):

268 Lord Street,
East Perth
W.A 6000

Lowepro Bag for single DSLR

Following our discussion at the Outback workshop I'm recommending that all photographers have a small bag for a single camera and zoom lens in addition to their main bag. Its safer and easier traversing rough tracks in Karinjini with the minimum bag size.

Passport Sling II
$78 incl. GST

Info & pics below:

• Discreet sling bag design offers a modern and versatile way to carry camera and personal gear without looking like a typical photo bag
• Customisable and removable camera box provides a custom fit and protection for a DSLR kit; remove box to use sling without camera gear — it makes a great travel companion and collapses flat to fit in a larger bag for packing
• Expandable compartment allows you to unzip and increase interior storage space by 30%
• Water bottle pocket provides  a convenient spot to keep hydration at hand
• Detachable shoulder pad offers extra comfort no matter where placed along shoulder strap; remove for a more streamlined, stylish look
• Bright, contrasting lining provides visibility to gear
• Adjustable shoulder strap with cam lock buckle offers a comfortable way to wear sling over shoulder or across body, high or low

DSLR with attached zoom lens
1 extra lens or flash
Water bottle and personal items

This bag can be ordered from Team Digital (allow one week min from order date):

268 Lord Street,
East Perth
W.A 6000
(08) 9328 3377

About Dale Neill

I know some of the participants on The Art and Photography Outback tour well and others I have just met, so a little bit of background about me.

I took my first photograph when I was six with an illicitly acquired box brownie camera. Even then, I was fascinated with cameras and the process of photography. In 1959 I worked all summer holidays and bought my first camera - a Hanimex C35 35mm rangefinder camera. It had a top speed of 1/250 sec and i thought it was the pinnacle in technology.

I missed out on a job as a  cadet photographer with the West Australian in 1962 and entered Graylands Teachers College. As a teacher my first posting was to Halls Creek in the Kimberley in 1964 where i proceeded to photograph (and teach) all kids in the school and half the people in the tiny outback town.

photo by Dafna Lambert at FACEZ Studio
In 1964, together with three teachers from Balgo Mission I drove an old Holden station wagon from Halls Creek to Balgo, across the Great Sandy Desert to Alice Springs. I carried  my newly acquired Canon FP SLR. The four of us were stranded in the desert on the return trip and almost didn't make it back.

In 1968, newly married to Margaret, we were posted as the first Government teachers to Lombadina Mission near Cape Leveque. Once again I photographed the kids, community and environs and made 8m movies as well as teaching more than 80 kids.

In the next few years I finished a degree at university, qualified as a pro photography through TAFE and secured my first teaching position in professional photography. I had short stints setting up professional videoconferencing and TAFE's first TV station.

Back in 1998 I led my first overseas photography tour and in 2001 formed Wildheart, running workshops, coaching pros and amateurs and teaching at UWA Extension.

In 2005 I covered the rescue of children orphaned by the tsunami in Andreh Pradesh in India and won the WA Professional photographer of the Year with the images.

These days I'm in partnership in FACEZ Fine Art Portrait Studio, run photography workshops and tours in Australia and overseas, teach at UWA and run a consultancy for merging professional photographers. In 2012 I helped set up the Fremantle International Portrait Prize which in 2013 attracted 1760 entries from 29 countries and raised nearly $30,000 for the Arthritis Foundation of WA.

I make time each week to be a coffee aficionado in the Freo's Cappucino strip and pedal my push bike along the Swan River every second day.

Sensor Swabs

No, we're not doing random drug tests on participants so you're not going to get swabbed!

An alternative to forking out about $200 for an Arctic Butterfly is buying a packet of CCD swabs.
Eking is a brand recommended by Rob Lewis.

Visible Dust also has a large range of sensor swabs. Visible Dust also provides a table so you can selecr a swab that exactly fits your sensor size.

Arctic Butterfly

The Arctic Butterfly is a sophisticated high-tech brush for cleaning the sensor on a DSLR. I've used Arctic Butterflies for a number of years and can recommend the product. However, you do need instructions on how to use the device!

Obviously its a good idea not to get dust on your sensor in the first place. Here are a couple of tips to minimise your chance of getting dust spots:

  • Avoid lens changes in dusty conditions
  • Learn to do a lens change in less than 5 seconds
  • Keep camera body facing down when changing lenses
  • Keep the sensor cleaner turned on inside camera

Lightweight Portable back-up for Photos

Thanks to all Karijini photographers who attended the Outback Photo Workshop at Rosie O'Grady's in Fremantle last Sunday. Lively, interactive worksop with lots of good ideas exchanged. We are all looking forward to a great outback tour in a few weeks.

One of the best tips came from Rob Lewis on backing up your images while on tour in the outback. Rob uses and recommends the Hyperdrive ColorSpace UDMA2.

The ColorSpace is advertised as the world's fastest and most advanced memory card back-up.

The ColorSpace can store 120GB of images, runs on batteries and costs $299.

For heavier shooters or for photographers on extend adventures you can also buy 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, 750GB and 1TB versions.

That means you can store an average of about 8 GB a day for two weeks. It has a small screen so you can view all your images. Rob says the batteries have an excellent life and you will probably only need to recharge once or twice in two weeks.

The other advantage is there is a huge space saving over a lap top computer or an iPad.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Secrets of Outback Photography Workshop

A reminder to all participants in the 2013 Art and Photography Tour of the Pilbara that the free half day workshop 'Secrets of Outback Photography' is on this coming Sunday, 21 July at 1pm.

By now, you should have all received detailed briefing notes and an invitation to this exciting workshop.

If you haven't received the notes or invite please email ASAP or telphone 0407 082 371.

Tips for looking after your gear on the road

Click here for some useful tips about cleaning and protecting your photographic gear while travelling in the outback.