*New Camera Wrist Straps, for sale!

Garda strap

As some of you know, I moonlight as a working man.  My work entails the manufacturing and distribution of sail boat components.  One of the products I work with is yachting rope.  Through various projects over my time with rope, I’ve learned certain splicing and tapering techniques.  I’ve been building my own wrist straps for a while now and have fielded quite a few inquiries from readers who’ve seen them adorn my cameras here on the blog, so I decided to see if I couldn’t support the blog itself by selling these guys.  C’mon in to see more about what goes into the hand building of these things and find out how to buy one for yourself or a loved one :)

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*TRP Giveaway! Thank you for all the bloglove.

 

 

 

Drawing has happened (see the winners HERE)!  Thanks to everyone, and if you’re interested in purchasing a wrist strap, go HERE.IMG_5723

I wanted to thank you all for the continued support and conversation.  While I will not be retiring off of my blog anytime soon, I have loved building it and watching it grow over the years.  I try to keep any and all commercialization to a bare minimum here as I know how often we’re all bombarded with offers and urges to purchase certain things.  I have chosen to keep this blog as a personal passion project and have slowly and hopefully inoffensively added affiliate links where applicable.

That said, I have been working on a new project (which many of you have probably already figured out) and before I release it to the world to try and make enough money to keep justifying the time spent on the blog, I want to reward three of you with a freebie.  I will be announcing my new hand built camera wrist straps soon and before that, I wanted to give away a wrist strap to three of my readers.

So, here’s the part where you can sign up for the drawing.  You get your name entered in once for each sign up as follows:

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*Panasonic GM1 Reviewed – Say hello to my little friend

gm1 and friends

I have spent the better part of the last month shooting with this camera almost exclusively.  I wanted to really get a feel for this tiny machine, its ins and outs, before I wrote up any type of review.  While being the smallest interchangeable lens system camera body currently available, it certainly has some ergonomic drawbacks, but that begs the question, who is this camera for, and can it be a compliment or even replacement for another of the micro 4/3 system cameras, even {gasp} a larger system camera?  Well…

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*Another set of this guy’s opinions, or Mirrorless Lens buying guide!

IMG_6052 - Version 2 (1)

As requested from the camera body shopping guide post (thanks Tim and Chris), here are my opinions on the best lenses for the various mirrorless systems.  Keep in mind that I have not shot extensively with all of these lenses, or at least, many of the lenses for systems that aren’t the micro 4/3 system aside from the tire kicking in stores or when getting the chance to shoot friend’s gear, so my opinion is based on minimal use combined with personal intrigue and web based research.  Because I don’t own an X series or Alpha E (NEX, etc) camera body, I have not been able to access many of the lenses on offer for any period of time, but there are a few I have, as well as those that I would certainly look long and hard at if I was invested in these systems.  As for the micro 4/3 lenses, I have those down pretty well.  C’mon in and I’ll lay out my faves…

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*One man’s opinion, or Holiday Shopping guide 2013!

P1060085

The season for the commercialization of spirituality (or, SFTCOS) is upon us and following suit, we have been absolutely bombarded with new offerings in the digital photography department.  Taking the holidays out of it, and looking at it purely from a gear point of view, it is truly an exciting time to be shopping around for the best bang for your (or a loved one’s) buck.

Over the last 4 years that I’ve written this blog, I’ve been asked quite a few questions about which cameras, lenses, systems, et al, are the best.  While I’ve chosen the gear I’ve chosen for my own personal reasons, there are so many others out there that offer their own set of pros and cons, and to put it plainly, there is no universal truth, nor answer to that question.

Come on in and I’ll give my take on which of the newly announced cameras over the last year or so are the most intriguing, interesting, best value or just plain confusing…

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*Canon EOS-M: Almost there, kinda.

canon eos-m

The last few years have seen a very large push in the photographic landscape toward smaller, lighter, high performing mirrorless interchangable lens compact system cameras. Most of the major camera manufacturers have produced something in this new segment. As Panasonic started the whole party off with the G1 a few years back, Olympus, Sony and Samsung jumped in quickly thereafter. Pentax and Ricoh have even had some interesting ideas since. Nikon and Canon watched this segment closely I’m sure, and calculated their entry into the mirrorless ring. Nikon took a different tack, creating a very small (comparatively) sensor system and Canon came up with this, the EOS-M. A few weeks ago, and after what many saw as a response to very poor reception and subsequent lack of sales since its introduction, Canon dropped the price of this APS-C sensor, mirrorless compact camera through the ground and I bit. Here are my thoughts on the camera itself, the Canon approach and where I think they need to go in the future with this…

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*My, how the mighty (prices) have fallen. The GX1, best bang for the buck?

GX1 on sale!

I’m sure there are new cameras on the horizon.  With every camera manufacturer pumping a few new bells and whistles into newer body styles and wrapping it around warmed over sensor tech, those among us who play the patient opportunists really benefit.  I held off on the GX1 when it was released and opted for the G3 when upgrading from my GF1.  I gained the beautiful EVF, and at the time saved about $500 (when looking at the GX1 + add on EVF).  I’ve since been running a two camera setup (much as I do with my full frame work setup) as it allows me to always have a backup as well as be able to eliminate much in the way of lens changes.  Because I use the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as well, and I’ve recently traded my G3 to my brother in law for favors yet to be determined, I felt I could justify a compact body, sans EVF again.  Enter the GX1 which is now down to only $250 just about everywhere!  (it’s available at B&H – CLICK HERE – with 2% reward and free shipping).  C’mon in to see a couple shots of and with the GX1…

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*Get a Grip! Alternative to the Oly OMD EM5 Accessory grip

RRS grip for OMD EM5

While I love the overall size reduction that newer mirrorless system cameras provide, certain cameras really sacrifice a functional grip, especially for larger hands more suited and accustomed to the larger, deeper DSLR style hand grips.  With tiny buttons abound, touch sensitive screens and minimal real estate on the backs of these cameras to grip onto, I found myself looking for something to supplement my EM5′s “grip.”  I was not going to pony up $300 for the accessory grip from Olympus because I don’t want the double battery/vertical grip portion, and while I could just use the add on grip on its own, the price is ridiculous to gain access to a simple grip (granted it did incorporate a second shutter button, but I already have one…).  Enter the Really Right Stuff OMD EM5 grip plate combo.  Read on for pics and a video showing how it fits the body of the OMD EM5…

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*Shooting tattoos

Tattoos by Josiah Laughlin Photography by TysonRobichaud

Shooting art can be a tricky task. Replicating the colors, texture and vibrance all while lighting it properly and controlling detail ruining reflection is challenging. Every canvas provides it’s own nuances and unique elements needing to be worked around, especially a canvas that is 3 dimensional and isn’t entirely static. All of these tattoos are original works by my friend Josiah Laughlin. He tattoos here in Portland, Oregon at Imperial Tattoo, and this is an ongoing series we’re collaborating on to document his portfolio. C’mon in to see more of his work and read through diagrams on how I shot them.

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*The Dark Side of Amsterdam

follow me deeper and you shall see (Pana G3 + Lumix 25mm f/1.4)

While the title may allude to a sinister, Imperial-esque characterization of a city known for many a questionable, extra curricular activity, I mean to speak quite literally.  For anyone who’s read my blog for more than a year, you may know that I travel to Amsterdam once a year on business.  Because of said business, coupled with the late time of year and Holland’s geographical placement, I rarely get to experience it in the light of day.  With a +9 hour difference to tackle, and tiring hours spent working while there, my window for photographic opportunity normally falls within about an hour and a half between when I get done working, and the inevitable collapse into a jet lagged coma that prematurely greets the end of each day.  Luckily, this year, this window happened to open while the weather was crisp, but dry as it gave me the ability to wander around, camera in hand to document a bit of my annual stay in what has become my home away from home.

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