Best Gimbal Hack I’ve Used!

First of all, do you use a gimbal? great way to get smooth pro video with your DSLR or Mirrorless cameras. After going through a bunch (will be selling the left behind gimbals) I’m partial to the Ronin SC.

Coupled with a Fuji X-T4, and a SmallRig ball joint with a Feelworld monitor (I know, not Small HD, but does the job) this rig has great software, right weight, and responsive. That is a key element. Connects to a sweet app, easy to control through it, and even updates firmware from your phone. Well done!

There is one thing I know you feel if you have gone out with your gimbal rig of late.

The weight! Plus the fact that the configuration is a little unwieldy.

The question comes up as to how to carry, after your arms get a bit wobbly, or you need to tend to swap the camera battery replacement, media card swap., on the fly.

Once it’s built, I want to be able to easily use it, without breaking it down, and rebuilding, and remain mobile. So it was time to figure out a shoulder strap solution.

It started with perusing my new favorite accessory site, SmallRig. Well made, well thought out, additions for just about any gear you own.

After looking at a ring to fit the Ronin SC with 1/4-20 holes to add things like a mic, light, etc. I came upon this set-up.

Now the idea of having a safe and secure ring to add a strap to the gimbal, and not only be able to sling it on my shoulder when not in use, BUT also be able to help set it against my body for controlled moves, is a huge winner in my opinion. Especially if you are out and about these days, covering events, you have to be on the move.

The strap was the next consideration. Peak Design has been my favorite currently, as the ability to adjust the length, and lock up fast is critical.

Plus the comfort factor. The interchangeability of the strap for different gear, using the anchors, is key. It comes with 4 anchors and a 1/2-20 clip, usually to put on the bottom of your camera.

Yes, SmallRig has a strap, but since I already owned one, a bit of savings. The design is more to my liking in it’s ability to adjust and lock the strap to the preferred length.

I did add on these 2 small bits, to ensure the right spacing for the anchor cords.

 

So that is one way to give you some more gimbal transport freedom.

Another way is to connect one end of the strap to the ring, and the other end to the bottom of the gimbal, giving you a different weight distribution situation. Using another piece included with the Peak Design strap, and attaching that to the bottom of the gimbal. The same anchors that you have on the strap can then be attached to the bottom. Different balance situation

You can also spread the detachable tripod part of the gimbal, and use your body to help stabilize the gimbal even more, letting the legs spread on your body, while the rig is secured on your shoulder, and you further stabilize the shot, with your hands on the stem of the rig.

Basically this whole addition to your Ronin SC (or perhaps other gimbals as well) will make your rig a more portable, fast action, and comfortable tool to work with.

Check out SmallRig, Peak Design, and as always, BH is my top shop for gear.

Stay Healthy, Everyone!

Your Stand Up Desk Just Got Portable!

WFH is the order of the day now, and a return to an office seems to be a ways off.
So now you are spending even more time in front of your screen, than ever before. Intently concentrating, making sure you are engaged, or looking like you are, forces you to stay on that keyboard!
If you have been feeling the strain on your body, you are not alone.
One of the best ways to help out the pinches, aches, and overall discomfort is to make the move to a stand-up desk.
And I’ve done the research. Most solutions are way too big, and being in an NYC apt, space is at a premium.

Check this out:
The Moft Z


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The Best Way to Top Off Your New Camera

There is a 20% sale on if you’d like to get one of these!

I have always skipped generations on cameras as I feel that I’ll get the life out of my current bodies before I’ll see enough upgrades. Glass is forever, but the little computers we hold in our hands (ok, sensor upgrades) will keep getting better.

Having just done the research on the new Fuji X-T4, it was time. So many reasons for the upgrade from X-T2, but prime ones: in body IBIS, flippy screen, headphone jack, separate stills/video switch. 

Wish the headphone jack didn’t need a separate dongle, but have just dedicated a 3.5 mm headset to the dongle. Not a big deal. Working on a bluetooth solution. Concerned about latency.

But I digress.

The first thing is with new/new to you is the camera unboxing. Making sure all of the parts are there, get that hand feel on the body, to see what the physical updates are, and of course, charging the battery. Full charge, remember!

By staying with one line of cameras, the menu systems are usually familiar, and you can start to see any changes to that, which could affect your way of shooting. Usually not huge. And I’ll admit I do scour manufacture sites to see what the they call out as new.

So…..battery was charged, menu set and buttons customized to your preferred way of shooting, and now what?

My final bit of getting the camera ready for it’s first shoot comes with the addition of the SpiderLight Hand Strap. This is my absolute favorite hand strap, and sits on all of my cameras. The Lite version, as opposed to Pro, sits better for me on mirrorless. Pro adds another safety strap, if you like, for security more on the larger DSLRs.

Here is the main process of getting it installed. It’s easy, and I always feel secure and comfortable, even on a long day hold.

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I See The Light: Packs small, Plays BIG!

Yes, the portable battery powered LED light market offers sooooo many options. You can honestly get the perfect light for what you require to illuminate.

Top of mind for me right now is small, portable, bi-color, with a decent battery life.

LumeCube has been a player in what I’d call the action LED light market. I own a few, and whenever I snorkel, this is on my action cam.

Bulletproof product, in my opinion.

When they introduced the lite panel last year, I was all over it! Looking for an event/trade show interview light, ticked a lot of the boxes, but had one main problem for me:

You couldn’t ramp it down enough. The quality of the light was great, but it was way too intense for the interviewee. I had to add some additional diffusion just to take it down a few notches. They did fix that issue and came out with the Lite Panel GO. I still wanted to get something that was even MORE compact.

The folks at Lume Cube heard this from a few folks, and went to work.

The new Panel Mini has so many cool features, and has an awesome battery life And not just by making it it smaller.

Well, it is smaller, but some of the best features is the fact that you can ramp down the output to 1%, select your color temp, and it’s about the size of a business card!

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Battery Power For Every Situation. Like Outdoors!

OK, now that things are opening up, you can probably leave your house and get some air! Whew! Do it smart and safe, please!

Part of that is making sure you carry your own power for your phone. I think it’ll be awhile till you can plug in at the local restaurant or pub. And of course of you are on a trail, or beach, you’ll need a solid option as well.

And if you are powering things like a Sound Devices MixPre 3ii, or a Rodecaster Pro mixing deck for your podcast, you’ll want to show up contained, with no need to rely on power outlets. (Yes, pretty specific, but these will be covered in future posts. Best podcasting tools)

Here are some solid options for you from Mophie (big sale right now!) and MyCharge.

This first one is in my bag for all walk around: fast charge, small footprint no extra cables needed, fully contained. The MyCharge Turbo.

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For a Little Peace, Listen to This

When you’ve done the Zoom calls, binged on all the recco TV shows, perhaps it’s time to take some solace in a good music listen.

I’m not talking about a podcast. Nope. Takes too much of your attention.

Talking about some of your favorite music. Filtered through more than your ear buds. Over ear. Some quality. Luxuriate in that. On the couch, on the porch, by the pool (if you are so lucky!)

There are a few solid choices that fit into the same price range. About $300.

Of course, the Sony WH1000MX3 are a lot of folks go-to blue tooth headphones. To be honest, it does help to get through the clutter of all the brand choices, with a known brand that all of your friends have. Good choice.

As we move through the choices, one of my faves is the Focal Listen. They are a high end company concentrating on the headset category, and while they do make the $3000. headset, these are 1/10 the price, less than $300, and separate the tracks of a high end recording to give you that distinct aural pleasure of hearing a track, like the first time.

And new to this group, is the BeyerDynamic Lagoon ANC Traveller offering. Admittedly, this unit gives a crisper, more defined separation of the tracks, than the Focal Listen BT headset. You will hear the nuance of instruments, and the mix is closer to what the original recording engineers intended. I will say that it was a slightly bit quieter than the Focal.

Bose has always had a solid footing here, and have consistently upped their game. And the price. About $350. Used to be the gold standard. And this new rig has Alexa Voice Control

When I’m home , and wired, the BeyerDynamic dt770 has always been my go to, coupled with a small DAC or amp to boost up the juice, and give a listening experience like no other. Under $200 for the headset, but you will need that external tiny DAC. That will run you about $75.

When we do start flying again, or if you need to connect to a TV, via blue tooth, I’d highly recommend the Twelve South AirFly Pro BT transmitter. It’s my plane travel companion, so it’s getting a bit less use now. Or even if you have 2 people that want to listen to the same thing at once. Also avail through Apple

So there you have it. When you’d like to shut out the rest of the world, enjoy high quality audio, and hear music more the way it was meant to be heard, you win with any of these options. Add Airfly to connect with a friend to watch a movie.

And if you really want to get the best in your listening, check out HD Tracks. From Jazz, Classical, and Billie Eilish (her brother is a good producer) you will no doubt find something to your taste.

On a personal note, Beats are not quite the audiophile headsets you want. Move on.

And one additional note. The better the headset, the more the quality of the recording is revealed. Tried some classic tracks from the 70’s and 80’s . and a lot of the rock then was not done very well.

Stay Healthy!

Time To Add To Your Photo Library

While we are spending a bit more time in our homes, you may be thinking ” Gee, I’ve looked through all of my photo books, twice, and maybe it’s time to get some fresh perspectives”

Aperture to the rescue with a fantastic 50% sale!

With books broken up into categories:

And if you want an expert to help you redo your photo book collection, they have even curated collections:

Enjoy, have fun looking, get inspired, and treat yourself to some new work!

I’ll be honest, I have just gone through the Larry Fink workshop book, and it has made a change in my photography. It was one concept that makes me look at my own images different. (this one is not 50% off, but still discounted!)

Magnum Is Back with the Square Print Sale!

You should be indoors, and perhaps looking at your walls, wondering what you could do to spruce them up!

Magnum has the answer, and signed or estate stamped prints by photographic masters will do just what you need!

I have 3 in my home and love them! Each one strategically placed so I see them as I move through the apt..

Please remember: they are 6″ x6″, so when framed, they fit almost anywhere in your home, without overwhelming the space.


California, USA. 1956. © Elliot Erwitt / Magnum Photos /Estate Stamped
“In life’s saddest winter moments, when you’ve been under a cloud for weeks, suddenly a glimpse of something wonderful can change the whole complexion of things, your entire feeling.”
Elliot Erwitt
 California. 1956.

Over 100 international photographers looked over their personal archives in search of images relating to, or capturing events that changed the course of history, society, a life, or a practice.
Their museum-quality signed and estate-stamped 6×6” prints are available for $100 through Sunday, April 12 on www.magnumphotos.com/shop
Magnum photographers will be donating 50% of their proceeds from the sale to Médecins Sans Frontières’s COVID-19 emergency response. These donations will be matched by a private charitable donor, up to a figure of $500,000.


Route 12, Wisconsin, 1963 © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos
“Skip Richheimer and I, both bikeriders, both photographers, were heading out of town to the scrambles at Elkhorn Wisconsin, Skip driving a VW Beetle. Five bikeriders approached us from behind, I’m sure heading to the races at Elkhorn as they passed around the car, like a swarm of bees. The bikers reached an overpass, lifting them up off the ground as they rose up before us. One of the bikers leaning to the side to speed past another. The great body language of motorcycles. That spring I showed the pictures I made at Elkhorn to Hugh Edwards, then curator at the Art Institute of Chicago. On May 8, 1963, he sent me a letter. “How I wish I had some influence in the world so that there might be a book of them, with a glorifying text by someone like William Burroughs, James Jones or John Dos Passos, the reproductions done by a great firm like Conzett and Huber in Zurich or Pizzi in Milan.” Three of the greatest living writers and the two greatest reproduction houses in the world. I was twenty-one. The letter changed my life forever.”
Danny Lyon

Bob Dylan. Woodstock, NY. 1968. Taken with Kodak Ektachrome Infrared Film. © Elliott Landy / Magnum Photos
“To capture a flickering moment of joyous experience and share it with others—that was the reason I began photographing in the first place, and that is still the reason I take pictures today.

One of the things I like to see most when I look at a photograph I’ve just taken is something I’ve never seen before. Therefore, I’ve always enjoyed experimenting. This was the fuel behind my exploring the use of Kodak infrared color film in the late 60s. It was impossible to know what the resulting photographs would look like because the colors of the image were dependent on infrared light which is not visible to human eyes.

When I used infrared film I tried a variety of color filters. So, this image was a complete surprise to me. In fact, neither Bob nor I realized its power and beauty when we looked at it with a slide projector but passed it by in our quest to find a photograph for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. I don’t recall either one of us commenting on this picture.

This image seems to reflect the otherworldliness of his music—different than anything before.”
Elliott Landy
 

And a pluson this is the charitable donation that is made with every sale.

They have joined up with a few other organizations in this, Aperture and The Everyday Projects Org. Plus Aperture has a crazy good book sale right now!

And due to the current world situation, there may be delays in delivery, but they are great communicators. so don’t worry!

Light Em Up!! Photographing Fireworks Guide

Living in A Powder Keg and Giving Off Sparks!


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