I recently visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It was my first time I had been to the Island and I of course had to visit this famous site. Since today is Veterans day I decided to share these images from the USS Arizona Memorial. Today is a day we as American's remember the battles fought and lives lost to protect our freedoms. This is a perfect example of that here at this memorial.
The USS Arizona was a battleship that was sunk by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The actions taken by the Japanese that day badly damaged our naval fleet and took many lives. These actions provoked our nation to enter World War II. During the war, many soldiers and civilians from many nations faced considerable losses and sacrifices. It was a horrible time in history and on this day we look back and remember the brave men and women. Those who struggled and never gave up to fight for a better tomorrow for all people who crave freedom.
This was our second consecutive year for the downtown rail jam event here in Kennewick Washington. Last year we had a great turn out and a lot of fun besides dealing with a little rain and fast melting snow. This year we had more sponsors, volunteers, giveaways, rails, snow and fun. Each year keeps getting better with the help of coordinator Eric Schultheiss and many other people who assisted. Athletes came from all over the Northwest to compete in this amateur and Pro-Invite Ski/Snowboard event.
The weather ended up being great with clear skies and just cold enough to keep the snow from disappearing too quickly. Vendors lined the streets with items for sale such as t-shirts to hot dogs. Crowds filled the closed off downtown street to witness some progressive riders throwin' down technical spins onto and off of the rails.
In between filming the event I managed to take a few images. Look for the recap of the TC Throw Down rail jam video soon.
The brand new GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition is the new go anywhere HD video camera to have. I have had the previous editions and I must saw that Im finally really impressed with the new upgrades that the 3+ has to offer. First I want to say that spending the extra money on the black edition is worth it if you can. It really performs better in low light, better audio and just overall usability. Plus is also comes with the remote rather than having to pay for it separate if you decide you want it later. This new model has a new "superview" feature which give you a nice wide shot with less distortion. You also have an increase in frames per second shooting or FPS. An astounding 120 fps at 720p! Thats pretty amazing from a camera this size. This gives you a more smooth shot if say, you want to slow your footage down during the edit.
More great additions
Note: microSD card sold separately
Get yours here ---->
The accessories even got a redesign this time and they are slimmer than before. You will recognize a lot of the same grab and go tools to assist you in getting the shots while you're having fun surfing, biking or whatever it is you do. My personal favorite is the GoPro Suction Cup Mount cause I use it while I'm driving inside or out. That thing will stick to a lot of other things securely too so its a great thing to have in your bag.
I thought I would write a quick article about a few things that always come in handy with every photo shoot. Everyone is a little different but these are 10 things that I feel have been the most crucial to have in my gear bag. I am not going to discuss what type of camera you should have or what type of lens you should own. Here I will just concentrate on key things that are important to have. This is definitely not a complete list but just simple suggestions. Feel free to add to my list in the comments below.
#1 - EXTRA BATTERIES
An extra camera battery. How many times have you gone out to shoot and realize you forgot to charge your batteries the night before? So I feel this should be at the top of the list. If you do not have a full charge and your camera's battery dies, what are you going to tell your clients? Always pack an extra, fully charged battery with you. Check it often. Think of it as a spare tire for your car.
If you don't have one and you think you better get one now. Follow my links below for the best deals online.
#2 - MEMORY CARDS
This one is a no-brainer really like the extra battery. If you're going to be packing an extra battery, why not also pack an extra memory card. This is great thing to have with you. You can never have too many memory cards on hand. I normally buy the larger 64GB Sandisk Extreme cards. You might have another favorite. You might prefer to spend a little less and go with a 16GB or 32GB card. There is nothing wrong with having a little more space however. If you are shooting RAW or RAW + jpg you will want as much extra room as you can afford. Images these days shot at full size are memory hungry and will fill up a memory card faster than you can put them in your camera. Buy them larger if you shoot a lot.
Hard drives are also becoming more affordable all the time so why not. Why you should have an extra card or two in your bag is obvious. Maybe you totally forgot to upload all the pics on the last shoot to your computer. I have done it before when Ive been in a huge hurry. So rather than worrying about it, just put your spare card in your camera and go to work. If you are shooting a wedding, or an event like a concert etc having extra memory cards and spare batteries is crucial.
Check out some of these great deals on memory cards.
#3 - BACKUPS
This leads us straight way into the third important thing you should own. Assuming you already have a good working laptop or desktop computer you need Need, NEED!!! BACKUPS!!!!! Don't forget to back up your files or you might be sorry at the worst time. Hard drives crash all the time so don't be caught off guard. I just had a hard drive fail on my laptop. Luckily it was an older laptop that I never use much anymore. I didnt have anything I needed on there but it still failed and it could have been a disaster. Be sure you are backing up your work with onsite and offsite copies! There are many services online that offer back up services and I highly recommend them. Buy a portable hard drive, back up often and worry less.
Try some of these resources below.
#4 - MODEL RELEASE
A model release is something that is always nice to pack. Depending on the type of photographer you are you may not need one. If you are doing work with models or things such as property you could need one. The world is full of legalities so why not protect yourself and your business. Depending on the contracts that you are using the wording may need to be different in each release. For anyone you take a picture of that is not in a public place you should have a copy of their license and a signed release. If they are under 18 years old you need a signature from their parent or guardian. This simply gives you the ability to use the images you took of them with no worry of legal issues in the future. This is common practice but often over looked by new photographers. If you are hoping to sell stock images on sites such as Shutter Stock or Getty Images you will generally always need a signed release for them to be accepted.
There are some handy photo release apps out there for iPhone, iPad or Android devices. If you left your release at home, technology has you covered. You simply let your clients read the release, sign with their finger and take a copy of their license. Its super easy to send yourself a copy to send out copies to yourself and your client after that.
#5 - LENS FILTERS
Whether you have one lens or a whole bag full of them, lens filters are very useful. If you simply want a UV or a Haze filter you can have this one on your lens all the time. If nothing else you have some added protection for your glass. If something happens and the filter breaks, it is usually cheaper to replace that than the entire lens itself.
Im not going to go into great detail here but learning about circular polarizers, gradient filters, ND or neutral density filters can be valuable info. I simply bought a set of 77mm filters as the majority of the professional glass is 77mm thread. For those other lens sometimes a step up ring can be added. Say you have a 67mm filter thread, you can put on a step up ring to 77mm rather than having a bunch of 67mm filters also. There are filters built into software such as Photoshop but why not get it right the first time in camera?
#6 - LENS CLEANING KIT
Nothing is more annoying than getting out and realizing you have a dirty lens. You know what I mean, theres that speck of something on the image. Well grab yourself a lens cleaning kit with some good lens safe solution, and some wipes and always be ready. A Giottos rocket blower is also super easy to pack and a great way to blow air safely on your equipment.
Sometimes its more than just a bit of dust on the lens. Often it can be dust on the sensor. If you can not get the dust spots off by cleaning your lens than have your camera professionally cleaned. If you feel brave enough to clean it yourself make sure you have a clean dust free area and use one of these kits below. The visible dust sensor swabs I have used myself and they work great. Just make sure you look for the one that matches the sensor size of your camera for the most effective cleaning.
#7 - CAMERA BAG
Depending on how serious you are you may have 3 or 4 bags. Maybe a couple pelican cases full of gear. If nothing else you should get yourself a comfortable backpack that you cam keep 1 to 2 camera bodies in plus your main lenses. Also you want some extra room for possibly a laptop and a few accessories like spare batteries and memory cards. =)
There are many options and brands out there like Lowepro, Ruggard, Think Tank, Crumpler, Domke, Kata, MountainSmith, Tamrac and many others. Just make sure it has a waist strap and room for what you need in case you wear it around town or hiking in somewhere. You can always buy a lighter weight bag for short treks.
Here are some examples of great camera bags you can buy right now.
#8 - FOLDABLE REFLECTORS
In several situations you will find yourself in need of a little more light. If you are shooting natural light you can always make use of reflectors. They are common to find them in silver, gold or translucent for softening harsh light [diffuser]. They fold up into much smaller sizes than they are making them ultra portable. Reflectors are sold as round discs, ovals or rounded rectangles.
Depending on the color of the reflector you can warm the skin tones of the subject or fill shadows that would otherwise be underexposed or uneven. Since you can not always hold the camera and the reflector hire a friend. You can also buy light stands with clips to attach your reflector to on those less windy days.
#9 - GAFFERS TAPE + DUCT TAPE + CARD BOARD + BALL BUNGEES
Yes I said it, Duct tape. These four things can came in very handy. You can make quick flags or shoots with some pieces of thin cardboard for your flash setups. Put some black duct tape on the outside and inside and your done. It doesnt look that pretty but not bad. Plus the best part is it works and if you lose it than its not a big deal. Gaffers tape is another thing that is very useful and should be in your bag. Having tape in your gear bag can help you make minor repairs, secure wires or many other uses. Ball bungees [bungee cord with a loop and ball on one end] can serve a similar purpose.
#10 - TRIPOD + MONOPOD
You may not think you need it if you have a lens with IS/VR but you might think again. It's great to be able to turn that image stabilizer on and Im definitely not saying to stop using it. There are some occasions though when its nice to have a quality tripod. You cant always find a ledge to set your camera on and may thank me fore convincing you to buy one. Say you want to take some pics and the light is low. You want to use a longer exposure but if you shoot it hand held you will get a blurry shot pretty much every time. Pull out your tripod and the problem is solved. No one likes to carry around a bunch of gear but if you want a sharp in focus image, shooting handheld doesn't always cut it.
Here are a few examples of good tripods. Carbon fiber ones are lighter but also more expensive. Make sure you dont skimp on a quality head.
Finally going to be able to enjoy another full length release from Sub Focus!
Ive been a long time fan of his music. If you are unfamiliar definitely check him out. The artist is Nick Douwma, who goes by Sub Focus. Born and raised in the UK, he produces mostly Drum and Bass music under Andy C's Ram Records label. He has been busy at work since his last self titled release in 2009. He recently released two singles. "Endorphines" featuring Alex Clare and "Turn it Around" featuring Kele Okereke of Bloc Party.
This guy is a first class DJ and producer with a powerful sound in all his tracks. Check out his latest album September 30th on iTunes.
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Recent PostsRemembering Veterans Day - Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Visit TC Throw Down 2013 in Washington went off this year GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition meets sleek new Accessories 10 Essential things every Photographer should Own Sub Focus new album "Torus" to be released September 30th Lanparte DSLR Pro Rig Review TC Throw Down 2013 rail jam in downtown Kennewick Washington - Ski and Snowboard event Nike's "Never Not" Part 1 Emerges to Stimulate our Winter Wet Dreams 1993 RS America Porsche 911 for Nathan of Columbia Valley Luxury Cars Had a fun evening shooting some photos for John A.