BlackRapid Update : Lighter, Stronger, Quieter

The new standard in camera straps is the BlackRapid line. I’m a convert for sure, and now depend on them.
The single, or double, are great tools, but my new favorite became the Yeti.
Basically 2 straps coming off of one harness. I just keep working toward getting lighter.
So when they announced that there were new items coming, I wondered what could it be?
Well, the answer is: lighter and more breathable.
Here are some side by side comparisons.
The entire new Breathe line incorporates a lot of the same improvements.

First of all, the new Yeti (now called Hybrid) is thinner, and the familiar orange “R” have been replaced by a white one.
The harness is not quite as wide, and has the same reliable clips. Yes, there is an additional underarm strap for stability, but I’v never used it.
The gripping surface on the underside, now runs along the entire length of the harness:

And here is a detail of the surface. More breathable, and better gripping.

Plus, the connectors have been improved. Larger, knurled, brass tightening columns. Thicker, top rotating bits, on the hasp. And slightly larger and sound dampened connectors.
That is a huge improvement. Not entirely brand new for them, but now included in the package. And the hasp locks to add security to your connection. Used to be an add on.

Of course, the real proof is in use.
After a long 7 hour day at Comic-Con New York I am very happy to report that my shoulders were in great shape, no sweat marks under the strap, and the same great design, made my shooting day an easier deal, even when winding my way through the crowd.
Here’s the way the rig was set up:
Nikon D810 with SB900 speedlight, and a RoundFlash modifier on one side, and a Fuji X-T2 on the other.
One was for set-up shots,
the other side was for more reportage.

For the event or wedding photographer, these are a must have. If you already have some of these, do you need to upgrade?
The strap don’t seem to wear out, but any added comfort is worth it for me. Honestly, before the new series came out, I purchased the new quieter connectors for my other BlackRapid.
Highly recommended, your back and shoulders with thank you.

By the way, on my back was the ThinkTank StreetWalker Hard Drive. Everything that was attached to the Yeti, plus a lot more, was comfortably situated on my back. Could I have gone for the ShapeShifter for a thinner profile, once unloaded and trapped on? Maybe. Although, I kinda liked being able to throw stuff in while walking around the convention floor, with ease.

The shot of me with the Hybrid was made using a Pulse Remote Control, to be reviewed shortly. very handy for this type of stuff.

Hunt’s Photo : Superior Service For Your Photo Needs

The newest camera in the line-up was coming out. The demand was high, so I got on a waiting list.
On the day it was to start shipping, Hunt’s Photo was one step ahead, the magical box appeared at my doorstep.
In hand and ready for an out of town assignment to check it out, I was one happy camper.
(I’m not a fool, and of course has other cameras with me. A brand new product could have bugs)
Yep, I was happy for about 2 weeks.
Continue Reading »

Filling Up The Phone: Now What?

The summer memories are about to live on online, and you’ve been working your phone like crazy.
Filling up the internal memory and the cloud is getting hazy.
You may be, as I was, looking for a simple way to back up your phone, and transfer images/vids easily.
I told you about the sweet Lexar lightning flash drive, for a great, cost-effective, solution.
There is a new player on the market, for those that want the even more simplified version.

Maybe your folks? It’s not a Jitterbug, but the software is so dead simple, you can’t mess it up.

The Picture Keeper is a flash drive with USB connector on one side, and Lightning on the other.
With products like this, you want to crack open the box, and use it, right?
Continue Reading »

Nikon Adds A New Entry Level DSLR With Kit Lenses You Actually Want

When someone is starting out on photography, it is wise for the camera manufacturer to give them all of the tools to succeed, and enjoy the ride.
Yes, it’s addictive, so the first experience should be very pleasurable.
The new Nikon D3400 boasts an ISO range topping out at 25,600, over 24MP sensor, and a solid 5FPS burst mode, these are all things that help the new DSLR shooter get the shot they were hoping would be ton better than their phones.
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These Are A Few of My Favorite Things : Bits and Bobs

There are certain pieces of gear that have become a standards for shooting, and sometimes, these are pieces of kit that I never thought would work.
Like BlackRapid straps.

When these first came out, it seemed like a plethora of new camera straps were hitting the market. Lots of companies figured that they had the best product. On the hip, cross shoulder, attached to a backpack, attached to the front of you, etc..
We all use camera straps, and so all companies hit a sweet spot for a better mousetrap. Or strap.
Needing some shoulder relief, especially when carrying 2 cameras, loaded and ready to go, made me open to a change.
The first time I saw the Black Rapid strap, I couldn’t imagine slinging my camera to the side and possibly behind me. The concept of hanging $10k worth of gear off of my behind, didn’t make sense.

After one full day on a trade show floor, I understood. The distribution of weight made my shoulder happy, and accessibility of the camera to get a shot, and drop it to the side, was freeing.

So much so, that I now use the double BlackRapid, and the design is fantastic. Between the back strap, front strap and sling design on both sides, it’s now a permanent part of the kit. Highly recommend!

Next is the Manfrotto 143N Magic Arm.


A good shooting kit has a range of grippage, so you can put what you want, where you want.
This arm is usually on my tripod, coupled with a Super Clamp, and many times has a Fotodiox Flap Jack LED light on it. Or I can have a tablet at just the right height, and angle, by using a Tether Tools connector pack (connector, and Wallee iPad case)
The locking mechanism uses a lever, and once you open it, it becomes like a floppy marionette puppet. Direct the arm anywhere, lockup the lever, and that pup is not going anywhere!
And when back in the office, the arm is usually on my desk (two tier deal) with the iPad holder.

The LensPen;
Yep, I keep a microfiber cloth around always, but this product has found its way into each gear bag, One end has a classic camel hair brush, and the other has a special tip to give your lens a deeper clean, usually getting off any light debris.

Gorillapod is a go-to, always in the bag, product.
for stability, wrap around a railing, etc., it packs just right. I will also use it with this next item…..

Everyone is talking about VR, right? And it is often confused with 360º video. Whatever the case, a camera that has found a home in my bag is the Ricoh Theta S. Check out a sample below

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Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

(you can stop the motion by just tapping in the image, plus move in or out.)

Small, lightweight, and it creates its own wi-fi network to transfer images to your phone, and their website, for postings. And you can control it from the app as well.
Stills seem to be better than video, but it will shoot both.
One of the premium uses for this, is to scout, and line-up shots for your larger, more complex, 360º VR rigs, without the time-consuming post processing. It will stream live, although at this point you need to be connected to a laptop.

These are just a few of the things, that honestly, I didn’t always consider, but now always have on hand.


Upcoming Events

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Current Exhibitions

  • Metropolitan Museum Of Art
  • Irving Penn: Centennial
  • APR 24, 2017–July 30th, 2017
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710
  • Whitney Museum
  • APR 27, 2016–April 2, 2017
  • 99 Gansevoort Street
  • New York, NY 10014
  • Tel: 212.570.3600
  • Annenberg Space for Photography
  • APR 8, 2017 – AUG 13, 2017
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • Getty Center
  • Breaking News: Turning the Lens on Mass Media
  • December 20, 2016–April 30, 2017
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • One and One Is Four: The Bauhaus Photocollages of Josef Albers
  • Through April 2, 2017
  • 11 West 53 Street
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel:212-708-9400
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Meghann Riepenhoff
  • March 16 – April 29, 2017
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • APRIL 6 – MAY 13, 2017
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • STEPHEN WILKES Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom
  • March 4 – April 29, 2017
  • 2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 90404
  • Phone: 310.453.6463

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