I need to tell the truth about my camera bag problem. I have a lot of them. Like most addicts, I've been restless and unsatisfied.
Sometimes I need one for a specific purpose, like the water-resistant bag I got for the Grand Canyon raft trip. It's frustrating, though, because I can't easily access the lower part of the bag and I won't get much more use out of it. Then there's the big bag that will transport even my big telephoto lens on airplane trips. It's perfectly sized for overhead bins in little prop planes. In South Africa and Alaska the flight attendants really thought I'd need to gate check it. Thank goodness, no. It's big for hiking around once I get there, though, and has less structure and padding than I'd like. I bough another bag specifically for carrying less gear on tougher hikes, but it's oddly designed and doesn't really hold much.
Until recently I had something like seven bags and was not really excited about any of them.
After recommendations from lots of friends, I've purchased a Think Tank Streetwalker Pro. I thought this would be my minimalist hiking bag, and it does function in that way, but it holds a pro body and four lenses, with space to spare for all that other stuff, including compass, headlamp, cards & batteries, rocket blower, rain covers for camera and bag AND has a no-nonsense tripod holder and stretchy water bottle pockets on both sides. It manages somehow to be little on the outside and big on the inside and (be still my beating heart) serves more than one purpose well.
I got so excited that I started a dialog with the company and I've become one or their affiliates. That means that, if you're inspired to buy one of their products, you can use my code and get a free gift, and I get a little something too. Think Tank is an innovative company and they've created a win-win for us.
If you're interested, you can use the Think Tank Link to enter the website as a Friend of Skyline Images.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park
I wanted that beer.
I'm not a big drinker, but I'd been hiking into the hills around my campsite at California's Joshua Tree National Park to photograph an arch rock at sunset and on the way back I was thinking about beer. Before I left I took the cooler out of the car and put it in the shade with a wet towel over it. I was aiming for evaporative cooling, river-trip style.
I forgot to consider that, in a dry environment, wildlife wants refreshment, too. I came around that last corner and saw that the cooler was adorned with hundreds of bees. I used an extended tripod leg to lift and move the towel, but most of the bees remained.
Not an irrevocable tragedy, I know. It got fully dark, the bees went away, I ate and drank in the moonlight.
Cholla Garden Sunrise, Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree, otherwise, was fabulous. I spent a fair amount of time rock climbing there in the 80s and so was excited to come back with my camera and to have some shoulder season solitude in a magical place. I got all that and giant granite boulders, otherworldly vegetation and sweet light.
Joshua Tree and Granite Slab
I got what I needed, just like the bees did.
More JT images are in the Desert Gallery on the website (the last nine).
PS - I didn't plan two posts "the Bird" and "Bees." Really.