Simon's 'stuff of the year' Christmas fiasco!

Everyone else is doing it, I thought I'd write you up a quick post, letting you know what I've used this year and what worked well...

Here's a picture of the *real santa in a mountain cave in Cuba... True story!

I will say up front that the links are AMAZON affiliate links, and i'll tell you what I do with any Amazon affiliate cash ($14 in the last six months, I thank you!) ....I buy more disk space for my steadily growing habit image library... So, if you buy something through one of my links, you're entitled to a high res digital file of any image I've taken that a. won't get me locked up or b. won't get someone else locked up OR c. won't get me slapped by a bride I've photographed (unless she's uber hot... then I might still give you the file)

Right... Stuff! This year has been filled with random "stuff" and some of it has been awesome, some of it less awesome!

1. I think my favourite camera bag of the year (I work for thinkTank, but I use their stuff as a photographer) is the Retrospective 40 - I can pop my 13" MacBook Air in and my 5DMKIII with the grip on - a couple of lenses (including a 70-200 f/2.8) and loads of other stuff.

2. The Evo 2 tripod system from 3 Legged Thing has just hit the market, even here in Aus, and is simply brilliant - I've had 3 Legged Thing gear since the very first version of 'Brian' and I have to say that this Evo 2 gear is 'the mutts'

3. I've swapped to a little MacBook Air 13" (2012 model) for a lot of my 'on the go' social media work and when I'm not wanting to be tied to my desk with this, the 'big' computer.. SSD makes everything amazing - SO fast, small, battery life like a 65 year old with a can of viagra..

I got an iPhone 5, it's boring...

4. The Sony RX100 is not only the best compact camera I've used this year, it's the best compact camera I've ever had - it is simply awesome. My favourite feature, aside from really very nice raw image output, is the little flash - you can bend it backwards and fill your subject by bouncing light, rather than killing them with a laser beam.

5. Audio this year was brought to you by the RODE PodcasterFor a USB mic that most people use for simply talking into, the RODE is sweet enough to record your favourite hits, trust me.. I tried it... I take requests!

BUT, it's not all about expensive bits of camera and non-camera tech, oh no, the second five are dedicated to things you could simply click and buy RIGHT NOW without having to speak to your 'bank manager' first....

6. Nice Industries, the same people that brought you the wildly awesome 'Aviator Travel Jib' also produced a little wonder called the "Nice Clip" and it's super awesome.... You wait until you have seven cables you want to keep handy on the edge of your desk...

7. The best $35 you'll spend, a Lexar USB 3.0 CF / SD reader has made my 'ingest' soooo much faster, but only on my Mac Air as it's the only thing I have with USB 3.0... Next Amazon purchase is a G-Tech USB 3.0 external drive.... Oh yes....

8. Another recent love is the Capture Clip System from Peak Design - I use it on almost every shoot with my ProSpeed Belt - a sweet combo - saves shoulders, mental state, cameras etc.... try it, you might just wanna kiss me for the suggestion... ewww...

9. This year we got NASTY.... Nasty Clamps have change my life.... I can pretty much attach anything to anything else anywhere. For that, Nasty Clamps, I salute you.

10. ....speaking of rugged and portable, the drive of the year award goes to the ioSafe Rugged Portable... It's rugged and portable! I have a FW800 500gb version, and it's a toss up (only based on price) between the G-Tech and ioSafe for next drive to arrive.. The ioSafe is a great drive for those of you with just ONE external backup - it has lots of 'peace of mind' attached to it. Included recovery and the ability to withstand the crushing grip of Chuck Norris....

There you have it, 10 things you could blow some cash on... These are things I've actually used and STILL use - not some list of crap purely designed to make you click so I get PAID.... [Though, enough to buy a large clock with a gold chain to hang around my neck would be good, ta]



Think Tank Photo | Think Tank Thursday

It's Thursday eve here in Santa Rosa* and it's time we ran #ThinkTankThursday again, right?! Someone asked on Twitter last night, what bag would suit a body, a couple of smaller lenses and an iPad - the Urban Disguise 35 v2.0 would, was my reply, so I thought heck - let's give one away!

Answer the poll below and leave your contact details as a comment for a shot at the title.

[poll id="6"]

Don't forget to follow us on TWITTER and FACEBOOK and JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER


Welcome, If you've just travelled over from the ThinkTankPhoto Facebook or Twitter page, let me explain why you're here!

Competition rules on Facebook mean that we can't run competitions on Facebook without jumping through large, multicoloured hoops! So instead, we'll run them over here for now.

How do you win a ThinkTankPhoto camera bag? Simple!

Go back to Facebook and tell us "Do you prefer a horizontal or vertical hinge on a roller? ie: bottom or side hinge?" in the #THINKTANKPHOTO post - we choose a random winner on Monday!

And then we'll choose a winner at random on the following Monday.


Have you signed up to our newsletter?

Following us on Twitter?

This week, we're giving away an Airport Airstream roller bag!

Small things making a big difference...

I have been using BlackRapid camera strap products for a little over a year, I have used pretty much every strap they have, including the doubles and the womens version, too... (don't ask) I've settled on the RS Sport and love the thing... It sits into my body and with the stability strap (that's what I call it, ok) done up is perfectly secure. Blackrapid Camera Strap


Comes with its own little carry bag (as above) that you can easily attach to your camera bag, if that's what you want to do. The R strap range are well built, nothing like some of the other trash I've tried... Thought goes into these things, people wear them and say "no, you should change this" and that goes into the design... That's what I love about companies like Black Rapid, [List at the end] they bother to evolve with the feedback...

BlackRapid Camera Strap

Sturdy hardware, locking clips and decent, strong straps that sit in the right spot and hold your camera out of the way when you want that, and let it swing into the right place when you need it... Smart stuff... The double strap was my weapon of choice for a bit, it was awesome - when I was bothering to use two bodies to shoot music, having one on each side was awesome - simply nothing beats the functionality and convenience of that set-up... except using one camera :-) (plus, one camera means less to edit!)

The R Strap Sport fits in (on) to your body, sort of like its meant to be. It doesn't feel clumsy and annoying, it doesn't grab your jacket (because it doesn't move) and i've certainly not managed to break it! It should be noted though, that a man with flowers and a BlackRapid glove should always be treated with suspicion, unless of course he is also wearing a #SparkleTard

Seriously cool list of photographic companies you should all own at least one item from.