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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Top 10 Camera Bag Essentials, The Final Installment

For those of you who missed out on the recent guest posts from Will at Wolfe’s, he has compiled his Top 10 Camera Bag Essentials, a nice grouping of photography accessories that certainly don’t break the bank.  So far we’ve learned about: lenspens, cleaning cloths, silica gel, gaffer tape, rainsleeves [stylish AND functional...ha...], lithium batteries, gray cards, and a bubble level.  In this last entry from Will, we’ll hear his final two products and this will be your last chance to enter to win all 10.  Your last day to enter is the 30th, so get on it!

10 Camera Bag Essentials with Text

 10 Essentials That Should Be in Every Camera Bag

Part V of V

Will Mansfield, www.wolfes.com

Universal USB Card Reader - $39.99

The value of an image increases exponentially the more it is shared.  Just ask the dude whose photo of the green California hills and perfectly blue sky graced the desktop background of Windows XP, and has been viewed more than 2 Billion times.  How many times lately have you seen the picture of the zebras on the screen of a Retina MacBook Pro?

Bottom line, share your images.  Pictures have almost zero value sitting on a hard drive or in a shoe box, never seeing the light of day (I’m guilty!).  So make a conscious effort to show off the good stuff.  Sometimes, that means showing off on the spot when you know you have a winning image.  With a card reader that accepts all of the common types of cards (CF, SD, etc), you can get any image to almost any device in seconds.

Extra SD/CF Card, Extra Battery – $10-40

I know what you’re thinking: this choice is totally anticlimactic, and it’s kind of a cop-out.  It is.  But extra cards and batteries are so crucial to making images that you should have 2 of each at all times.  Quite simply, when you run out of card space or battery life, you are done shooting.  Also,  missed shots are painful and sometimes even haunting.  So for a few bucks, it’s well worth preserving your sanity and knowing you did everything within your ability to make the shot.

So there you have it! 10 photography accessories that will make your life better.  Did I miss anything?  Do you have a favorite accessory that you would recommend to others?  Please share with us in the comments below.

We’ll be choosing a winner at random soon so stay tuned here and follow Wolfe’s on Facebook to hear the winner first!

Michelle

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Top 10 Camera Bag Essentials, Part IV of V

Howdy!  We’re near the end of our guest series on camera bag essentials from Will, one of the experts at Wolfe’s.  He’s shared 6 of his top 10 favorite accessories for photography and today he’ll share two more.  Make sure to enter to win all ten at the end of this post!

 10 Essentials That Should Be in Every Camera Bag

Part IV of V

Will Mansfield, www.wolfes.com

Gray Card / Color Checker - $14.95 to $80+

Admittedly, I feel the need to justify carrying around a low-tech, painted gray card in your camera bag, so hear me out: a gray card can definitely help with white balance issues.  I have used one more than once in tricky lighting situations and usually I just put the camera in live view and start changing the white balance until the camera screen shows the same color gray as the gray card.  This method isn’t terribly precise, but it can save valuable time you would otherwise be spending in front of a computer to correct lighting issues afterward.

A color checker works in a similar fashion.  These things aren’t cheap like the gray card, because each color leaves the factory calibrated to a known color value.  But again, if it lets you make more pictures instead of sit in front of a computer, it may pay for itself.  To use the color checker chart, just stick it in front of the lens and snap a picture.  When you edit later (RAW files work better for this), you change the white balance and colors until they are the same tone as the color checker.

Double Bubble Level – $29.99

“Hey! This is photography, not civil engineering!  What do I need the stupid bubble level thing for?” Yeah, the green bubble can (and usually does) look goofy on top of the camera.  But it saves your pictures from looking goofy when they have a slanted horizon line and the whole picture looks like it’s going to tip and fall right off of the paper.  Some cameras have a virtual horizon built-in, so the bubble level isn’t crucial.  But straight photos are.

Okay, I’m not going to lie, the gray card thing sounds a little intimidating, BUT I also don’t really like to edit photos on my computer so that’s why I’m trying to learn more tips for behind the lens.  I’m always impressed with my friends who do great editing but I just don’t think I have the patience.  Will…I’m coming to see you about this gray card situation.  I’ll probably have lots of questions.  Good thing you’re a patient man.

Don’t forget to enter to win all 10 of Will’s Camera Bag Essentials below!

Michelle

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Top 10 Camera Bag Essentials, Part III of V

Howdy!  We’re half way through our guest series on camera bag essentials from Will, one of the experts at Wolfe’s.  He’s shared 4 of his top 10 favorite accessories for photography and today he’ll share two more.  Make sure to enter to win all ten at the end of this post!

 10 Essentials That Should Be in Every Camera Bag

Part III of V

Will Mansfield, www.wolfes.com

Optech Rainsleeve$6.99 for 2

You never know when and where Tom Cruise will show up for that once-in-a-lifetime paparazzi shot.  There he is! He’s getting away in the taxi cab! But it’s a torrential downpour outside and the rain on the windows is obstructing your view!  You can either:

A) Risk it and run out into the rain, knowing there is a chance that water can get into the flash housing, cause an electrical short and ensure an expensive and lengthy repair trip for your camera.

B) Stay indoors where it is warm and dry, knowing that you are missing the shot of a lifetime and all of the prestige, money and fame that come with it.  And cry.

C) Grab the Optech Rainsleeve from the most convenient pocket in your camera bag, shove the camera inside, pull the plastic around the lens, and march confidently out into the rain to get the shot.  Not only will the camera stay safe and dry, but the shiny plastic Rainsleeve will throw a glimmer of light at Tom Cruise, he’ll be distracted and turn to you and you can quickly tell him how “Top Gun” or “Risky Business” changed your life.  At that point, he’s more than happy to pose for a picture and your shot ends up on the cover of the New York Times… for a week straight.

Your call.

Energizer Lithium Batteries$6.99-$11.99

Is it possible to have this much respect and love for a battery? Yeah, I suppose it is.  Like many photographers, I’m a gear geek so it’s what I do.  Anyway, Energizer Lithiums really are incredible because they last 4-9 times longer than a set of alkaline batteries, work better in cold environments and can hold their charge for years.  Here’s a handy bonus tip: if you have an accessory grip for your camera, you can most likely power the camera from AAs.  Keeping 8 emergency lithium batteries in the camera bag can be 2000+ extra shots when you’re in a pinch.  Or when you forgot to charge your camera battery the night before a big shoot.  D’oh!

Oh, Will.  You make me giggle.  Enter to win Will’s Top 10 Camera Bag Essentials below.

Michelle

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