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Posts tagged ‘Tamrac’

Up for Discussion: Camera Bags

Each one of us who is into photography is looking for a camera bag, be it a small one, or a large one. I got my first bag about 22 years ago and I still have it, though all I use it for these days is to store things. Still the decision about what to buy and what you need to put in it is still a big thing. Since buying that first one I’ve had a number of bags, all good in different ways.  So today I thought I would go through what bags I have purchased and why I got the ones I did.

The first bag was a Lowepro and not a bad buy, but it was a normal bag and I realised fairly quickly that I wanted something else.

Lowepro Mini Trekker

At least I think that is what it was. I got it about 18 or 19 years ago.  I really wanted a backpack, something I thought would be easy to carry around.  I have to say after going the backpack route, I’ve never looked back.  I loved this bag and I used it up until a couple of years ago and the only reason I replaced it was because I wore it out.

When I was photographing the cycling I was carrying a lot of gear in it.  Two camera bodies, two lens, two flash units and all the stuff that goes with it.  No wonder it started to fall apart.

I decided I needed a new bag and I thought I needed one that I could carry everything in.

Tamrac Expedition 7x

What a bag, it was big, actually it still is.  I can fit almost everything in it, though I have a few too many lenses now, but still, it carries a lot.  The biggest issue is can I carry it all and my knees find it hard to cope with the weight.  It is a backpack and incredibly well made, a solid bag.

I can fit a lot of stuff in it and one thing I really wanted was to be able to carry my tripod on it, and it does fit, though I find it very top heavy when the tripod is attached and I have to be careful bending over or getting up when I’ve knelt down or I almost lose my balance.

One issue I have, and I will mention this again later, is the lack of room or consideration given to women using the bag and having to carry wallets/purses and mobile phones. I don’t tend to have pockets that will fit those things, so I need to carry them in my bag and there is no where for them.  Obviously designed for men to use.


A few months after getting the Expedition 7x I decided it was too big for many of my outings, especially if I was just going to be walking around and didn’t need to take too much gear with me.

It is a split bag, so there is space at the top for whatever you want to put into it, and the bottom half for your photography gear.  It is nice that I could carry my wallet, phone and sunglasses in it

The amount of space at the bottom meant I could only carry the camera with a lens on it and one other lens.  I think you are meant to be able to carry at least one more, but the camera I have is large and my lenses are too, so I couldn’t take anymore with me than one spare lens.

One other thing was a problem and that was no way to carry my tripod, so if I was doing some photography in the city where I needed a tripod, then I had to carry it the whole time.

Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L AW

Finally I decided I needed another bag, something in the middle of the two.  I asked a person at Maxwell International Australia if he could recommend a bag.  His recommendation was this bag, but the 10L one.  I decided that I wanted something slightly larger and went for the 15L.

I have to say I love this bag, I am so happy with it.  I can carry my camera with a lens on it, and two to three other lenses.  The Tamron 150-600mm fits in it as well.  There is space for a spare battery and extra memory cards.  I have room in it for ND filters when I am taking them with me also.

There is space on the side to carry my tripod and my big one at that.  When it is on I don’t feel off balance and I forget it is there until I go to sit down.  It is easy to get on and off, so I use it, and I am happy to take it with me.

There is a spot in the side where you can put a bladder for water, this was especially appealing to me.  I got a Camelbak to fit in it for when I am going to be hiking or walking a lot.

Again, my biggest disappointment with the bag is the lack of consideration given to women who want to use it and there is nowhere for my wallet, phone or sunglasses.  When I aren’t using the bladder I use that pocket for those things.

One of the things that I thought would be annoying is the flipside aspect of it.  You basically need to take it off to get access to the inside.  Putting it on the ground can be annoying, but since you put the side that faces out on the ground, it is fantastic, whatever is on the ground doesn’t go on  your back when you put the bag back on. I dump it all over the place now.

It is, I think the best bag I’ve bought so far and I am so happy with it.  Besides that other thing, everything about the bag is great.


So what do you look for in a camera bag? If you were helping someone to choose one what sort of advice would you give them?  What is the best bag you have purchased?

Retracing My Steps at Heide

Saturday morning I went back to Heide Museum of Modern Art with two clients.  It started out looking like a promising day, but then the clouds rolled in and the sun was hidden.  It isn’t very often that I am disappointed when this happens, but as we trying to do some landscape type of photography, it meant that the light was too flat.

Reflecting off the Rings of SaturnAs I said the sun did shine a little at first.  I love the way the morning sun is reflecting off the Rings of Saturn by Inge King.  I tried to do more images looking up at the sculpture this time.  Where they have it positioned you are meant to look up at it.  Unfortunately to get the sculpture and the sun I had to dodge trees as well.

Heide CourtyardThis is the courtyard and main entrance to Heide.  The black building is a new part that was built a few years ago.  It added a whole new gallery onto the building.  Since then they have also redone the cafe area, thought I haven’t been to it yet, hoping I might get a chance this week.  There is an exhibition on at the moment that I want to see, Art by Twilight, the art of Louise Bourgeois.  I have seen a couple of her pieces, but it would be lovely to see a whole show on her.

Side Gate to the Kitchen GardenIn another post I did about Heide someone mentioned that they loved the kitchen garden and had the book on Sunday Reed’s garden.  Sunday Reed is famous for many things, but she is especially famous for her gardens.  Her kitchen garden is still there and is still looked after and maintained.  I don’t know what happens with what is grown in the gardens, though I suspect the cafe gets much of the produce.

I really didn’t take much after this, I found the light just too flat and horrible.  It happens like this.  My clients took some images, but in the end we decided that we wanted breakfast more.

Tamrac’s Aero Speed Pack 75 Dual Access Photo Backpack

I haven’t said much about the bag since getting it for Christmas, but I thought it was time to tell you how much I love this bag.  I have used it on a number of occasions now and I have not been disappointed.  My husband carried it around for me at the Bay Crits.  It wasn’t big enough for all of my stuff, but I carried one camera and the other lived in the Tamrac bag until it was needed.

I use it when I go somewhere like the city.  I want my camera with me, but the reason for the trip may not be photographic.  The camera is easy to get in and out of the bag.  It isn’t a pain to use the bag and it sits very comfortably on my bag.

I can’t recommend it enough.  I am so happy that I found Tamrac, and I want to thank  C.R. Kennedy and Tamrac.

Online Classes

I have put up some more online classes for people wanting to learn Photo Editing.  I am trying to organise times that will be fine for people overseas.

I know a lot of you said that you were interested in learning photo editing from me, so if there are other times you would prefer, then let me know and I will see what I can organise.

The Beginners Basics are still available.  I’ve been getting some good feedback, so that is great to hear.  I am going to be writing some more parts for them as well, more on taking photos in particular circumstances.

I am also wondering if people would be interested in a one off class on HDR images?  Let me know.

Board Room Empty on Boxing Day

Christmas for 2012 is done.  We all had a great day and enjoyed ourselves.  It was very relaxing, though the puzzle still isn’t complete, it was harder than we thought it would be.  I was very lucky to be given a new 27 inch monitor to do my images on and my mum gave me that Camera bag from Tamrac that I wanted, more on that later.

It has been a very busy time I feel as though all I have done is Christmas images for you.  I have only one image today.  There is nothing Christmassy about it.  Time to move on.

Empty BoardroomThis is the first image I have processed with my new monitor.  It was so nice to see it so big.  Though the resolution isn’t fantastic yet, there seems to be a problem getting the laptop and the monitor to work together.  It was so great to see the image so much bigger and to work on it like that.  I am going to have to learn to control the pen with my Wacom Tablet a lot more, I kept going all over the place.

This image is one of the ones I took when I went to the Manchester Unity Building. My invitation included being able to take images of some of the indoor areas, and who could resist the Boardroom.

The table has a massive piece of glass on it and it is very thick.  I thought it had probably been put there recently to protect the table, but it has been there for as long at the table has been.  Karleen told me that it was imported and at the time it was imported it was the largest piece of glass to ever have been imported to Australia.  That is pretty amazing.

I love the boardroom, I like how majestic it is.  It is like it was stuck in time.  If you look on the Manchester Unity Building website you can see some old images that were taken in the boardroom.

My new bag from Tamrac is wonderful, though I haven’t tried it out yet.  I am going back into the city tomorrow so will take it and see what it is like.  This is the bag I got.

3375-clsRt-R_lrgMine is all black, and if you want to see details on the bag go here.  The camera sits in the bottom and you can put your stuff in the top half.  Great idea.  I would like to thank  C.R. Kennedy once again for helping me to get my bag.  C.R. Kennedy are the Australian Distributors for the bags, and if you would like to find one in another country then go to Tamrac for details.

I am looking forward to try it out tomorrow.

ReWorking Desert Views

On my recent trip up to the Mallee, I went to the Wyperfield National Park.  Those of you who follow my blog will remember the photos, I’m sure.  I did an image of dead trees, and I also did a post on the massive sand dune that you can find there.  I know I only did the images recently, but with the fun I have been having with Silver Efex, I thought I should see what I could do with these images.

Many of you seemed to like this image the first time I did it, however, I never did it in Black and White, but I thought I would do it this time.  I wanted to see if any of the presets in Silver Efex Pro 2 by Nik Software would change the drama of the image, or add more drama.

I have been enjoying seeing what this software can do to change an image.  I like what it has done to this one.  I like that the grass on the ground could be dead or alive.  It is up to you to decide if this is a barren landscape.

This image was taken across the road and sort of behind the other image.  The clouds add a lot more drama.  This is not an image I have shown you before.  There isn’t a lot of colour in this image.

I have been playing with the presets a lot, and the effects that different films can give you.  I am going to have to start writing down what I do so I can record it here, for me, as well as for you.  I know I have fallen in love with the structure presets.

I did very similar with this image, but I played with the burning tool, one I will be using again.

This image was taken on the top of the sand dune Snowdrift.  It is a well known landmark in that area.  I was happy to find it, not happy after climbing it, it is hard work.  I would like to go back one day, at a different time of the day and see what else I can do there.

The Silver Efex gave the image so much more drama.  In the original image, you tend to focus on the sky, whereas in the black and white one, I think, your eye is drawn more to the sand dune and what is left of the tree on the top.

This is at the bottom of the Sand Dune, I really like this image.  There is something so dramatic about it.  I also think, that out of all of the images I have shown you, this one has had the most dramatic change, by taking out the colour.

Silver Efex, especially by enhancing the structure, has given the sky a lot more drama.  The grasses around the bottom become almost barren as well, there is no life in them.

I know I thought that a two week trial was not enough time to get addicted to a product, but I am starting to see I was wrong about that.  I am addicted.

I have done my reworking a little different today, I wonder if you think that each image has been enhanced more by what has been done to them.

Bag and Camera Gear

I moved into my new bag today.

This image is what my old bag looked like.  I think you can see that not everything would fit into it.  It was a Lowepro Mini Trekker, and it had been a great bag, but the last few years, I have realised, it was too small, I grew out of it.

I needed a new bag.  I showed the photo yesterday of my new bag.  The Tamrac Expedition 7 is so well constructed, and I am in awe of it.  I am really looking forward to taking it out.

I managed to fit everything in it, which is fantastic.  I don’t have to decide what to take and what not to take when I go out.  Though I am going to have to do some walks with it so my legs can get used to the weight.

There it is, standing up, with everything in it.  My last bag wouldn’t stand like this.  I like that it just stands there.  I also like the my tripod fits very comfortably on it.  You can also see the waterbottle holder on the side.

I wouldn’t have any problems at all recommending a Tamrac bag to anyone now.  Their customer service is fantastic.

For those of you in Australia, the bags are available here, and if you go to C.R.Kennedy & Co website, they are the Australian Distributors, you can get a list of the camera stores that stock Tamrac bags and accessories.

The Taste of Arsenic

On Monday night I went back down to Heidelberg Theatre Company to see how rehearsals for Arsenic and Old Lace were going.  One of the first changes I saw was the difference in the set.

It is starting to look like a real house now.  Still a bit to go, but it is getting there.  I hope the walls aren’t going to be grey though, such an unflattering colouring, the actors also don’t photograph very well against it.

There was another change as well, quite a major one.

We have a new person playing the role of Abbie.  Unfortunately Sandy has broken a bone in her foot, I believe, and she has had to pull out, so 3 weeks in Paula McDonald has stepped in to play Abbie.  She is a great actress, and I am sure she will do the role justice, we wish you all the best Paula, and a speedy recovery to Sandy.

The other person here is Mick Poor, this is the first time I have seen him at rehearsals.  He is playing the vicar, I believe.  There is still someone else I haven’t see yet, but I am sure I will eventually.

I thought I would do some backstage shots today.  Over there on the very right, in front of the stage, are David, Mel and Bruce.  Bruce is the director, Mel the Stage Manager and David is Bruce’s assistant I think.  I am sure if I have this wrong, I will get told, Bruce?

Another thing that I noticed, was that everyone, except Paula, were not using scripts.  It starts to get interesting when that happens.

This was taken from the kitchen door, this is what the cast see when they walk out the kitchen door onto the set.

Right back stage, this is what you see, steps everywhere.  They really do go all over the place.  so many steps for one play.

This was taken through the window over near the door.  It is fun doing this sort of thing during rehearsals.  I will do more back stage images for you.  I know quite a few of you like to see what is backstage.

The play starts in, oh I don’t believe, in two weeks, so if you are planning on seeing it, and haven’t booked your tickets, you better hurry.  Tickets can be booked online here, apparently they are selling fast, not even sure I will get a ticket.

I have processed a lot more photos and will put them up on my facebook page a little later on.  I also might put them up on the HTC Community Page, this is a group page so anyone can post anything they like on it for the people of HTC, the link is here if you would like to join it.

Bag Update

My new Tamrac Expedition 7 arrived today.  I am so impressed, so far.  I haven’t had time to put all my gear in it yet, but just from playing around with it, I am so happy.  It feels very comfortable on, and had so many compartments in it.  I know I won’t find some stuff, haha.  I will put my stuff in it tomorrow, and try to take some photos of it for you.   If you want to see which one I got, I have the link here, check it out.

I have to say one thing  I really like is that it stands up, by itself.  My other one never did.

I really do want to thank Tamrac and C.R.Kennedy & Co for their help and support in helping me finding a new bag.  They really do provide good customer support, something I totally believe in.