Gear Friday – On the Road Again!

Mechanix Wear Coyote Gloves

It’s been way too long since I last travelled to the Texas Hill Country and those wide open spaces are calling to me once again. So it’s Road Trip Time (RTT) because Life’s Too Short (LTS) and that pretty much sums it up for me.

The weather here in Texas has been downright miserable this winter but there’s a high pressure system moving from the west that promises a bit of sunshine and some nice clouds. After weeks of overcast skies and rain the rivers and creeks in the Hill Country are flowing fast and furious, which makes for some nice photographic opportunities.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when shooting in inclement weather in central Texas:

It’s Tough to Get a Great Sot when Your Hands Are Freezing Cold!
It’s darn cold shooting waterfalls in the dead of winter so keep those hands warm but tactile with a pair of Mechanix Wear Coyote gloves. Used by the US military, NASCAR® pit crews and photographers worldwide, these little beauties are incredible. They keep your hands warm while allowing you to use your camera as if you weren’t wearing gloves at all! And for rock climbing to get that great shot, they are second to none!

Think Safety and Come Back Alive!
It’s not enough just to pack an extra lens, filters, memory cards and tripod. You need to be thinking “what if something happens to me?” when packing for those day hikes to your favorite spot. If you fall and injure yourself, packing for safety can mean the difference between life and death in the freezing cold..

I’ve owned way more photo bags than I care to admit and never found exactly the right one to fit my needs. That is, until I found Moose Peterson’s MP-7 Photopack. This lightweight but sturdy pack fits me like a glove and holds more gear than my poor old back will ever allow me to carry.

Here is a list of what I pack for a typical day hike and shoot.

  • Canon 5D Mark II with EF 24-105mm f/4L zoom attached.
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L zoom with lens hood.
  • Canon Ef 28mm f/1.8 lens.
  • Canon G10 with Lensmate collar.
  • Singh-Ray CP, Vari-ND & ND Grad filters (8).
  • Black Rapid R-Strap & Clips.
  • Bubble level, CF cards, lens cloths.
  • Garmin Dakota 20 GPS on one strap.
  • Motorola MR350 Two Way Radio on the other strap.
  • Emergency Thermal Mylar Blanket.
  • Hiker’s First Aid Kit.
  • LED Flashlight & Hunting Knife.
  • Emergency Food & Water.
  • Gitzo Traveller Tripod & RRS Ballhead strapped to the bottom of the pack.

If you think I pack a lot of stuff in my MP-7 take a look at what Moose Peterson packs!

Tuesday Morning Quickie – Moose McNally

I said this once before but now I’m really convinced that Moose Peterson has been spending way too much time with Joe McNally on those DLWS outings. All kidding aside, if you’re not a member of NAPP and haven’t signed up for any of the online courses at Kelby Training you really don’t know what your missing.

Moose McNally

There are dozens of top notch video training classes from folks like Moose Peterson, Joe McNally, Matt Kloskowski, Laurie Excell, Dave Cross, Cory Barker, Rick Sammon (finally, a Canon shooter), Terry White, RC and even Scott Kelby. If you want to learn from the best, this is the one place where they all come together and for less than $200 for a year of unlimited training sessions, its a steal. NAPP members even get a special discount!

Tell them Jeff sent you. They won’t have a clue what you’re talking about but its worth a laugh or two. Speaking of laughs, did you notice the shovel and large garbage can in the left of the photo? I’ve never seen those two accessories on Adorama’s web site.

Sunday Morning Fun – Moose McNally

Ever wondered what would happen if two famous (but very different) photographers ever got their wires crossed? You know what I mean, like in the Disney movie “Freaky Friday” where Lindsay Lohan’s mind ends up in Jaime Lee Curtis’ body?

I think it actually happened to Joe McNally and Moose Peterson while they were together recently in Hawaii. Its the only explanation I can think of for this video.

And now for something totally serious

Wow!

The Big Picture: Air Racing!

It’s Tuesday morning and you’re having trouble getting the old creative juices flowing. Take a look at Air Racing – The Big Picture. Nothing like a little adrenaline rush to start off the day.

Next weekend is the Wings Over Houston air show featuring the Air Force’s elite squadron The Thunderbirds! I’ll be there with my 40D attached to an EF 300mm f/4L IS USM hoping to capture anything close to what you see in today’s Air Racing – The Big Picture. After seeing all the great images Moose Peterson captured at this year’s Reno Air Races I just had to give this a shot.

So, how do you focus on an F-15 going 250 mph?

Moose Peterson at the Reno Air Races

Moose Peterson has posted a series of really great aviation images from this year’s Reno Air Races. This is some of the best “bird” photography I’ve ever seen. One of these days, when the kids are out of college, I’ve just got to see this in person.

Reno Air Races Begin

Shutter Sex

There are no words

And then there’s the Raptor

Early Morning Bird (my favorite image of the series)

Birds, Birds, Birds Everywhere

and even more at Moose’s News Blog.

Bird Photography Takes Patience, Persistence and Luck

According to Moose Peterson, a good wildlife photographer needs to stay really focused (no pun intended) on the subject he’s attempting to capture. Look away from the action for just a few seconds and you might miss the best shot of the day. As Moose often says in his training videos, “wildlife photography takes patience, persistence and a lot of luck” in capturing those really great images.

Now I agree with Moose completely, but sometimes when you’re in the middle of a beautiful area, the temptation to let your eye roam and your mind wander is just too great, especially when you see something that might make a great shot like this.

Brazos Bend Bayou

Brazos Bend Bayou
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4L with a 1.4x extender at 280mm, f/11, 1/320th sec at ISO 400 on SanDisk digital film. Click on the image above for a larger version.

As I turned my camera towards this scene, two wood ducks suddenly took flight and went right over my head. Even though I moved as quickly as possible, I wasn’t able to capture a well focused image of them in flight. If I hadn’t been bored and looking away from the action, I might have returned home that day with two good images; one nice landscape shot and one great shot of birds in flight.

Lesson learned (the hard way as usual)!