Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What's In My Bag - Think Tank Retrospective 30 - The Whole Kit And Caboodle

Back in October of 2012, on a whim, I entered the Al's Think Tank Photo Pirate's Booty Halloween Contest with my self-portrait image and I was lucky enough to win - See Story Here.

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 30 Bag and Costa Del Mar Sunglasses

Shown above with the Think Tank included rain cover.

The Costa Del Mar Wingman 580 sunglasses are a very nice, quality, stylish, polarized pair of sunglasses and they come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. If you want quality sunglasses that have a modern, hip, yet classic style, check them out at costadelmar.com 

The prizes also included a couple from Enlight Photo Products. The Frio coldshoe is a universal flash mount adapter that allows one to mount a flash onto a tripod or light stand.

The Enlight IOShutter cable is another prize and one that I find very useful. Combined with their free iOS application, it allows me to use my iPad or my iTouch as a remote shutter including timer, bulb long exposure, time lapse intervalometer, sound activated, and ShakeToTake modes. Shown below is the IOShutter cable connecting the iPad to the camera.
Enlight IOShutter cable

Enlight IOShutter and iOS application

My favorite prize of the bunch is the Think TankRetrospective 30 camera bag. 
Think Tank is a premier photography bag company and also makes versions 
of the bag that are smaller (Retrospective 5,7,10, and 20)  and larger 
(Retrospective 40 and 50) but for my size frame, the 30 is a perfect size. 

I have many camera bags in my collection and each one plays a different role 
depending on what and where I will be photographing. Most of them I've purchased 
for very specialized uses such as day hikes in the wild, on-location portrait shoots, 
studio use, travel, event photography,  macro and nature photography, landscape photography, etc. The Think Tank Retrospective 30 bag turned out to be a perfect 
fit for the unknown scenario. Sometimes I'm not sure what I will need on a shoot so
 I bring along a variety of items. In the past I would bring several different bags of items
 to a shoot and I was lacking a bag that could accomodate practically everthing but the kitchen sink. I needed something that could fit the whole Kit And Caboodle yet still be comfortable and non-obstrusive to carry. The Think Tank Retrospective 30 fits the bill perfectly and I now affectionally call it; "The Kit And Caboodle Bag". 

I've always felt that Think Tank photography bags are the "cream of the crop" but since their cost was typically higher than many of their competitors, I opted for lower-priced bags. Now that I've been able to own and use a Think Tank bag, I've realized that their features and quality provide me a value that far exceeds their cost. Since the contest, I have purchased additional Think Tank products to replace some of my other "kits". 
I will post about those in future updates to this blog.

Think Tank Retrospective 30 And Essentials

As I've mentioned, this is the bag I take with me when I'm not sure what I will need. From the picture above, you will notice that I also take a couple of other items that I consider essential. These include:

If I think that I will need a larger tripod or monopod, I will bring either an Oben or Manfrotto monopod and/or a Manfrotto or ReallyRightStuff tripod.

As you can see in the photo, the Retrospective 30 bag is filled to the brim but there is actually still room inside one of the many compartments, nooks, and crannies along with a back pocket that can fit an iPad or iPad mini. Now let's get to actually exposing the wonders of the Retrospective 30 and see what I put in it.

A wonderful little ThinkTank accessory is the Cable Management 20 bag (shown in the above photo at the top of the bag) containing my rechargeable batteries and several battery chargers. Here is a top view of the filled Retrospective 30 bag without the battery/charger bag:

Kit And Caboodle Inside Top View

It may not look like there is much in the bag (looks can be deceiving) so here is a view with everything taken out of the bag. 

Full Kit And Caboodle Contents

Surprising, isn't it?

  • Spudz 18% Gray Microfiber cloth
  • Inova Flashlight
  • Think Tank Pixel Rocket Memory Card Wallet
  • Litemaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter
  • Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 Zoom Lens
  • Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 Wide Angle Zoom Lens
  • Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 Zoom Lens
  • Nikkor 50mm f1.8 Lens
  • LensBaby Spark Lens
  • Nikon D7000 Camera and MB-D11 Battery Grip 
  • Nikon  EN-EL15 Batteries (2)
  • Zeikos LCD Viewing Hood
  • Nikon SB-800 Flash and accessories
  • Think Tank Cable Management 20 bag filled with chargers, cables, and batteries
  • ThePOD Yellow Camera Bean Bag
  • Fader MkII ND filter
  • Heliopan Polarizer filter
  • Cokin P-Series ND Grad Filter
  • 72mm - 77mm Step Up Ring
  • BetterBeamer Flash X-Tender
  • Photoflex 12" White/Gold LiteDisc Reflector
  • Gary Fong Puffer On-camera Flash Diffuser
  • Sandisk and Transcend Class10 SDHC Memory Cards (several 4,8,16,32GB)
  • Think Tank Retrospective 30 Rain Cover (not shown)

Carrying a filled Retrospective 30 camera bag was suprisingly comfortable and not too heavy if you carry it messenger style with the bag across your body from the right shoulder with the bag resting on the left hip. I think the comfort can be attributed to the soft, thick, padded shoulder strap and also to the soft canvas fabric of the bag that conforms across my left hip. I also like the look and style of the bag and the feel of the material. The bag is designed and constructed with a myriad of pockets and compartments inside that sometimes plays on my memory to rediscover where I stuffed something.

I sincerely want to thank Al Diaz, ThinkTank Photo, Costa Del Mar, and Enlight Photo for the contest and prizes.

Let me know in the comments if you like this write up on my gear and wish to see the other "kits" of camera bags that I use for specific purposes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bunny Yeager Studio; Exhibition & Swimsuit Fashion

Meet photographer Bunny Yeager during her grand opening of 
Bunny Yeager Studio on Thursday, February 28, 2013
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.Reception
8:00 p.m. Fashion Presentation Featuring Designs by Lingerini & Models from Nicole Shelley Models and Miss Latina International 
Studio address: 557 NW 27th Street at NW 5th Avenue, Miami FL · Parking available on site.
Studio hours: By Appointment studiomanager@visual.org  or 305-571-1415
Reservations Required - RSVP to studiolaunch@visual.org or 305-571-1415

Bunny Yeager, Bettie Page with Cheetah, 1954, Silver Gelatin Photograph, Ed.25
Bunny Yeager is the famous photographer, model, and swimsuit designer who changed the way America approached sensuality during the explosive cultural shift of the 1950's and 1960's. Her iconic images of Bettie Page were published in Playboy and brought overnight fame to both photographer and model.

Bunny's New Book:  Bunny Yeager's Darkroom:  Pin-up Photography's Golden Era   Signed Copies Available at CVC. Only $60. This coffee table book includes Bunny Yeager's most iconic shots of legendary Bettie Page as well as many self-portraits, excerpts from her 1960s how-to manuals and dozens of other beautiful women shot in the studio and on location. CVC ·541 NW 27th Street·Miami, Florida 33127·Phone 305-571-1415·www.visual.org   

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Photographer Mary Ellen Mark to Speak at the Lowe

The Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami will present a lecture by influential photographer Mary Ellen Mark on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7 p.m. as part of the Arnold and Augusta Newman Lecture Series in Photography.

Mark has achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions, awards, and editorial magazine work. She is a contributing photographer to The New Yorker and has published photo-essays and portraits in such publications as LIFE, New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. Mark was presented with the Cornell Capa Award by the International Center of Photography in 2001. She has also received awards including the Infinity Award for Journalism, an Erna & Victor Hasselblad Foundation Grant, and a Walter Annenberg Grant for her book and exhibition project on AMERICA.
Tiny, Streetwise, Seattle, 1983.

The lecture will take place at Storer Auditorium, UM School of Business, 5250 University Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146. A reception will follow the lecture at 8 p.m. at the Lowe Art Museum.  Admission is $10 for non-members and free for Lowe members. 
Guests should RSVP to lowersvp@as.miami.edu. Complimentary parking is available at Pavia Garage.  The museum store will have a limited supply of signed copies of Mark’s Prom (Getty Publications).

This event is generously sponsored by the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation. Support for the Lowe Art Museum is provided in part through a grant from The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, and the Miami-Dade Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

The Lowe Art Museum is located on the campus of the University of Miami at 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables.  Museum gallery and store hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday noon – 4 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and University holidays. General Admission (not including programs) is $10, senior citizens and non-UM students are $5, and free for Lowe members, UM students, faculty and staff, and children under 12. Admission is free on Donation Day, the first Tuesday of every month. Public Program Admission is $10 for non-members and free for Lowe members.  For more information, call 305.284.3535, tweet us @loweartmuseum, follow us on facebook.com/loweartmuseum or visit lowemuseum.org.

Monday, February 11, 2013

PHOTO BOOKS: Plus One by Photographer Sharon Socol

New Fashion Photo Book by Photographer Sharon Socol,
Plus One: An Outsider’s Photographic Journey Into the World of Fashion,
reveals intimate moments, fashion world luminaries

Black-and-white images document the New York and Paris fashion world 2001-2010

January 2013 – For more than a decade, photographer Sharon Socol accompanied her husband, retail visionary Howard Socol, then CEO of Barneys New York, to many of the fashion world’s most high-profile runway shows and VIP parties. An accomplished photographer of more than 30 years, she was never without her trusted Leica, capturing images everywhere she went, from backstage to front row. The result was Plus One: An Outsider’s Photographic Journey Into the World of Fashion (Books & Books Press, Spring2013, 120 pp., hard cover).

Socol’s debut photographic compilation, Plus One: An Outsider’s Photographic Journey Into the World of Fashion, features 100 candid images from seminal moments at famed fashion shows and parties in New York and Paris between 2001 and 2010. The book’s title and theme reflect Socol’s status as a self-proclaimed ‘plus one’ for husband Howard Socol. Using her unique everyman perspective, Socol was able to capture stunningly intimate moments not only of industry icons including supermodels and designers including Diane von Furstenberg, Alber Elbaz, Narciso Rodriguez, Zac Posen, Tommy Hilfiger and Giorgio Armani, but also of those who toiled behind the curtain – the dressmakers, dressers, choreographers, makeup and hair artists, bouncers and waiters who provided the backbone for those glamorous, fleeting moments.

“My camera captured lives within lives,” Socol writes in the book’s forward. “To think that people can choose to control how they look, how they feel, and who they are on any given day is extremely powerful. That is something I would never have understood had I not exposed my film.”

Alber Elbaz, Creative Director of Lanvin, said of Socol: “She photographed real people at real moments. She did not photograph ‘fashion.’ This is what I love about Sharon and her work. In our world of dreams and fantasy, Sharon captures the moment of truth.”

The next book signing and book party will take place on February 19th at barneys New York. The event is private and will be hosted by Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and Simon Doonan.

Sharon Socol’s book captures human moments in haute-couture world
For 8 years, photographer Sharon Socol had a backstage pass to top fashion shows in New York, Paris and Milan


Sharon Socol’s husband, Howard, spent 28 years working for Florida’s Burdines department stores, rising through the ranks to serve as chairman and CEO from 1984 to 1997. Then he did a stint as CEO of J. Crew. But none of this prepared Sharon for what happened when he took the helm of the decidedly more glam, more high-stakes Barneys New York in 2001.
Sharon Socol                                              Photo by C.W. Griffin
All of a sudden, Sharon — who never had much use for haute couture — was hanging with Anna Wintour, Vogue’s legendary editor-in-chief. She was sitting at dinner parties across from Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. She was scoring VIP access to the top fashion shows in New York, Paris, Milan. She was watching Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen, Narciso Rodriguez and the rest getting their work on behind the scenes.
Click here for rest of Lydia Martin's Lunch With Lydia: Sharon Socol.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/02/3210659/sharon-socols-book-captures-human.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/02/3210659/sharon-socols-book-captures-human.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, February 9, 2013

LeBron & Wade Watch UM Coast in the ACC

The Miami Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade watch the University of Miami coast to another win in the ACC as the Hurricanes defeat the University of North Carolina 87-61 at BankUnited Center on Saturday, February 9, 2013. 

Click here to view photo gallery by David Santiago and Al Diaz

Thursday, February 7, 2013