Monthly Archives: May 2009

Amish Mud Sale Redux

Photo © Bob Krist

Photo © Bob Krist

A couple of years ago, when the word “multimedia” was so new it didn’t scare me, I took part of a shoot I had done in Amish country for a guidebook assignment about Philadelphia, and made my first “multimedia slideshow.”  Of course, I didn’t have any ambient sound, I just took some JPEGs, ran them through a sepia toning action (mmmmnn, so artsy!), licensed a music track and then extemporized some voiceover into the Mac’s mic.  I had that show up on my website for, er, years.

Well, I was home again this year during the sale season (March) and so I took my Olympus LS-10 digital recorder and my cameras and went out to get some ambient sound and an interview or two. I barely shot a frame….gathering sound and shooting are two full time undertakings and I haven’t learned how to do both (well) at once. But the new show is definitely an improvement (although I still had to do some voiceover….and as they say, you can take the boy out of Jersey, but….).

Rather than embed it into the blog, where it would have to be small, check it out over on the site, where I can run it larger.



Speedlinks 5/26/09

  • In 50 years, when we’re in another Depression or recession or whatever we’re in, folks are going to be referring back this multimedia and book , Driftless in Iowa,  by Danny Wilcox Frazier, the way we look at the Farm Security photos from Dorthea Lange and Arthur Rothstein and others.  This is a stunning, evocative piece of work. It’s a six part series, each about 5 minutes, and although I had a million things to do I could not stop watching it.  A must-see.
  • Once you watch that, you’ll need some relief, and I recommend this site as absolutely the best digital photography how-to blog out there. Don’t let that middle finger put you off.
  • Steven Frischling, aka “Fish,” is running a “Travel Photography Boot Camp” twice in June, in San Francisco and New York. Steven is a photojournalist who flies more than any human being I know.  But why is his course called a “boot camp” and not, say, a workshop?  Steven tells us: “The Flying With Fish Travel-Photo BootCamp is unlike any educational experience you have encountered as a photographer. The focus of The BootCamp is simple, to force its participants outside of their comfort zone while teaching them how to adapt and succeed! Participants arrive at the airport and are not informed of their destination until they receive their boarding passes allowing for no time to prepare and requiring participants to be ready for anything.” So if you’ve been feeling a little coddled lately, why not try a little basic training with Master Sargeant Fish? Can you say, “SIR, YES SIR!” while field stripping your D700 in a strange city?
  • I had a nice phone interview with Matt Brandon, aka The Digital Trekker, the other night where we talked about the  biz.  Matt is based in Asia and does a lot of work for NGOs. He contacted me about an interview, but I was too lazy busy to write answers to his questions, so we did it by phone and Matt’s posted the audio interview here.  You have to suffer through my Jersey accent and a lot of “ums” and “uhs” (note to self, “no more interviews after splitting a bottle of wine with Peggy over dinner!”), but we covered some interesting ground.

The incredible shrinking computer bag–Part Two

Welcome back to a closer look at the incredible shrinking computer bag, in this case, the estimable Think Tank Airport Airstream.  Below I’m showing you most of the stuff I’ve got inside of it (minus my spare glasses, paperback book, copies of my passport/visas and other small necessities that fit in the clear plastic pouches on the inside of the top flap).

_dsc0351You can see the Acer Aspire, a CVS Pharmacy polyvinyl cosmetics bag filled with two extra harddrives, connector cords, card reader, cell phone charger, GPS, USB modem and all the peripheral chachkas we need to digitally survive. Plus there’s room for a spare body and two spare lenses.

What may stick out a bit is that photo vest. Now that’s not just any photo vest, it’s the late lamented Bob Krist travel photo vest that was carried in LL Bean Traveler catalog for a few years. Yes, my 15 minutes of retail fame included this vest and a very cool, and to this day, unique camera bag design (subject of another entry on another day).

Now the vest design is pretty close to the Domke design…lots of huge pockets.  But it is street wearable (alas, lots of the vests out there today are monstrosities that you can only wear at sporting events because on the street, they look like C4-packed suicide vests. This one, at least, looks like normal clothing). And this is key: it’s made of ultra lightweight, breathable, fast-drying and packable Supplex nylon. That’s why you can jam it into no space at all.  And should you get accosted at the gate about a second carryon, everything in this bag can fit into that vest, and you can wear your second carryon onto the plane….

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Bonjour, y’all!

My wife Peggy and I were supposed to spend a week in Paris, France visiting friends later this month. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to cancel the trip:-(

We did manage, however, to make it to her family reunion in early May, held this year in Texas. On the drive to the dude ranch where the reunion took place, I noticed on the map that there was also a Paris in Texas. And, doggone it, I was going to get to Paris (any Paris!) in May come hell or haute d’eau.

So, after the reunion, I slipped off for a couple of days to shoot the other Paris. For a rundown on what I found, how it’s inspired a new project, and how I lit my new friend Ray in front of the Texas version of the Eiffel Tower using only my emergency “family reunion group shot lighting kit,” hit the jump.

photo © Bob Krist

photo © Bob Krist

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The incredible shrinking computer bag–Part One

In my never ending search for the smallest, lightest gear that will do the job, I’ve been helped by the folks at Think Tank Photo and their rolling carryons. Now, I don’t use these for my camera gear (I don’t have the time to repack my stuff into a shoulder bag once on location, so I just carry it in one!), but I find them enormously useful as computer bags. With my normal setup of a black  13″ Macbook (tricked out with a 500GB HD and 4GB of RAM from Otherworld Computing ) and two 320 GB, 7200 rpm firewire/USB harddrives from  G-Tech or Weibetech and all the assorted chargers, adapters, connectors, sensor cleaners, etc. etc. (oh yeah, digital has “simplified” our lives as traveling photographers!), a photo vest, plus a spare D90 body and a couple of backup lenses, the Airport International V2.0 has been my roller of choice.

prod-photo-aint2This bag is shallow enough to fit into a lot of regional aircraft’s overheads, but it’s still biggish for fussy European airline’s carryon rules, especially if you have a camera bag, however small and discreet, in addition to the roller.  But how to make it smaller? Well it’s no good to carry a smaller bag if the gear inside is the same size….you can’t cram 6 gallons of water into a 4 gallon jug. So the secret is to make the stuff inside a bit smaller. But how?

Enter the so-called netbooks.

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