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Thread: "Little Things Mean a Lot"

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    This is not just a song title. I love my Domke F-2 camera bag with one exception, the front snaps which secure the bag closed are stiff and hard to work. You must depress a steel spring to allow detachment from or attachment to the front "D" rings (Domke Illustration - I should have shot a better image before I removed the snaps)

    "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    I read that some photographers cut off a length at the end of the spring to facilitate easier removal and attachhment. However, I replaced the stock snap with these "trigger snaps" from eBay. I couldn't find any locally.

    "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    Depressing the trigger opens the snap for attachment and detachment, yet the snaps are quite secure when the trigger is not drpressed.

    Like I said, little things can make my photography more enjoyable.

    BTW: Domke provides a short strap with snaps at each end which can be attached to the rings which connect the shoulder straps and used as a hand strap. There are however "D" rings at the corners of the bottom rear of the F-2 bag. Attaching the short strap to these rings and threading the strap through my belt or through the waist loops of my photo vest, prevents the F-2 from swinging around if I am hurrying or climbing steps. Since I had to purchase ten of the trigger snaps from eBay, I replaced both snaps on the hand strap also.

    Cost was five U.S. Dollars for the snaps. My wife replaced them for me and I still have six left!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 24th May 2013 at 09:40 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    I agree entirely with your sentiment, Richard. My stock phrase is that "it's the little things in life that matter."

    My sling-style camera bag has male and female parts comprising a plastic buckle attached to the belt straps built into the bag. I broke one part a year ago when I shut a car door on it and had a luggage repair shop replace it. A few weeks ago I broke the same darn part again, this time by shutting the car's trunk on it.

    A week later the light bulb went off in my head: When using the belt straps built into the camera bag, I hated that I had to go to the cumbersome effort of lengthening or shortening them every time I added or removed a layer of clothing. So, instead of having the snap replaced, I'm now using an old belt from my closet. That belt is made of braided (sort of) leather that makes it possible to easily change the position of the buckle, allowing even more flexibility than using a belt that only has holes drilled in it. The belt from my closet goes through my camera bag in the exact same place that the built-in straps are attached, so it does just as good a job of holding my camera bag on the proper part of my back.

    The end result is that I saved about $15, didn't have to lose use of my camera bag while it would have otherwise been at the repair shop, that I make use of a belt that had been going to waste in my closet, that this buckle won't break because it's made of metal, and that my jury rigged system is far more effective than the manufactured system at quickly adjusting the effective length of my belt.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 25th May 2013 at 12:05 PM.

  3. #3
    James G's Avatar
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    Re: "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    Mike, Richard, I reckon we all have little tweaks we apply to our kit which makes it 'easier' to use.

    In my case, it is my Lowenpro Trekker back pack. It's excellent except, that it has a compartment for notepad/tablet etc, which is on the front of the pack. The zips to open this and the main pack are both identical, parallel, and only cm's apart.
    I was forever opening the wrong zip which, irrationally irritated me beyond measure, I just couldn't learn to think, (and check), before I unzipped!
    I'm ashamed to say it took me a year to sort it out, I simply tied a fluorescent yellow cord around the zip tags of the front compartment. Haven't had a problem since and before.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    There are lots of little tweaks that one or another photographer uses to make his photography efforts easier or more pleasant.

    Since I am retired, my aim in photography is enjoyment and the easier it is to do little (or big) things, the more fun the photography is for me.

    Little things like a proper hat to shield my balding head from the sun (I use an Australian Akubra Stockman's Hat), good walking shoes (I use New Balance Shoes with a New Balance arch support insert), a photo vest (I use a Domke) which I never thought I would use but, have grown to love (BTW It is also nice for flying in - lots of pockets for boarding passes, etc); and proper sun screen spray to keep me comfortable when I shoot in hot weather.

    Enough CF memory that I don't have to worry about restricting my shooting or culling my shots while shooting, using Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries for my flash, a RRS L bracket for mounting on tripod and monopod, and having a tiny CLIP (clip-on) MP3 player which does triple duty in providing entertainment, taped travel information and as an audio recorder to to help remember information about my shots.

    I also try to research any area or event which I will photograph. Having vague to specific ideas of what and where I want to shoot helps me get the coverage that I need. It doesn't always work though. One of my aims in my trip to China was to get an image of an older person wearing a drab Mao Suit compared with a younger Chinese dressed in latest fashion. I thought that would be a neat comparison...

    I was able to get plenty of shots of fashionably dressed young Chinese (especially in Shanghai)
    "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    But I saw very few remnants of the Mao Suit which was once the garb of virually all Chinese...
    "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    I did not get a shot of a single Tai Chi practicioner silhouetted against a lake with weeping willow trees framing - especiallly with temple in BG. I had planned this shot but was unable to acomplish it. I also was not able to visit the Muslim Market of Xi'an China at night. This and the City Walls of Xi'an at night were high on my "to-do" list. But, unaccomplished...

    For my upcoming trip I plan to get the following shots:

    A older Greek woman in black dress sweeping her porch or street in front of her house...

    Greek man/men sitting in a Taverna watching the world go by...

    Colorful doors and windows (with flower pots) against white washed buildings...

    Presidential Palace Guards (Evzones) in Athens...

    White buildings with blue roofs against the blue sea on the island of Santorini...

    Istanbul fisherman on the Galata Bridge...

    Afternoon and night views from the Istanbul Galata Tower...

    Various Istanbul Market Merchants and their wares...

    Man carrying tray of bread on his head...

    Sufi Dancers in Istanbul - especially whirling with slower shutter speed...

    Selling broiled fish directly from the boats in Istanbul...

    Juxtaposition of traditional Muslim woman's dress with modern dress in Istanbul...

    I'd like to find some advertising signs with people walking in front of them. A modern woman on the poster and a traditionally dressed woman passing by.

    Of course, I will need some traditional shots of Venetian gondolas and gondoliers...

    Shots of the Grand Canal and shots of traffic through smaller canals. I especially want shots from the Rialto Bridge early and late in the day when the light is right...

    Pigeons scattering using a slower shutter speed in Saint Mark's Square (low angle). I won't get this shot but, if I were doing magazine coverage of Venice, I would place my camera on the ground facing up with a fish eye lens. Spread bread crumbs around it to attract pigeons and then clap my hands to frighten the pigeons into flight and shoot a burst with a remote trigger. That would be the time to use a PPF (pigeon poop filter) over the lens...

    Shots of and from from the Venice towers (St. Marks and Bovalo "snail") towers. Does anyone know if the Bovolo Tower is open for visitors? Some Internet sites indicate that it is closed for rennovation with no opening date listed.



    Coverage of the yard where the build, repair gondolas...

    Shots of the intricately painted or mosiaced ceilings. Using my right angle finder will help those shots...

    Various transport in Venice, Greece and Istanbul...

    Lots of night shots of Venice and Istanbul...

    Unfortunately, I will not be in any Greece tour stop at night...

    However, to partially make up for that, I will get coverage of the various ports from an elevated position as the cruise ship enters/leaves the ports...

    Shots of the Istanbul from across the Bosphorus and across the Golden Horn. perhaps that is where my 1.4x TC will come in handy...

    I want to get coverage of food and restaurants. I didn't do that (to my regret) during my China tour...

    Also, neat signs are fun to capture like this one above a men's room urinal in Beijing:

    "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    I won't be disappointed if I don't get all these shots because I know that there will be hundreds (perhaps thousands) of images to get during our two week trip. It will be interesting to find out if I will be more satisfied with my coverage of the upcoming trip than I was with my coverage of the China trip...

    During our China Trip we were in lockstep with a tour guide, often 16-hours a day. Most often, we would arise in one city, tour the sights of that city and then fly to another city in the afternoon or evening. This prevented me from bailing out on the tour and doing my own thing - except in Shanghai when we spent two nights in the city...

    The cruise ship will give us time to rest and relax. In reality, our endurance was worn pretty thin towards the end of our two weeks in China...

    I am doing all the arrangements for sightseeing during this upcoming trip. I suspect that I will be able to get more coverage of things that I want to shoot and visit by making my own arrangements. Sure, I want to get traditional images of things like the Acropolis in Athens but, I am not interested in visiting one pile of stones after another. That seems to be the traditional tour organizer's schedule in Greece: visit a pile of stones - then a vendor to rip you off - another pile of stones - and another vendor; all the time hustling past interesting sights worth photographing...

    I have purchased a 48-hour Vaporetto ticket for Venice and plan to make a lot of use of those water buses...

    I have reserved a four wheel drive quad vehicle for the Island of Santorini. Although I won't go off road, the little quad will allow me to stop virtually anywhere along the road I want to photograph...

    I know how to travel from where the cruise ship docks in Pireas, The Port of Athens, by Metro for the Acropolis. I plan to get off the ship very early, hit the Acropolis (like the Great Wall, this is a must!) and then do our own thing in Athens. Possible a short time in the Agora but, mostly of day-to-day Athenian sights. I remember, when I first visited the Acropolis over 50-years ago, I was not exceptionally impressed and I remember how much vibrant modern day Athens (especially juxtaimposed against ancient Athens) excited me. Like I said, it the Acropolis is must because I want my wife to experience it. But not being on a tour will allow us to spend exactly the amount of time we want up on that hill - no more and no less.

    I am pretty sure that I could spend at least a half day (or more) in the Istanbul markets. The Tokapi Palace is way down on my must list (I'll do it but, I will do it quite quickly), while the Istanbul Military Museum is towards the top. Of course, Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque are musts, but the Galata Bridge, ferry tours (cruise boats are too expensive) in Instanbul are also high on my list of musts. My wife is a retired nursing professor and one of her subjects was the history of nursing. She is very interested in visiting the Florence Nightingale Museum. Prior arrangements have to be made and I will do that...

    Unfortunately, I won't have time to visit Gallipoli, the site of the ill-fated ANZAC campaign. However, another plus about scheduling my own itinerary is that I can add or subtract venues depending on an Amount of Time to Visit vs. Amount of Our Interest formula. If I were an Auzzi or a Kiwi, I am sure that Gallipoli would be higher on my list; perhaps right at the top!

    I will only know, after the trip is over, if my plans for self guided tours in these various areas will give me more opportunity for the type of photography I want to do while still allowing me to visit and experience the "must" sights...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 25th May 2013 at 05:38 PM.

  5. #5
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: "Little Things Mean a Lot"

    Considering that I made my own sling and hand strap system, I'm clearly in the "little things matter" camp. Fortunately, I haven't seen any need to modify my new gear bag. If anyone's trolling for a good pack, the Think Tank Shape Shifter is a brilliant bit of kit. $250 (ouch), but once I laid hands on it, I knew it was perfect, and couldn't walk away. Before that, I used some MOLLE pouches on a grid attached to a shoulder strap to make a reconfigurable messenger's bag, but that fell to bits, and my gear outgrew it at roughly the same time. If only I'd walk away from my primes...

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