I am an amateur photographer currently living in Herefordshire. My father gave me my first camera when I was a teenager – an Agfa Rapid – and my interest in photography developed from that gift.
Since retiring a tad early in 2014, I have been able to focus on my photography full time. I love sport and was delighted to be given the chance to photograph the Worcester Wolves matches, having taken many school trips to the club. Here’s a monochrome image taken at the Worcester University Arena this season:
I also love to photograph big birds [eg Bewick’s swans at Slimbridge, red kites at Gigrin].
When I can get to the coast I also like to photograph action:
I am working on a monochrome series of coastal imagery – here’s one currently in the set which will be printed on matt paper:
With the help of Beacon Camera Club members, you tube and trial and error, I have been developing the skills to create more abstract imagery:
My grand day out! The BBL Cup Finals Arena Birmingham – January 29th 2018
I have a left shoulder injury and an obvious lens choice [70-200mm f2.8ii ] had to stay at home as the shoulder wouldn’t tolerate hefting it about all day. Taking both the Speed Freak and the Airport International enabled me to take more gear than I could physically carry – rucksacks are out of the question at the moment. When I arrived at the arena, photographers were very restricted and I had to experiment with the primes from the corner of the court selected from the roller bag [ which was secured secured to a chair with the built in metal cable – a great feature]. Deciding that I couldn’t get the shots I wanted from the corner of the court, I managed to create enough space next to the basket to move in a chair next to the lad whose job it was to wipe up the sweat from the court when the players clattered to the ground. This enabled me to support the camera with my left elbow resting on the bag on my knees. At half time, at the other end of the court, I had to sit on the floor. My bag helped a great deal again – supporting my shoulder. At the end of the 3rd quarter, I stood up to stretch my legs out [much muttering amongst fellow photographers about sore knees], took a couple of steps away from my position to lose my spot within seconds to a guy who just nipped in and sat down! Lesson learnt…. Thanks to Tom Bennett of Razorlight Imagery for the mug shot of me holding his camera, taken shortly after I lost my spot on the floor.
ThinkTank Airport International V2
The gear in the two Think Tank bags I took to Arena Birmingham for the BBL cup final on January 28th was as follows:
- Canon 24-70 II f2.8
- Canon 300mm f4
- Canon 135mm f2.8
- Canon 200mm f2.8
- Canon 16-35m II f4
- Canon 35mm f1.4
- Olympus OMD EM1 Mk2
- Olympus 12-40 f2.8 PRO
- Olympus 7-14mm f.28 PRO
- Think Tank Card pouch – more spare cards
- Fuji X100T
ThinkTank Speed Freak:
- Canon 15mm f2.8
- Canon 1DX2
- Think Tank Card pouch – spare cards
- Blower brush
- Systema waterbottle
- 2 spare 1 DX batteries
- 2 spare Olympus batteries
I have two waist bags: The Speed Freak and the Speed Racer. I am most comfortable with the Speak Freak for my basketball photography.
At a home match, I can take move around easily with all the lenses I need without having to be concerned about the security of my kit. The belt is broad enough to be comfortable and the external pockets give plenty of space for cards, my phone and money and a snack. In the lid, there is an easy place to stash lens wipes, a spare card and business cards; I now avoid putting anything metal here as an allen key escaped once and lightly scratched the back of my camera. The Airport International also takes a shedload of gear; I believe the latest version has a more robust handle but I am not prone to dragging my bags up flights of stairs so it is not a drama for me.
It would be fair to say that I am a ThinkTank convert; I have 6 of their bags; all well made, hi spec material and created by sensible people who put handles where you need them!
Snapperstuff will be at the Photo Show again this year at the NEC; I always call in for a chat and usually come away with a bargain. J
You can find more of Linda’s work at the Beacon Camera Club website here:
If you’d like to see Linda in action she’ll be courtside for the Worcester Wolves at the Arena for their home games.
Beacon Camera Club in Malvern – are also running their annual showcase event at the Swan Theatre, featuring Joe Cornish, on 14 July. If you’d like to see and hear one of Britain’s greatest landscape photographers get your ticket here: BEACON CAMERA CLUB
Connor found his dream bag…
Urban Disguise 40 Classic
Connor has worked at Imagex (one of our specialist retailers) for just over 3 and a half years. Yet he has been a photographer for the past 6/7 years, specialising in sports and weddings. For fun he enjoys street photography.
Connor has seen and tested a lot of bags over the years and now he has found one that is just right for him and his gear; check out his thoughts below…
Why does Connor love the Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 Classic so much?
For me, working within photographic retail has meant I’ve never been able to find the perfect day-to-day bag, until now that is! I need to take my camera gear (a medium size mirrorless set-up) along with a laptop and an array of diaries and notebooks. Sure I have bags that can carry my camera set-up like a dream, but carrying all the daily stuff needed for work seems to put these bags out of use. Similarly, no laptop bag I’ve ever owned has been able to carry my camera at the same time, until now. The ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise 40 Classic is the perfect bag for me to use 5 days a week.
“not flashy, but it’s clean and classy”
The Urban Disguise Classic is an elegant, understated bag, which I find the perfect look for work. It’s not flashy, but it’s clean and classy. The sleek design looks tidy and the leather front adds a professional feel, whilst the nice wide strap makes it easy to carry around a heavy bag for long periods of time.
What can Connor fit in his bag…
An average day would mean me stuffing the following into the Urban Disguise 40:
- Fuji X-Pro2
- Fuji XF 16mm f1.4
- Fuji XF 50-140mm f2.8
- Fuji 35mm f2
- Dell XPS 15
- Power Cables (organised within a ThinkTank Photo Cable Management 10)
- Computer Mouse and Cleaning Kit (organised in a ThinkTank Photo Powerhouse Air)
- Memory Cards (organised in a ThinkTank Photo SD Pixel Pocket Rocket)
- Ipad Mini
- 2 A4 Hardback Notebooks
- A mass of paperwork…
All of this fits effortlessly into the Urban Disguise 40 Classic and it means I rarely have to switch round and change my bag set-up daily. The main section of the bag (designed for camera equipment) is nice and deep, well padded and easy to organise. Obviously the bag has to be deep to accommodate a laptop, however it would have been nice to have the ability to stack lenses within the main section. Anyone who knows Fuji will know that the 35mm is a tiny lens, and so having this at the bottom means a lot of space is wasted. Opening the main section is easily done with just one Gladstone opening style zip, which stretches at one side to avoid any nasty scratches to your camera.
The laptop compartment on the Urban Disguise 40 is well padded and a perfect fit for my XPS 15 with no room for it to wiggle around whilst I’m walking. This section has two zips, with the ability to secure them with the use of a standard padlock. All the zips on this bag are ThinkTank Photo’ standard YKK reinforced zippers, meaning that vigorous daily use will not result in any zips falling off or getting stuck. The front compartment features the ‘Sound Silencers’ we are used to seeing on ThinkTank Photo bags, especially useful if you need to grab a pen out of your bag during an important meeting. Alongside the Velcro, ThinkTank Photo have added a buckle to the front compartment for added security. The flexibility of the front compartment means the bag can remain elegant and sleek when you need to transport a minimal amount of kit, but can expand considerably to house an extensive amount of gear. Small touches like the two elasticated pouches on either side – perfect for water bottles – make the ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise Classic bags stand out from the rest.
“impeccably constructed and well thought out”
It’s rare that I can say I’ve found a bag to suit a specific need, but I would never go back to using any other bag for daily work. Previously I’d have taken my laptop and paperwork in a conventional laptop bag and lugged around a separate camera bag at the same time, but with the ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise I don’t need to. It houses everything I need on a daily basis, looks stylish and professional, is extremely comfortable to wear for walks between meetings, as well as being impeccably constructed and well thought out.
Click here to learn more or to purchase a ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise Classic 40 (also available in other sizes).
Fake Guinness anyone?
Behind the Scenes: How to create a St Patrick’s day promotion!
Step One: Pouring the perfect pint? It’s easy! Take 1 pint glass, 1 bottle of Coca-Cola, 1 can of whipped cream. One imitation Guinness coming up!
Step Two: Find a good setting – ah the top of this lovely red Biffa bin lid looks perfect!
Step Three: Find someone to take the photo and laugh at you when the whipped cream remains on your upper lip.
Step Four: Review your hard work over a crisp refreshing pint of Guinness.
If you really want to know, to shoot the real version we used a Fuji X-Pro2 and XF 35mm f2 in Acros film simulation mode with a slightly enhanced green filter to add contrast. 1/2000″ / ISO 200 / f2
Looks great and they clearly had fun, think I’d be tempted to find the nearest pub for a pint though!
You can find Connor at Imagex, but sadly not for long as he is going onto pastures new! (Good Luck Connor)
UltraLight Dual 36L
– On an adventure with Sam Mossop –
Sam Mossop – a great photographer who works at one of our specialist photographic retailers – Wilkinson Cameras in Kendal, gave us his thoughts on the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L.
Before we do check out these beautiful shots taken by Sam –
Broken jetty at Pooley Bridge, Ullswater, sunshine and warmth during the pre sunset, temperature dropped drastically when sun set but I had all warm clothing in my bag with all the gear.
Isthmus Bay, Keswick at sunset, balancing on rocks in the water was helped by slinging back on to shoulder to set up tripod and filters for long exposure of sunset.
Rydal Water at night, Milky Way visible, short hike to the water itself, plus climb up to Rydal Caves and Loughrigg Fell.
What does Sam think of the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L?
I have been using the MindShift UltraLight Dual 36L for some time now and have found it to be an incredibly versatile bag for general photography trips and longer walking in the hills. The first thing that strikes me about this bag is just how light it is for a 36L bag, this is even with the additional inserted case for camera equipment, it really lives up to the UltraLight name. The camera bag is split into two main sections, an upper section for personal equipment or photographic gear and a lower section with a removable padded case intended for photographic equipment. This insert can be removed to function as an external camera bag in its own right slung over your shoulder with the supplied strap, I found removing the insert and using it as a base to swap lenses quickly was very useful especially in wildlife and scenic areas where you never know what is round the next corner and are changing lenses frequently.
“it really lives up to the UltraLight name”
I have been using the bag for walking in the Lake District and for photography trips around the local area. Being able to pack in all the photographic equipment I need including my camera + 1-3 extra lenses along with my filter system and a tripod and then be able to also carry a 3L water bladder and waterproof coat and trousers, food, first aid and survival equipment is absolutely invaluable. The weather on higher ground is incredibly variable and so packing everything you need is essential especially for winter walking. The tripod holder is on the outside centre of the bag which is key for longer walks as the weight of the tripod is not pulling down on one particular side.
The Mindshift UltraLight bag is made of a lightweight but tough, water resistant material on the outside and a high quality durable inner material. The advantage of the bag being made of rugged water resistant material is that even if you do need to put the bag down you know it will be fine on any wet ground and will not soak through in the minute or two you need to access the bag. With the adjustable chest and waist strap you can really tailor the fit of the bag to make it comfortable for long periods of time. The bag comes supplied with waterproof covers for the bag itself and the removable case so you can be safe from rain in all scenarios, the waterproof cover will also fit over a tripod mounted on to the bag.
“In short, the bag is light weight, practical, versatile and comfortable even when loaded with equipment”
How much gear does Sam pack?
Well, this much…
- Sony A7ii body + attached Sony FE 16-35 F4 ZA OSS
- Canon EF 70-200 F4L USM + attached Sigma MC11 adapter
- Cokin 100MM filter system bag
- Giottos Tripod
- Sony Remote Release
- CamelBak 3L hydration reservoir
- LED Torch
- LED Headtorch
- Survival Bag
- Winter Gloves
- Polar Buff
- Thermal Hat
- Waterproof Coat
- Spare batteries/cards/cleaning cloth
- First Aid Box
- Bags Waterproof Cover
- Waterproof Trousers
In the next video Sam packed his astrophotography camera equipment:
- Sony A7ii + attached Sony FE 16-35 F4 ZA OSS
- Sony FE 28MM F2
- Samyang 14MM F2.8 + attached Nikon adapter
- Canon EF 70-200MM F4L USM + attached Sigma MC11
Click here for more info on the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L
It’s like winter clothing for your gear… .
I used the bag for a night time walk to Rydal up to Rydal caves and then on to Loughrigg in just below 0 degree temperatures. The bag kept my equipment relatively warm even though the outside of the bag was actually being coated in condensation when I stopped, due to the temperature. For several shots and extended periods of time the bag was on the floor and no moisture got inside the bag, I could just rely on the bag and carry on taking photographs.
Whilst walking up Helm Crag and around the Easedale Horseshoe as thick cloud and snow closed in on me being able to carry all my photography equipment comfortably and safely, being protected from the elements and still able to navigate with map and compass and keep warm in the winter clothing I was able to pack meant that a potentially miserable situation was actually fairly enjoyable. Even if there was very little photographic opportunity with 5 metres visibility.
If you’d like to meet Sam you’ll find him at Wilkinson Cameras Kendal. Where you can also find stock of MindShift Gear bags and accessories.
If you want to see more of Sam’s work find him on…
(Click on the logo’s to be directed to his page)
London Camera Exchange – LCE – has branches all over the UK and an easy to use store locator on their website here:
The LCE Reading branch has been hidden for some time under scaffolding, enduring some major works happening to the flats above them…
Despite this, it is BUSINESS AS USUAL for the team who are all passionate photographers too!
STORE MANAGER – ANDY
The store manager Andy is currently gearing up for The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford from 17 to 19 July 2015 and then some time photographing the wildlife… if the weather holds ;0)
His current gear comprises of:
- EOS 5D mkIII
- EOS 7D
- 8-15mm Fisheye
- 17mm TSE
- 24mm TSE
- 100mm f2.8 IS macro
- 16-35mm f2.8
- 24-70mm f2.8
- 70-200mm f2.8
- 300mm f2.8 IS
- 1.4x converter
- 2x converter
- Fuji Xpro 1 + 18-55, 10-24 + 23mm + 35mm
Of course Andy needs some bags to house all this gear…
Pictured from top to bottom:
Think Tank Photo – Retrospective 7 – fits all his Fuji gear
… and a plethora of Cable Management 10, 20 and 30 sizes along with DSLR Battery Holder 2 & DSLR Battery Holder 4 & AA Battery holders (with green trim) – All these are used for keeping remotes, LED torches, batteries, flashguns etc. (Andy’s fairly certain I’m pretty sure I have at least doubled the amount of Cable Management cases now
Andy also has the Mindshift Gear Filter Hive for his LEE filters (pictured below).
I love wildlife photography, birds and mammals, and I’m often found talking to animals when no one is looking! I also love Aviation photography, Cityscapes, Landscapes and a little bit of Motorcross… Basically anything that isn’t a human being!
You can see Andy’s images on his website here: www.hardpointphotography.com
AND… if you venture past the scaffolding into LCE Reading you will see some of his super shots adorning the walls of the store!
SALES ASSISTANT – MARK O’NEILL
I like photographing buildings, landscapes and weird stuff underground, usually at night…
His gear comprises of:
- 14-24mm f2.8
- 24-70mm f2.8
- 80-200mm f2.8
- 50mm f1.4
- 105mm f2 DC
Mark won the 1st International Light Painting Awards in 2013 with this image:
If you’re interested… it’s not too late to enter the 2015 International Light Painting Award – closing date is 1 August 2015.
Mark recently participated in the OPEN FOR ART 2015 event in Reading – from 3-5 July 2015. “It’s a three-day Town Centre arts festival to showcase Reading’s hidden talent and creative industries.” 29 venues in Reading town centre volunteered to host a trail of pieces from local artists – on the streets, in shop windows and disused buildings. Along with the art trail there were heritage walks, workshops and events for everyone to participate in throughout the weekend event. Perhaps this is one for your 2016 diary!
If you’d like to meet Andy, Mark and find out more about their photography passion, you can visit them at the LCE Reading store, and of course you can also get a great range of Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear from the store too!
Remember to check out the LCE Summer Specials and get the photo gear you need ahead of The Royal International Air Tattoo while you’re there…
We first met David Wren while he was working with one of our Think Tank Photo retailers, London Camera Exchange, in Guildford. We met up with him at the start of his summer tour with O’Neill Wetsuits UK & Butta as their official photographer.
“Travelling around the UK with the UK O’Neill wetsuits team and Butta for their summer tour #busvibes is great. The tour is sponsored by Olympus and we are visiting different surf spots and sponsoring surfing events across the UK throughout the summer, which is great fun!
Here, the boys from the band Sunset Sons treated us to a gig on the bus deck and we held a wicked SUP race, where the winner took home an O’Neill wetsuit.
There are six of us on the bus with all our gear, working & sleeping in close quarters! So, we have to be selective about our gear as there is not a lot of space. Everything I have with me I need, and nothing that doesn’t get used.”
Here’s David’s Camera & Video Gear which he fits in the Think Tank Photo Airport International v2 roller:
CAMERA & VIDEO & SOUND GEAR:
- Canon 5D mk3 (without grip)
- Canon 7D (without grip)
- Canon 15mm fisheye
- Tokina 11-16 f2.8
- Tamron 24-70 f2.8 VR
- Canon 50mm f1.4
- Canon 100-400mm mk1 f4.5-5.6
- Canon 430 EX II flash
- Nikon L35 film camera! with colour film: Kodak Portra 400
- Olympus TG4 Camera (Olympus are Sponsoring the O’Neill Wetsuits UK & Butta 2015 Summer tour #busvibes)
- Rode video mic pro
- Lens Pens
- Pocket Wizards mini TT1 & Flex TT5
- AA chargers
- Hahnel Giga T Pro II – Wireless Timer Remote = for time lapses & cables for this
- x8 LPE-6 batteries for Canon
- x8 AA batteries
- Flash sync cables
- x2 variable ND filters = different sizes
Here’s David’s tripod & monopod which he fits on the outside of the Think Tank Photo Airport International v2 roller:
- MM294C4 manfrotto carbon fibre monopod with RC234 head
- MT055CX PRO3 manfrotto tripod for video with 2 way video fluid head
David’s POST PRODUCTION GEAR is protected in the Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain 15 v2 laptop bag:
- iPad mini 3
- iPod shuffle
- 15” mac book pro
- iPhone 5C
- apple mouse
- x2 WD 2TP passport hard disks in hard cases
- memory card reader
- Charges for all
- Parker pen
David also uses these Think Tank Photo accessories to keep all his accessories tidy and quickly findable:
- 8AA battery holder – for x8 AA batteries
- DSLR 2 battery holder – for x2 Canon 5D/7D batteries
- Red Whips – to keep the cables tidy!
- PPR with union flag – wallet for CF cards
“Olympus are Sponsoring our summer 2015 O’Neill Wetsuits UK tour, which has given me the chance to play around with the fully waterproof & shock prove Olympus Tough TG-4. It’s remarkably good for something so small compact, with fast focusing & frame rates in the water. I can shoot in raw and 1080p HD video with the TG4 and the quality is extremely high for the sensor size, which has definitely exceeded my expectations!”
“Passenger clothing is sponsoring me and I’m enjoying getting to surf as often as possible on the tour and the picturesque sunsets from our wooden shack !!”
David has just got the Think Tank Photo Retrospective 30 canvas shoulder bag for when he needs to take a little less gear out and about with him, so we’ll see how he’s getting on with this later in the summer…
David will be on tour until 10th August – to catch up with the tour keep an eye on their facebook page:
You can find out more about O’Neill Wetsuits UK and Butta here:
You can see more about Olympus and Passenger Clothing here:
To see more of David Wren’s work follow these links to his Website and Instagram pages:
We’re bringing a little touch of the wild to the Societies’ Convention in London in January 2014 – and by spotting the animals on our safari you can be in with a chance to win fabulous prizes worth over £1200!
Six companies are stopping-off points on the safari, and on each stand you’ll find a cuddly toy animal. Note them all down and drop your entry into the box on the Folio Albums stand (K95-8) to be in with a chance to win!
Download your entry card now!
Just print it out, and bring it along with you to the show.
(We’ll have some printouts for you there as well, in case you forget!)
=== Who’s taking part, and what you can win ===
One lucky winner will bag all of these fabulous prizes, worth over £1200!
Fine art portrait and wedding albums for professional photographers handmade in the UK.
Prize: A 10″ Fine Art Folio Album
2nd Floor Foyer
Cameras built to excel in speed, precision, creativity and image quality – topped off with a retro design.
Prize: An XZ-10 compact camera
West Wing Lobby
The UK’s leading magazine for professional photographers the world over. All the latest news, reviews, tips and techniques to boost productivity and profit.
Prize: A year’s subscription to Professional Photographer
Business management software for photographers that’s really easy to use – it makes admin really simple!
Prize: A copy of Light Blue
Focused on photography: an all-in-one software solution to make your images their best.
Prize: Perfect Photo Suite 8
Quality gear for photographers – UK distributors for Think Tank Photo, FLM, Green Clean, Lightech, LumiQuest and Peak Design.
Prize: A ThinkTank Sling-O-Matic bag
The FULL Societies 2014 Convention runs from 15-20 January 2014, and the Societies TRADE SHOW takes place over 3 days, from Jan 17-19, at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, 225 Edgware Road, London, W2 1JU.
Full Convention: 15-20 January 2014
Trade Show Dates: 17-19 January 2014
Friday, 17 Jan = 10-5pm
Saturday, 18 Jan = 10-5pm
Sunday, 19 Jan = 10-4pm
The countdown is on to Europe’s biggest annual photographic Convention.
The Societies 2014 Convention runs from 15-20 January, and we’ll be exhibiting with the Societies Trade Show, over 3 days, from Friday Jan 17-19, at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, 225 Edgware Road, London, W2 1JU.
Friday, 17 Jan = 10-5pm
Saturday, 18 Jan = 10-5pm
Sunday, 19 Jan = 10-4pm
Registration for FREE ENTRY to the Trade Show has now been extended to 10 January 2014, after this the cost is £6.
Over 100 exhibitors are preparing to show the latest products and services from the photographic industry.
Phil Jones, The Societies’ CEO says, “There is no question that this show is a ‘must-do’ event for all serious photographers”
He added, “Many of the trade have negotiated special deals for the 2014 Trade Show. There will also be a range of free demonstrations from some of the key players within the industry, such as Adobe, The Flash Centre, onOne Software, Fujifilm…to name a few.
Our 2014 Convention will simply be the biggest event of its kind ever held in Europe – and our message to photographers is simple ‘Don’t miss it’.”
For more information on The Societies 2014 Convention, please visit the link below:
We will be exhibiting the brands we represent here in the UK & Ireland: