Got New Gear?

Holding an SLR

So, the presents have been opened, the lunch has been gobbled down, and the kids over-stimulation has sent them into a frenzy of running around outside.  Now what?  Well, if you’re here, it’s likely because you got some new gear for Christmas.  So, first off, congratulations on the new gear – I am sure that on some level, I’ll be green with envy.

The good news is that learning all about your new gear is all right here!  Because regardless of gear, some techniques work across platforms and are part of the “timeless technique” of the field.  One of the most basic of these is learning how to hold your gear properly.  This is one of those things that often isn’t covered in manuals, but if you stopped in here, you’re just in time to check out the videos I’ve prepared just for this purpose.  Check out how to hold a Point and Shoot, iPhone, or SLR camera below:

Point and Shoot Technique:

iPhone (or any smart phone):


How to Hold Your SLR

Holding an SLR

As you can tell from the videos and articles, this is not just about Canon gear.  Anyone with any gear can improve their craft with sound technique and practice.  So, as we move toward 2013, keep this in mind.  More tk, and enjoy the holiday!

What Would You Do?

Bogen/Manfrotto Tripod

Bogen/Manfrotto Tripod

When traveling recently, I decided to take along my tripod, mount, and video camera to record the training trip (sort of a milestone goal, so it had to be done at some point).  That means on the trip out, I had three items:

  1. Laptop bag
  2. Carry-on bag
  3. Tripod (in its own tripod bag

The gate agent noticed I had the tripod with me and suggested I gate check it as the flight was nearly full and there might not be room for it in the overhead.  Okay, fine.  On the return trip, the gate agent told me I was over the two-bag limit and one would have to be checked to my final destination.  My understanding had always been that tripod bags are not counted against the two-bag limit, but whatever.

Then I was informed that my suitcase would not fit in the overhead bin, and I would have to gate-check that as well.  So now I am going from three bags down to two, and finally one bag in flight.  Huh?  Well, no worries, it’s a non-stop direct flight, what can happen?

On arrival, I get my gate checked suitcase, and mosey down to baggage claim.  After waiting for about an hour in case it got missed in the initial sweep, realized that it either never got taken off and took off for the next destination, or someone forgot to enter it into the belly of the plane and my trusty tripod was still in Kentucky.  So, I head over to the claim counter.  They said it could take up to five days.  If not found in 5 days, I can submit a claim for a replacement.

Assuming the tripod is not found, I need to get a new one, and it will obviously be covered by United.  I have a couple options here:

  1. Give an estimated value for the tripod, ball head, and umbrella, get a check from them and go shopping
  2. Go find the closest make/model, buy it and send them the receipt? (They don’t make my particular model anymore)

What would you do?

My other concern is over the inconsistent policies applied…is that worth writing to UA about to let them know?  I obviously will be compensated if the tripod is lost, so not sure I am really “harmed” here or that it’s worth even raising a fuss about it.  In the past my knee-jerk has been to write and vent, but anymore (maybe because I am getting older) it seems like it’s hardly worth the effort.

What would you do?