September Winner – October Begins

September Winner - Cameron Gardner

Another month of fantastic entries in the monthly contest series has ended and as always, the quality of entries just keeps getting better and better.  When I saw the folder of images to review and judge, I think Tracy actually heard me utter “How am I supposed to pick a winner from these?”  So, after much deliberation (I even enlisted the help of some photographer-friends to help me narrow it down), the winner has been decided.  I am pleased to announce that Cameron Gardner is the September winner! Read more

August Winner September Begins!

Metal Theme Winner

Ahhh, month-end.  Contest announcement days!  As most know, this is the time when the previous month’s winner is typically announced and the next month theme is opened up for entries.  Today is no exception… Read more

Hardware Review: Rapid R Strap

I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to talk about my Rapid R Strap.  This is a very cool camera strap developed by the folks over at Black Rapid.  I had been wanting one for a while, and made it known to everyone prior to the holidays over a year ago (think pre-Christmas 2008).  Thankfully, my wife saw the writing on the wall, and I ended up with one on Christmas Day!

Black Rapid R Strap (RS-5)

So, let me tell you what makes this camera strap unique.  First off, it’s unique design has a built in “stop” so that you just let your camera slide down to that point and it just hangs there, conveniently out of the way, but immediately accessible when you want to bring it up for capturing a shot.  This strap is the perfect accessory for going on photo walks whether in an urban environment, wildlife, or other setting.  The fact that your camera is hanging out of the way makes it much easier to do things like climb rock walls, interact with others (getting signed model releases, passing out business cards, etc.), or anything else that you may need both your hands for.

Another nice feature set on this is that the front of the strap has a Velcro section where you can throw a cell phone in (probably not an iPhone though), and a zipper section where you can store things like spare memory cards, business cards, and other accessory items (I was able to fit a spare battery in there…)

There was an awkward adjustment for just a little bit, getting used to a camera not only dangling from this strap, but also dangling upsidedown!  It was a very short adjustment though, and I quickly adapted to the nature of how it works.  What was super cool for my setup is that I was able to utilize my quick release place as the “hook” for the clip, so if I wanted to quickly go from shooting on the go, to setting it in a tripod, it was simply a matter of releasing the clip, mounting in the tripod and lining up the shot.

These straps come in a variety of sizes, with one even offering dual straps for a two-camera setup (I know a few guys that do this, with one body holding a long lens and the other holding a wide angle…ready for anything!).  The size I ended up getting was the RS-5 (medium), and it fit my 6’1″ just about perfectly.  Choose the option that works best for your frame and gear setup, but this is definitely a purchase worth getting, especially if you go on a lot of photo walks.

Got any of your own gear predilections or preferences?  Want me to review something you’ve not seen here yet?  Do you own a Rapid R Strap?  Like it, love it or hate it?  Sound off with your own thoughts in the comments.  In the meantime, keep on shooting as we have another contest underway for a free 16×20 canvas print of any picture you have in your gallery from the talented Rich Charpentier!  Check out his printing services and you’ll be glad you did!  The contest page on Flickr is here, and is also linked in the content menus at the top of every page (the theme this month is Height).  Happy shooting and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!