Jobu Design BWG-Pro Gimbal Head Review

March 19th, 2010 by Joe McCabe

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Introduction

I was recently given the opportunity test and review the Jobu BWG-Pro gimbal head.  Outdoor Photo Gear arranged to have Jobu Design send a BWG-Pro my way so that I could test it out, write a review for OPG and provide feedback to Jobu Design.  All-in-all, I was very impressed with the BWG-Pro’s design, construction and operation.

Background

I am a Juneau, Alaska based photographer who shoots everything from still life to landscapes to wildlife.  I use Canon DSLRs and own a host of lenses, including a Canon 500mm f/4 IS.  To date, when using my 500mm, I’ve been using a Wimberley Sidekick mounted on a ballhead (currently the RRS BH-55) all atop an old but sturdy Gitzo 1345.  I should note that until spending time with the BWG-Pro, I hadn’t really tested any other full gimbal head to any great degree.  I had always felt the ballhead/Sidekick combination was adequate for my needs and hadn’t been convinced otherwise when given the occasional opportunity to briefly borrow or try full gimbal heads.  My tests of the BWG-Pro were my first chance to really put a full gimbal head through its paces and get comfortable with the "full gimbal way of life". 

Think Tank Photo Airport TakeOff Review

March 18th, 2010 by Rob Knight

I have an old Samsonite roll-aboard suitcase that I put a padded divider set in to hold camera gear. The wheels are terrible, the handle is rickety and it tips over when it’s loaded. I was preparing to lead a workshop in Costa Rica recently and I…

Spring Is Coming–Beat The Winter Doldrums

March 15th, 2010 by Mike Moats

This is the time of year I get tired of winter up north here in Michigan and have to get creative to shoot. The University of Michigan runs a Botanical garden so I will go there some days, or I shoot some stuff indoors at home like feathers, agate slab stones, flowers, sea shells, butterfly mounts, leaves I've dried from the fall, etc.

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Gerbera Flowers shot with Tamrom 60mm macro

Un-clutter your Library with Lightroom’s Stacks

March 12th, 2010 by Rob Knight

 

Jekyll Island, GA. 3-shot HDR processed in Photomatix Pro, Color effects Pro and Silver Effects Pro.

 

Using Stacks in Lightroom is a convenient way to group similar photos together in grid view and the filmstrip. This is especially helpful if you regularly end up with multiple images of the same subject. You may have multiple shots of the same pose from a portrait session, a string of images from shooting wildlife, or you can even group your bracketed shots together for your HDR work. Stacks are also a good way to manage virtual copies, or different treatments of the same image.

Set-up Heaven in South Texas

February 26th, 2010 by Alan Murphy

Chris and I are scouting new locations for future workshops on our way to Roma and boy, did we find a gem.
I went to this property last month, and we wanted to check it out again.

Here is a post I did after my last visit.

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The owners of this property have been putting out fruit every morning for years, and at about 7 am each morning like clockwork, the birds arrive.  There were over 30 Kiskadees flying in to pick up grapes, along with three Altimira Orioles fighting over oranges, and at least half a dozen Golden-fronted Woodpeckers.  About a dozen Orange-crowned Warblers would feed on the suet. Mockingbirds would land and grab berries, then fight for positions on my perches.  On one day, there were four rare Clay-colored Thrushes coming to feed on the grapes.

Make the most of your next photography workshop

February 25th, 2010 by Rob Knight

You never know what can happen at a photography workshop. last April I went to St Augustine, Florida to attend a workshop taught by Rick Sammon. Before I left, I joked with my wife that Rick and I would hit it off and be good friends.
I won a contest the first day by getting a shot of a galloping horse with all four hooves off of the ground. The next day I volunteered to help teach Lightroom and HDR techniques, and Rick used my HDR images as examples for the class.
I had a great time, and Rick and I actually did hit it off.

gallop

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your next photography workshop.

Bad Weather Is Not The Enemy

February 23rd, 2010 by Theodore Stark

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Think back to a recent time when the weather was nice and you were in a pleasant park area. The sun was out, the clouds were fluffy, and the birds were singing (a rainbow and some happy skipping may have been involved too but we won't go there…). During this joyous day, recall how many people you saw making photographs. My guess would be quite a few. In general, people like making images when the weather is nice. Yet, when the weather becomes inclement, we tend to stay inside, and far fewer photographs are made.
 
The world doesn't stop when the weather is bad. As photographers, neither should we.

Using a Water Drip to Attract Birds

February 22nd, 2010 by Alan Murphy

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Since Chris Klapheke and I are heading down to Roma, Texas for one of my workshops, I thought it would be good time to post a few tips on using water drips to attract birds.  In Roma, we put a water feature in front of every blind.  Due to the dry climate and the sound of the water dripping, we get lots of different drinkers and bathers.

Basalt, an affordable alternative to Carbon Fiber for tripods

February 18th, 2010 by Juan A. Pons

I have been a user of Gitzo tripods for many many years, and have been very fond of their carbon fiber models.

Carbon fiber is the preferred material to use for making durable yet lightweight tripods, however, they are typically very expensive. A few years ago Gitzo developed a new material that offers many of the same advantages of carbon fiber, but at a fraction of the cost.

Check out this video where I explain a bit about the tripods that I am using now made from Basalt, and why I now prefer them over the carbon fiber models.

You can see Gitzo's new line of basalt tripods in the store here:  Gitzo Basalt

Get Out of the Car

February 17th, 2010 by Alan Murphy

I've shot a lot of images from my car over the years, but I have to say that I really don't care for it. Yes, it’s nice that you can drive around and sneak up on your subject. Your camera is supported by the car, so you don’t have to carry your gear over your shoulder. You are sitting in a nice leather chair, with maybe a little snack sitting next to the soft drink in the cup holder.

But for me, it totally limits my style of photography. My camera is five feet off the ground and I have limited background options.  I can’t get closer that the car can be parked. This was the situation when I tried to photograph a Long-billed Curlew in a field next to a road. The bird was used to traffic so I felt confident that I could drive up as close as the road would permit. I waited untill the evening so the sun would be behind my back (or the back of the car), but when I pulled up, the sun was behind clouds. I fired off a few frames and got the following image.

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Nothing too wrong with the image. The bird is nice and sharp. The head angle is good with the bird making eye contact.