I feel like I hit the road running this year. A short video selection of my 2020 works to date. The year started really well and then we all had the COVID-19 lockdown and it brought things to an abrupt halt but I’ve now updated the video with some of my latest post-lockdown works.
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I’ve taken delivery of my walking stick/monopod and fitted it with one of my small SLIK ball heads with quick release plate. Height-wise it seems pretty good for me. I set the top adjustable section to 1.3 M mark (max. 1.4 M) with the bottom section fully retracted which seems about right for my height of approx. 5Ft 8 Ins. With both top and bottom sections fully extended it more or less extends the total length of the stick with a camera attached to my eye level. The two section are locked/unlocked with a simple twist-lock like some tripod legs. The top section also has a twist locking adjustment which allows the top camera mount to be rotated 90 degrees to vertical. There is also an anti-shock spring fitted in the middle to cushion it when walking and the rubber ferrule at the bottom pulls of to reveal a ground spike. As I can’t conceive when I’d need this I wound some insulation tape around it and refitted it to ensure an even tighter fit.. As we’re currently being somewhat battered by Storm Barra with some high winds and heavy rain I’m not in the mood for trying it outside today but I will post when I have had the chance to do so. I’m hoping that it proves useful primarily as a walking aid but also occasionally as a monopod. Not bad value for £14 with free delivery, some quick pics.
As I usually do at this time of year I try and find a shot from each month of the year. It’s been a strange year, a lot of expense and things to do for our new home and some ongoing health issues. It’s seems like it’s only really been half-a year as we didn’t come out of lock down till well after last Christmas and things didn’t return to something approaching normal until well into the the Summer. Nether-the-less I have managed to visit some interesting local locations such as Chichester, Emsworth, Bosham, Worthing, Littlehampton, Shoreham-By-Sea, Amberley, Storrington, Arundel and Hayling Island as well of course my frequent visits into my hometown of Bognor Regis. So, less talk, more pictures. 🙂
January, Bognor Regis.
February, more Bognor as I couldn’t get anywhere else 🙂
March, Chichester Canal
May, Fair, Bognor Regis
November, back to Worthing
December, Chichester (although the month is still young and I might find a better shot)
Hope you enjoyed the pictures, thanks, as always for your continued support and encouragement throughout what has been a difficult and sometimes uninspiring year. You can always follow my work on my Flickr and 500PX pages.
I recently took delivery of a few of these and I’ve popped one in each of my camera bags and my tech. pouch an interesting and refillable alternative to those small silica gel sachets. They’re supposed to change colour when they’ve absorbed moisture.
My leg and hip pains are sadly getting very bad now and I’ve ordered a walking stick which doubles as a monopod which I’ll report back on when I’ve had a chance to try it out. I don’t use monopods very much but I figured that if I had to have a stick then it might as well have a dual use. Not designed for heavy cameras and lenses but I should be okay with my lightweight micro four thirds gear, my TG-5, a small bridge camera or a point-and-shoot type camera. The top unscrews to reveal a tripod bush and I might fit one of my small SLIK ball heads with quick release plate. I’m determined not to let my physical problems stop me from getting out and doing what I love the best.
Some while back I found this old photograph of my late maternal grandmother (left of center dressed in white) working in a spark plug factory circa 1920/30’s. Look at the age of the boys especially the boy in the bottom left and how she’s the only woman in the photo.
She was an amazing woman, born just before the turn of the century in 1899, the first woman in the UK to hold a motorcycle driver’s license and she had a very hard working life and lived through two world wars but was always very cheerful a very “strong” and very kind woman. In the middle of the “Blitz” in 1940 her and her husband sold their house in the country and moved back in to London so that she could nurse her sister who was very ill and dying of cancer and she was a second mother to her sister’s children.
Later in life she battled spinal problems caused by lifting heavy cauldrons in a school canteen where she worked and had to wear a heavy boned surgical corset, cancer and a heart condition, any one of which is bad enough, but I never saw her let her health issues get her down, she was a strong woman.
A truly remarkable, caring and courageous woman of whom I shall always be incredibly proud.
Below, two shots of the rain cover fitted to my largest camera, my weather-sealed OM-D E-M1 with Lumix 12-60 mm lens, Cokin adapter ring and P series filter holder with modular hood. I removed the holder with hood attached, used the draw cord to tighten lens-side of the adapter ring and then refitted the hood. As it accommodates this combination then it will also accommodate my smaller PEN and OM-D camera bodies with my most favored day-to-day lenses.
I picked one of these up, it seems quite good. For some time I’ve been looking for a small sized rain cover for my Micro Four Thirds cameras. All the ones that I’ve seen and a couple that I have, are by comparison, quite massive and perhaps better suited for a larger camera and lens setup on a tripod. There’s a large zip running the length of the bottom to insert the camera, two sleeves, a generous size transparent plastic panel and it fastens to the lens hood with a stiffened detachable collar which can be attached by a wrap-around velcro strap and another draw cord. It scrunches up pretty small into one of my waterproof pouches and is very light. It’s quite quick and easy to fit, I’m not sure if I’d ever do up the draw cords on the sleeves though, too much hastle and how exactly does one do up the other one with one hand already in the cover?, a job for the late Houdini perhaps. 🙂 One could leave off the collar and just use the draw cord to tighten around the lens hood as a matter of choice, depends on the size of the lens and hood I guess.
I think that they’ve been around for some time and were made by Kata and badged by Manfrotto. They seem a bit hard to get hold off but I found it on E-Bay. I believe that they also did larger sizes but this model is a good size for my gear, not perfect but a lot better fit than my previous efforts. It comes, like my other Manfrotto products, with a 5 year warranty if one registers it on their website.
To be clear, I find all rain covers to be a pain in the posterior to use but, as I was explaining to a friend, there’s nothing more frustrating than, when out travelling especially abroad and, like as not, you’ve paid a lot of money to get there and it rains heavily as has happened to me quite a few times and not being able to take photos and this is so small and light that one doesn’t know that one’s got it in one’s bag or pocket. As the old saying goes “the best camera is the one that you’ve got with you” the same is true of a camera rain cover. You may not need it that often but, when you do, you’ll be more than glad that you’ve got it with you.