Carry the big glass in comfort with MindShift Gear’s FirstLight backpacks

The FirstLight series by MindShift Gear helps photographers transport long, heavy telephoto lenses.
The FirstLight series by MindShift Gear helps photographers transport long, heavy telephoto lenses.
Photo: MindShift Gear

The elements and rugged terrain are hard enough for any nature photographer. Add heavy equipment around the neck, shoulders and back and a challenging shoot becomes a grueling journey.

The designers at MindShift Gear, photographers and outdoor adventurers themselves, have three new backpacks designed to carry “Big Glass” lenses with relative comfort.

Irish newspaper refuses to give Taylor Swift free publicity photos

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An Irish newspaper said no thanks to signing Taylor Swift's photo agreement.

One of Ireland’s largest newspapers told readers Tuesday morning not to expect any photos of Taylor Swift performing during her two sold-out concerts in Dublin.

The Irish Times passed on photographing her shows because of a restrictive contract Swift’s people ask shooters to sign. The contract gives the photographer a “one-time-only” use on the photos yet allows Swift unlimited rights to use the images for publicity and promotion.

Such contracts by entertainment figures are nothing new, except Swift famously called out Apple for initially withholding royalties to musicians during the free three-month trial period of the new Apple Music service.

Apple Music wanted to rob artists like Taylor Swift robs photographers

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Taylor Swift criticized Apple for initially not paying artistst during the trial period for Apple Music.
Taylor Swift criticized Apple for initially not paying artistst during the trial period for Apple Music.
Photo: Wikipedia

Taylor Swift is a shrewd business woman and thought she was speaking for all the little artists when she told Apple to kiss off when it comes to featuring her album 1989 on its new music streaming service.

To not pay artists during Apple Music’s free three-month trial period is exploitive, the singer-songwriter suggested, not to mention “shocking” and “disappointing.”

So forgive music photographer Jason Sheldon if he is unable to Shake It Off and is bothered by the hypocrisy of her stance. Editorial photographers assigned to shoot her shows must sign away rights to their photos, preventing them from being paid while giving Swift unlimited use of the pictures for publicity and promotion.

Amp up your iPhone photography with this add-on

The DxO One Camera attaches to your iPhone to beef up image quality.
The DxO ONE Camera attaches to your iPhone to beef up image quality.
Photo: DxO

We rely on our iPhone for so many facets of our life, but as a camera it has become a disruptive force in the photography world. The “Shot with an iPhone 6″ advertising campaign is likely making traditional camera companies shutter – pun intended – as sales of consumer cameras continue to fall.

It’s a go-to tool for professional photographers, who have done everything from publish books with iPhone photography to shoot commercials for corporate clients. But there are limitations and sometimes it would be nice to supplement a smartphone’s camera with the punch of a DSLR camera.

DxO, the makers of sophisticated imaging software, may have the ONE camera to do this. The ONE is a palm-sized camera that plugs into your iPhone with functions and optics that have the potential to deliver greater image quality.

Camera backpacks: the smart way to carry all your gear

Camera backpacks can be pricey but it's money well spent to protect your investment in equipment.
Camera backpacks can be pricey but it's money well spent to protect your investment in equipment.
Photo: Lowepro

So your iPhone has you convinced you’re a pretty good photographer and it’s time to raise your game with a dedicated camera and all sorts of lenses. You are going to need something to sling your gear.

There are so many types of camera bags – shoulder, belt packs, roller cases – with designs tailored for various kinds of photography, shooting environments and individual preferences. The bag type that is arguably the most versatile is the camera backpack.

Backpacks are ideal when you are in transit with a lot of gear, whether you’re flying or hiking. They are also versatile to comfortably carry as you shoot, especially if you have to bring with you a laptop or change of clothes.

Three respected manufacturers have new bags to meet a spectrum of needs and demands. Think Tank, Lowepro and long-time Apple product vendor, InCase, bring to their latest lines rugged construction and intelligent storage options. Camera backpacks are one of the more pricey accessories, but it’s money well spent to protect your investment in bodies, lights and lenses.