Instead of just another HD video project clogging up his Mac, filmmaker Mike Ruocco set out to capture his cross-country road trip with something just a bit more retro: a 45-year-old Canon Auto Zoom 814 with a broken light meter and two cans of Super 8 film.
Ruocco, his wife, her sister and their dog Riley traveled across 20 states, spent time at nine national parks and then spent a week in the Adirondack Mountains, filming it all along the way.
What results is a video so warm and nostalgic that we just had to share. Check out this amazing blast of Americana below.
Travel can be a chance to practice minimalism, or an opportunity to drive yourself nuts. What am I talking about? Luggage. You can pare down your essentials to fit in a carry-on – even if you’re away for a month – or you can throw in every item of clothing and every charger you have. The second approach will result in a broken back, and you’ll still find that you left something essential at home.
Over the years, I’ve perfected my packing technique so that I only take the bare minimum. And when I say “perfected,” I mean “struggled with.” But it works for me, and the principles can be applied even if you’re the kind of person who hires a boy to carry your trunks for you when you take a cruise on the Titanic.
So here’s the Cult of Mac Guide to Traveling Light, a roundup of strategies, product recommendations and other tips to make your next trip a breeze.
Splicing a cute little animal into a photograph doesn’t take more than a few seconds for anybody with a copy of Photoshop.
But Colorado artist Janelle Pietrzak spends hours cutting light stencils with a razor blade, then uses a shoebox and long-exposure photography to bring Bambi and other cuddly creatures to life inside her home.
“If you look at my photographs there is fantasy world full of mythical creatures, floating orbs, ghosts and goddesses, all created by manipulating light,” Pietrzak tells Cult of Mac. “The catch is that I hardly use any Adobe Photoshop. What you see in the images is basically what I saw on the back of my camera.”
Go fly a kite. Marketing exec Pierre Lesage finds the practice relaxing after a busy week overseeing operations at eight hotels. It’s also perfect for shooting photos.
“Since the drones came out a few years ago, kite aerial photography lost interest for a few photographers that are just looking for photographic results,” says Lesage. “I am also looking for results but I need that poetic aspect of doing it with a kite, and as long as there is wind I never have problem with batteries.”
Quadcopters are a thrill but flying kites is the zen alternative — and the photographic results are postcard perfect. It’s a way to mix tinkering with fresh air and can be as easy as picking up a prefab rig or as complicated as diving into the world of schematics and solder.
If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly shuffling around town (or around the country) with bits. No, not those bits; you know the ones I’m talking about: pens, cables, more pens, headphones, USB sticks, pocket knives and pens. They get shoved into a small pocket in a bag, where they sit, unharmonious and disorganized, until I fumble around for them.
David and Calvin Laituri of design outfit Onehundred have a better way. The father-son team have come up with Ledr, a leather strip that organizes all that stuff and rolls it up into a compact toolkit.
You’ve probably noticed Booq’s odd penchant for naming their strange, sophisticated baggage after snakes. And if you’ve really been paying attention, you’ll have noticed variations on one species crop up over and over again: The Booq Boa.
The Boa’s DNA has mutated into a variety of different forms, all with the purpose of carrying a MacBook and associated equipment. But the newest iteration, the Boa Flow Graphite, may be the most perfect yet — especially for those of us who lug a MacBook and DSLR on adventures.
Griffin’s wired iPad keyboard at first it seems like a ridiculously tardy April Fool’s joke, or a signal that perhaps Nashville has been overcome by some bizarre warping of time; aren’t we supposed to be taking wires away instead of adding them? But under the right conditions, a wired iPad keyboard is actually a smart idea.
This time around we’re offering an iOS 7 Dev Bundle that will teach you to build and monetize your own apps for 79% off the regular price – just $79 – and a portable, lightweight Handheld Luggage Scale that keeps you from second-guessing the weight for your cargo for only $19!
“The best backpack we’ve ever made” — a heady statement from an outfit with a focus on making packs and cases to keep traveling Apple stuff safe. The Icon certainly looks impressive, with its Airflow channels and more specialized pockets than a troop of kangaroos. And at $200, it also might be the most expensive backpack the Southern California-based company has ever made.
Oh man, soon you won’t even be able to break into an old abandoned building without running into a bunch of other folks who are doing the same thing, only instead of being all cool and “urban” and fearless like you, they just got guided there by an app.
Which is my way of complaining about Kamino, an app which lets you share “Urban Hikes” (seriously) using your iPhone, and forces to use Facebook to do it.
Over at the Hotel Club, they’ve posted a fantastic interactive infographic showing the differences between traveling at the dawn of tourism — 1863 — and today, 150 years later.
But this particular section, showing how the gadgets and guides that people relied upon in the Victorian era when traveling overseas have been totally made obsolete by the iPhone, really stood out to me. We’ve previously seen how the iPhone made everything Radio Shack sold 20 years ago obsolete, but as this infographic shows, the iPhone has made centuries — not just decades — worth of gadgets obsolete. It’s one of the most important inventions ever.
Like the (now-defunct) Monster-Beats partnership, V-Moda has been a key player in convincing the casual music afficionado that walking around with goofy-looking cans on your ears was actually a fashion win rather than a faux pas. Naturally, this would have been practically impossible had V-Moda not actually spent what seems like considerable effort crafting a dynamic, sharp look for their headphones.
V-Moda’s newest set, the XS, could probably be considered the successor to their portable, supra-aural M-80s — but with folding cups that V-Moda says dramatically increase portability, and in an effort to improve comfort and aesthetics, design refinements to the headband that attempt to completely eliminate the gap between the band and the user’s head.
InRoute really does look like my new favorite journey planner. It’s a Universal map app with a whole slew of useful extras, including charts for elevation, curviness (!), wind speed, precipitation and more. It looks especially good for folks who understand that a journey and its route aren’t just about the miles.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here: When we’re in the air, we don’t give a second thought to our luggage traveling in the belly of the plane just a meter or so below us. We don’t really start thinking about our checked bags until we’re standing at the carousel, as we’re wondering if it would look more suspicious to the customs officials if we visited the bathroom before or after picking up our suitcases.
So the Calypso Tag, which lets you know that your bag is about to exit the luggage conveyor, is probably a better option than a GPS tracking tag that you can’t follow when you’re in the air anyway.
The iPhone is a great travel tool, but making your smartphone travel actually smart isn’t about packing it up with dozens of apps you never use or that won’t get you out of the plane seat next to the loo on a crowded holiday flight.
Enter Cult of Mac Magazine. In time for your holiday travels (or maybe escaping from your loved ones for some beach or ski resort time?), we sounded out dozens of road warriors to learn what they really find necessary for the daily commute or continental flight. These black tees and easy-to-launder socks of the app world, if you will, include some surprising picks, many of them free.
If your travel is mostly of the four-wheel variety, you’ll want to read what happens when reporter Alex Heath took smart-driving app Automatic for a month-long spin. (Can it reform his gas guzzling, donut-making driving style?)
In our exclusive Ask an Apple Genius column, we answer your questions about how to get your Mac repaired on the road and how to handle assistance when you live in a town without an Apple store.
You’ll also find our picks for the best in apps this week and what’s really rocking the iTunes store when it comes to books, movies and music.
Ah, the open road. Nothing like some great tunes, an agreeable companion and endless blacktop to relieve the stress after — or enjoy a little peace before — that remote Thanksgiving gathering (note that I said a companion, as in singular; if you’ve got kids, I’m guessing you’ll probably want to fly).
Before you head out, you might want to do a little planning with something like Roadtrippers, a helpful site and accompanying iOS app that can show you hip, hidden or just plain weird points of interest along your planned route.
You’ve seen IK Multimedia’s gear grace the pages of this site before — the company is at the forefront of popping out music-making electronics and software geared toward musicians. So it’s no surprise that now they’ve finally joined the increasingly crowded high-end Bluetooth speaker club, their take, the iLoud, is a reference-grade studio monitor — and as its name suggests, an apparently very loud one.
I just found out that Aviiq’s sweet portable charging station comes in a mini version, and it’s made of felt. As someone who loves felted wool so much that I have both iPad bags and slippers in the magical material, I’m stoked about this tiny portable power package.
I’m forever intrigued with Booq — a bag-maker headquartered just a stone’s throw from design-crazy Pasadena — and its maverick creations. The company’s latest is the Boa Shift backpack; while it doesn’t much that’s new, it seems to gather all their signature design elements into a single bag.
PhoneSuit’s Elite battery case crushed the field during a week-long test of battery cases for the iPhone 4 two years ago, thanks to its unmatched sleekness and, at the time, relatively large battery.
The company has finally released an iPhone 5/s version of the case, with a revised form factor but the same 2100 mAh capacity.
While other cases may have caught up in the power-per-millimeters of thickness ratio, the Elite still has a trick up its sleeve: Unlike, say, Mophie’s cases, the Elite doesn’t require the use of a headphone adapter.
The Satechi Smart Travel Router might just be the most useful travel adapter ever made. Not only can it plug into a wall socket pretty much anywhere in the world, it can also charge your iPhone and create a wireless network.
It should be apparent by now that wires are an endangered species, what with the recent explosive popularity of Bluetooth for transmission of sound and data, and the growing ability to keep everything constantly synced with the cloud.
The lone holdout restraining the iPhone from breaking free is the charging cable—but even that’s on its way out. Case in point, Buqu Tech’s Magnetyze wireless charging case for the iPhone 5 is now available.
Spinlister is like Airbnb for bikes. Instead of renting some piece-of-junk city bike for exorbitant rates while you’re on a city vacation, you can instead rent a hipstermobile from a private individual. For—it seems—equally exorbitant rates. And you can of course make some extra cash in your home town renting out your own spare steed.
The BoostTurbine 4000 sounds like something out of a surreal Bizarro world where technophiles are simultaneously Luddites.
It’s a battery brick that Eton stuck a hand crank onto; should the 4000 mAh battery ever run dry, a minute of cranking will bring an iPhone flickering back to life with enough juice for a a quick distress call or a few texts.