These road-trippers logged more than 10,000 miles and captured it all on Super 8

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Screenshot courtesy Element.ly
Screenshot courtesy Element.ly

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.

The Cult of Mac Guide to Traveling Light

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Everything for a couple weeks away, including transport.
Everything for a couple weeks away, including transport. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

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.

Analog photo technique brings Bambi to life

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Always up to no good!
Always up to no good!

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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.”

Kites trump drones for aerial-photography bliss

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Fakarava is the second largest Atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago, an hours flight North Est of Tahiti. Population of 473 and only one hotel the Maitai Dream. The french painter Matisse was inspired by Fakarava in 1932 when he discovered the incredible palette of "blues".

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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.

Gadget Watch: Planes with iPad holders, bike-chain keychains and a $340 tote bag

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Braven makes some of my favorite Bluetooth speakers, and the Mira looks like another winner – 10-hour battery, built-in speakerphone, proper control buttons for play/pause and volume, and splashproof. But the really neat part is the fold-out hook for hanging it up in kitchens, bathroom, gardens and workshops. The hook also doubles as a kickstand for safer spaces. $99

Braven makes some of my favorite Bluetooth speakers, and the Mira looks like another winner – 10-hour battery, built-in speakerphone, proper control buttons for play/pause and volume, and splashproof. But the really neat part is the fold-out hook for hanging it up in kitchens, bathroom, gardens and workshops. The hook also doubles as a kickstand for safer spaces. $99


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Ledr is sort of a leather fruit roll up to hold your longish, smallish equipment

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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.

Booq’s new Boa Flow Graphite looks like a bag that might finally carry everything, anywhere

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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.

Incase Calls Their New Icon ‘The Best Backpack We’ve Ever Made’

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“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.