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Photography, Adventure, Gear and other Musings

Other Musings

Am I in Heaven?

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Spring is in the air and I can’t wait for baseball to start.  Only a few weeks until we hear, “Play Ball!”  It’s been a long winter and the wait for warmer weather, spring time passions, and long summer nights are upon us.  We can put winter behind us now as we embrace the new season.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby

IMG_1541

Canon T4i | Tamron 10-24mm | ISO 100 | 1/100″ @ f/8 | RAW | Processed in LR4

Written by Chris

March 19th, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Gear Review: Lance Straps

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photo 1-3

I don’t write many gear reviews, but after a long hike today I was inspired to write one.  I have been impressed with my Lance camera strap since the day I received it in the mail.  I first learned about Lance strap from Giulio Sciorio (+Giulio Sciorio) who recommended the camera strap on his website Small Camera Big Picture.  Giulio called it the perfect strap and his review is worth a read.  I immediately liked the look of the Lance strap; I have never been a fan of the wide camera straps that typically come with DSLRs.  I find the traditional kit straps uncomfortable, ugly, and hard to adjust.  I often would find myself at the end of a long day of shooting with neck burns from the kit strap.  After almost a year of living with a couple of Lance straps, I have come to appreciate the construction, ease of use and the comfort of the Lance strap.

photo 3-3Good Construction
The Lance strap website describes there product as, “…The premium polyester cords are resistant to water, sunlight, stress, fraying and are odorless when used for long periods of time. They are spliced for superior durability, ensuring that the camera gear will be well-secured. The rubber rings, not only give a unique and stylish look to the straps, they also ensure that the spliced cords are well locked into place.”

The Lance strap is made from great materials.  The strap is made from the same polyester cord that climbers use to hang from the side of a cliff. So if the cord can hold a 150 pound person in mid air, it should be able to hold my camera fairly well.  I did have one concern about the materials when my straps arrived.  The strap connects to the camera with just a thin string with a plastic clip.  However, after a lot of use, these thin strings have proved to be very durable and show no sign of wear.  Lance strap has conducted several durability tests on their products and have posted the results with some really interesting pictures on their website (http://lancecamerastraps.com/durability-test/)

Easy to adjust and remove
photo 2-3I find most conventional camera straps difficult to adjust.  Not with the Lance strap, it’s as easy as moving two rubber bands and sliding the ropes to the desired length.  I wear my camera strap a little long so it hangs at my hip, with the strap resting crossing my chest.  This allows me to grab my camera easily without adjusting the strap.  The polyester material for the strap to slides easily across my body.  The Lance straps can also be removed form the camera very easily by squeezing the clips to release the strap.

Looks good and comfortable
I really like the look of the Lance Strap.   Simple and very comfortable, the the straps come in a variety of colors.  The ability to customize the color combination is what sets Lance straps apart from similar products.  And the comfort is is tremendous.  After wearing my camera all day, I never have neck burns from my Lance strap, which I would normally get from my old camera straps.

I bought two Lance Straps almost a year ago, a neck strap and a wrist strap, and I could not be any happier.  The neck strap is great when I’m out on the trail and the wrist strap come in handy when I just have a camera and on the street.  If you have not bought a Lance strap yet, go buy one now and you won’t regret it.

Authors Note:  I am in no way sponsored by Lance Strap, nor have been compensated in any form.  I paid full price for my Lance Straps, and I am entirely independent of the company.

Website: http://lancecamerastraps.com/ 
Cost: $40 – $75 for neck strap, $24 – $35 for a wrist strap
Free shipping over $30
Made in the good ol’ US of A

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.4
  • Focal length: 4.28mm
  • ISO: 64
  • Shutter speed: 1/20s

Written by Chris

December 2nd, 2013 at 9:00 am

Automate Social Media

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nextscriptsI spend a lot of time working the social media outlets making sure my photos reach the largest audience possible.  According to my wife, I am a social media savant and need to do more constructive (in her opinion) activities with my time.  Time is precious, so whatever I can do to streamline my time on social media, thus granting more time to photo taking, I would pay precious money for.  So, ensuring that my accounts with Twitter, Google+, FaceBook, Pintrest, etc have my current content, I use a plugin from NextScripts for my self-hosted WordPress blog called Social Networks Auto Poster (SNAP).  This tool is very useful, it allows you to publish content straight from your blog to several social media outlets at one time.  So I write one post, and SNAP automates the rest. There are two versions, one free, the other version can be bought for $50.  The pay version is worth the cost, as it allows for posting to multiple accounts and automates posting to Google+ and Pintrest.  I use SNAP as part of my standard posting workflow and just by ticking a box, I can post to my FaceBook page, Google+ forum, Twitter, etc.  There are some other great features that I will blog about more later.

NOTE: I am not endorsed, compensated, or have any business relationship with NextScripts.  I find their product very useful and a time savings.  I know my fellow bloggers are busy, so any time I can give help I share what I hope is worthwhile information.

 

Written by Chris

August 20th, 2013 at 7:00 am

Beauty

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The Daily Telegraph online listed the The Jaguar E-Type as one of the world’s “100 most beautiful cars” of all time.

jaguar e type

Canon T4i | Canon 50mm | ISO 100 | 1/4000″ @ f/1.8 | Exposure bian -1 | Processed in LR4

Written by Chris

August 13th, 2013 at 7:00 am

Posted in Other Musings

Life On Mars

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A little fun taking pictures in the dark with a black light shining on Florissant paint. I took this at a place called WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, TN.  What is WonderWorks?  Only a place to have a lot of fun while learning about science; definitely worth a visit if you see an upside down building on the side of the highway.

No processing with this image, it’s straight out of the camera

Life on Mars

Canon T4i | Canon 50mm | 0,4″ @ f/5 | ISO6400 | No-Processing

Written by Chris

July 10th, 2013 at 7:00 am

Posted in Other Musings

Happy Fourth of July!

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Fireworks fourth of july

Canon T4i | Canon 50mm | 1.6″ @ f/1.8 | ISO1600 | Processed in LR4

Written by Chris

July 5th, 2013 at 10:54 am

Posted in Other Musings

Man’s Search For Meaning

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By Viktor E. Frankl

Man’s Search for Meaning

Viktor Frankl was a world renowned phycologist and holocaust survivor.  He witnessed first hand the professional and personal evil’s that man is capable of.  Through it all however, Frankl managed to survive and test his theories in the death camps of Nazi Germany.  Frankl, the father of Logotherapy, asks the question “what is the meaning of life?”  His hypothesis is that that the meaning of life is not some abstract idea, but a very personal and ever changing meaning for us all.

You can view this book’s Amazon detail page here.

Written by Chris

August 9th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

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Book Review of The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

By Eric Greitens

The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

Rating: 10

A must read, especially if you are starting your life or trying to figure out what your next steps are. This book demonstrates leadership and service beyond yourself through the experiences of Eric Greitens; a young humanitarian, turned Rhodes Scholar, turned US Navy SEAL. One of the best books I have read!

From the publisher:

“Meet my hero—Eric Greitens. His life and this book remind us that America remains the land of the brave and generous.” — Tom Brokaw

Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference, so he traveled to the world’s trouble spots to work in refugee camps and serve the sick and the poor. Yet when innocent civilians were threatened with harm, there was nothing he could do but step in afterward and try to ease the suffering. In studying humanitarianism, he realized a fundamental truth: when an army invades, the weak need protection. So he joined the Navy SEALs and became one of the world’s elite warriors.

Greitens led his men through the unforgettable soul-testing of SEAL training and went on to deployments in Kenya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where he faced harrowing encounters and brutal attacks. Yet even in the deadliest combat situations, the lessons of his humanitarian work bore fruit. At the heart of this powerful story lies a paradox: sometimes you have to be strong to do good, but you also have to do good to be strong. The heart and the fist together are more powerful than either one alone.

“If you’re restless or itching for some calling you can’t name, read this book. Give it to your son and daughter. The Heart and the Fist epitomizes — as does Mr. Greitens’s life, present and future — all that is best in this country, and what we need desperately right now.” — Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire

“Vivid and compelling . . . a great read.” — Washington Times

A Hudson Booksellers Top Ten Nonfiction Book of the Year

You can view this book’s Amazon detail page here.

Written by Chris

July 30th, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Vision

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My wife pushed me for years to come up with a vision statement for our family; to be honest, I thought the idea was kind of dumb.  Why do we need a vision statement?  I’m the head of the household- I sooooo got this!  Then I started to think about it, I really had no plan for our family.  I was willing to let time and circumstances lead our family, instead of being intentional and having a direction.  We plan all the time in work life, to reach company and personal goals.  So why not for our family?

A vision for your family is not a plan for what the world would think of today as success.  It’s to give you direction on guiding your family, raising your kids in the ways of the Lord and encouraging their bent.  I can’t dictate what my children will be when they grow up, but I can equip them with the needed tools to be successful and to leave the nest with Christ in their hearts.  If my kids leave the house with that, then I have been successful.

Here is the Gent Family Vision:

  • Love our God with all our mind, body and soul (Mark 12:30)
  • Love others as ourselves (Mark 12:31)
  • Serve others (John 13:1-17)
  • If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.  We will work as if it is for the Lord.  (Colossians 3:22-24)
  • Be the difference in the world (Philippians 2:15)
  • Be accountable for you actions (Ephesians 6:12)
  • Be humble, be grateful and be prayerful

This may or may not work for your family, but I strongly encourage you as a father to have a plan for you family.  Lead with a game plan and don’t make it up as you go along.

Written by Chris

July 27th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Book Review: Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II

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You may have heard it said, “leaders are readers”.  Reading really exercises the brain, and I strongly encourage you take up the habit.  As part of my blog, I will start writing reviews about books I have read in hopes of encouraging you to either read more or take up the habit.

By Arthur Herman

Rating: 10

A fantastic account of the military build up prior and during World War II. If you are history buff, this is a most read. The book offers a fantastic telling of the history of the war buildup as it happened and not give a New Deal revisionist account. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it as a Dude summer read.

 

Written by Chris

July 27th, 2012 at 4:22 pm