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Think Tank Photo Bags (after the honeymoon)

Photographers have a hard time moving from equipment that they know, even bags for carrying photographic equipment can be a very hard decision unless you have the time to invest in getting a couple trying them out and then sending them back, or a nice big photo retailer that allows you to try out a wide selection in the store before you buy. I don’t really have either of those options as I wanted the bags that arrived to be the bags that I kept so ensued literally months of research to ensure that I came home with the bags that I needed/wanted to use going forward.

The bag being replaced was a Lowpro Toploader 75 bag which had served me for many years actually, until the zipper broke and it became nearly impossible to get the camera out quickly and stowed quickly often leaving the top flap open with the camera exposed for all to see. I’d buy from them again but wanted to try something new that left me in charge of my equipment in a different way also keeping my gear safe.

The biggest requirement that I had was one determined by my health, I needed a camera storage system that left the camera weight not on my shoulders. I have been suffering for years now from pain associated with how I hold my shoulders while at work and on the side lines of sporting events and while photographing weddings. A person’s shoulders should be allowed to relax, even while photographing events and I believe that I have now achieved that.

Thinktank photo bags has allowed me to design a photo bag storage system that brings with me the essential pieces of gear that I feel I need while keeping it protected and it’s weight not resting on my shoulders. I ended up purchasing Modular Set Component System which really is nearly everything that you could ever need or want so far as bags and holsters for your camera gear. After a couple of weddings and other events I can say that each portion of the set has it’s uses, I have used each portion for different purposes at different events. Don’t forget to get a belt to put the Modular Set Component System on, I purchased the Pro Speed Belt which I believe is why I continue to like the system so much, very comfortable. Originally I thought that I would really only want one setup and configuration and that hasn’t remained true.

Also wanting a bag to carry my camera when I’m not on the job I purchased Digital Holster 30 v 2.0 I don’t know what is version 2.0 about the bag but I can say that I have barely used it since getting the belt pack as well. The digital holster has it’s place in the camera bag arsenal but has some downfalls that I would also like to discuss. For one there simply isn’t enough space in this one bag for the standard objects that I would want to carry. It would take an additional item strapped onto the bag to make it functional. While traveling I like to keep with me one camera and one lens, this isn’t a problem in the Digital Holster. The things that I can’t keep with me in the digital holster include: filters, extra media, extra batteries are almost completely out of the question.

All in all I believe that the bags have been a wonderful change of pace from the bag what was being replaced but it hasn’t worked out exactly how I had planned it, there are many bag manufacturers out there and though many of them could have done the job but Think Tank was my choice and will remain with me for quite some time.

Some Redemption

After taking quite a photograph of Deene Souza, working with her at a wedding conducted right before a Visalia Rawhide game¬† on home plate. I decided this last Friday night that I had to redeem myself with a photograph of Deene, not hot and worn out by the day’s events.

Hopefully now she will forgive me for the terrible photograph that I had previously taken of her.

Kane Wedding, Paso Robles, California

Bird and Davis were married on Friday, July 09, 2010 in a ceremony starting at just the right time, the mid-day heat had just broken in Paso Robles, California as their wedding started. Everything came together beautifully with the help of Vina Robles Winery and their beautiful grounds and the correctly chosen accents. The view from facility and their grounds is nothing but the golden rolling hills of California topped with the green patterns of rolling vineyards, a beautiful location for celebrating the start of a life together for Bird and Davis both.

Bird had a hard time allowing me to photograph her wedding as I am her brother and she really wanted me to enjoy their wedding, but realized that I would enjoy the wedding best through the viewfinder of my camera and every photo captured of their big day.

Location: Vina Robles Winery, Paso Robles, California http://www.vinarobles.com/

Florist: Bloom and Grow http://www.bloomngrow.com

Wedding Cake: Two Little Birds Bakery http://www.twolittlebirdsbakery.com

Photography: Kevin Ford http://kjfphoto.com

CVC Homecoming King and Queen

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Congratulations to Kylee and Jacob on their crowning as homecoming king and queen this year at Central Valley Christian. Photographs of the Homecoming event during half-time at the CVC vs. Coalinga game can be found at my prints online site.

This portion of the evening was also photographed by visalia photographers Forrest Cavale and Zach Niles of Third Element Studio’s

CVC Cavalier Football vs. Coalinga Horned Toads

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Soliciting the assistance Visalia Photographers of Forrest Cavale and Zach Niles of Third Element Studio’s this weeks football game had the coverage of 3 photographers with 5 camera’s total. As result of this additional coverage their are many many more photographs for you to look through, I hope that you are able to find a good photograph of your player. Additionally there are many more photographs of the opposing Horned Toads for those interested in those photographs.

It seems as though the football season has just started and already we have landed on Homecoming weekend. People came from great distances to cheer on their alma mater in their first real football game of the season. Visalia’s Central Valley Christian High played the Coalinga Horned Toads with fierce determination in hopes of winning both Junior Varsity and Varsity games of the evening.

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Junior Varsity, playing hard, was able to keep the game to an even tie against the JV Horned toads, with a couple of good drives that could have leaned in the favor of the Cavalier’s.

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CVC’s Varsity team came on the field strong fighting all the Horned toads could through at them.

Davis and Bird

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Several weeks ago now, I had the opportunity to take a quick trip from Visalia out to Hanford and take photographs of my sister and her boyfriend in Hanford’s historic downtown. The shoot was a quick one, both in planning and execution due to the fact that he is a Navy pilot and isn’t always certain about the times that he is going to have off.

Don’t let the extreme heat of the central valley summers keep you from having good photographs. This shoot took only 30 minutes due to the extreme heat of the day, over 100 degrees on any day anywhere is simply hot. Remember fall is right around the corner and the tree’s will make a wonderful backdrop for portraits.

Kevin Ford Photography Now on Facebook

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Kevin Ford Photography now has a page on facebook, though it really mirrors what is kept here on my site I thought those of you who really enjoy facebook may want to follow me there. I can be found by searching Kevin Ford Photography or you can click here. I look forward to seeing you there.

Vacation Preview

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I am currently on vacation and wanted to share some of the photographs that I have taken during our time away from home. Their are many more photographs on their way.

Portrait in a Bottle

It Hurts

Looking through some of my old work I ran across these photographs taken at the conclusion of 2005 that I thought that people may like having the chance to see. Please enjoy the video and the individual photographs. The point of this project was to emphasize the business of life and how labels get applied to people and how there are so many things that bring us pain every day.

The choir singing in the movie is Visalia’s very own Mt. Whitney Pioneer Choir of which I was apart from Fall 1995 through Spring 1999 at that time under the direction of Dan Jackson.

The Traveling Photographer

Unlike traveling with children on the airplane traveling with camera gear is much more easy than even I thought that it would be. Even with the size of my collection of equipment and it’s weight traveling to Oregon for the weekend has been a breeze and I would expect the same on any other travels, no matter the distance. I in fact think that my camera equipment travels better than I do as a six foot plus body really isn’t meant to be in the poorly designed plane seats.

Understanding the rules and regulations of travel with anything is key to traveling well. Pelican and other hard case makers understand the need for professionals of all types to travel with their gear, keep it safe, and arrive with it in hand. To that end Pelican has created a case, with wheels, that is the maximum size that most, and I have to emphasize MOST, airlines will except while traveling. Always check with the airline that you are going to be traveling with to ensure that your method of packing will comply with their regulations. I have linked some regulations pertaining to flying with gear below.

Going anywhere with camera equipment is a balancing game of wants versus needs to capture the experience, if you’re going to the mountains to photograph the tree’s you probably won’t be needing a telephoto lens unless you want just the tops or plan on shooting from one mountain to another. Likewise if you are going out to shoot wild life you won’t need to take your fisheye lens, unless you are out to photograph macro’s of some of the smaller biology in the forest. Take into account anything that could happen where you are going as well, will you be on a boat and will your camera float, or will you be dust storms, sand, or extreme heat. Under each condition your gear will take on different shapes and may have different limitations.

Often as photographers, hobbyist or even professionals at times, we will arrive at a location not knowing what would be best to have along, for situations like this you may find it best to have a small point and shoot that can accomplish a good cross section of the functionality of your gear while offering the size and portability of something that will fit in your pocket, you wouldn’t show up to a wedding with a point and shoot unless it was for a very specific purpose, likewise you wouldn’t go to photograph your third cousins’ twice removed birthday party with a full digital SLR kit unless you were really good friends or were being hired to do so.

Keep it light and keep it simple, that is the best way to travel with photographic related equipment. But always way sure that you have what you feel you may even want and if you find yourself packing anything more that one camera and one lens you may want to consider something with wheels.

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