Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Trekking far from the pavement is in every nature photographer’s blood. Using a motorcycle to do it can be the perfect “viewfinder.”
Tank bags or handlebar/number-plate bags afford some of the best placement for both convenience and protection—in the latter case, the handlebars and the tank or frame structure tend to protect the bags in the event of a tip-over or washout. Another pannier manufacturer, Moto-Sport Panniers, makes a line of Dirt Bagz, which are soft bags for the bike, and Baja and Bavaria Panniers, which are hard-sided motorcycle luggage lines. The hard-sided cases add significantly more protection, obviously.
There are too many good tripods that can be useful on a motorcycling adventure for us to mention in these few pages, so we’re including just a few possible examples. With weight and size being a factor, the Gitzo Traveler GT-1550T carbon-fiber tripod with Gitzo G1077M ballhead will keep your camera steady and take up a relatively small amount of space when not in use. Folding down to 14 inches, it can fit in a 17-inch pannier, yet expand its five sections to reach a maximum height of 57.5 inches with the center column extended. Estimated Street Price: $699 (tripod and head).
Riders can be an impatient sort, always pushing the wind, so a quick release between camera and tripod is useful for stop-and-go photos. There are too many quick releases to mention here, as virtually every tripod company makes its own proprietary versions. Really Right Stuff is well known to OP readers as maker of ballheads and quick-release plates, among other support gear. Its Quick-Release B350D Body Mounting Plate is robust and gets the job done.
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