Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Gear Up Your Photo Vehicle
Accessories to turn your car into a photography companion
For day-to-day navigation around town, most of us rely on a smartphone, but out in the field, especially if you're getting into some remote backcountry, a smartphone can't be relied upon. For nature photographers, a GPS is still a necessary item for the camera bag. The Garmin GPSMAP 62 line of GPS units is robust, with useful features. The GPSMAP 62sc has all of the usual tools like a compass, an altimeter and a large color screen, but it also has a built-in 5-megapixel camera. The camera gives you a simple and effective location-scouting tool. Contact: Garmin, www.garmin.com.
We're big fans of compact video cameras like the Contour and GoPro HERO. These little camcorders can deliver excellent image quality, and their small sizes allow them to be mounted in ways to give you some startling perspectives. To get the most out of a small HD camera, a lightweight pole and a suction cup mount are two excellent options. The K-Tek Tadpole line is lightweight and lets you get the camera up or down into some interesting positions. On a road trip, you can experiment with holding the Tadpole out the window to give you some dramatic "on-the-go" footage. Contact: K-Tek, ktekbooms.com.
One of the best aspects of a road trip is that if you come across a scene in the afternoon that you think will look great at dawn, you can decide to make an impromptu overnight stop and your car can serve as a shelter. It may not be the most comfortable bed, but sometimes these are the small prices we pay for truly special landscape photographs. Having a sleeping bag tucked into the car goes a long way toward making a cool night comfortable; there's really no need not to have one. The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 is a down bag that fits snugly and keeps you warm down to some pretty chilly temperatures. Of course, it's also a solid tent-camping sleeping bag should you be doing some backpacking. Contact: Mountain Hardwear, www.mountainhardwear.com.
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