Jan 30, 2011

How small is the Gitzo GT1541T travel tripod?

I just picked up a compact travel tripod, the Gitzo GT1541T, from Amazon. Made of carbon fiber, this is one of the lightest, smallest tripods you can find. This is not a full review, but I wanted to show how easily the 1541T fits in a standard 22" carryon bag. Although the bag is listed at 22", the usable interior length is only 19" - but the tripod fits with plenty of room to spare. The tripod is shown with the legs folded back over the center column.

Another size comparison, here's the tripod next to the Nikon D700 with 70-200mm - it's only a few inches longer. With the hood on the lens, they'd be about the same length exactly.

My intial impressions of this tripod are favorable but unfortunately it may be a little short for me. With a height of 45", it's not that comfortable for a 6 foot tall person, and extending the center column reduces your stability quite a bit.

Jan 29, 2011

Shooting a Tiger - Pug Mark Park

A few weeks ago I went up to McKinney, Texas on a photo tour of Pug Mark Park. These tours are organized about once every month by Tom Hicks. For $50 you get 2 hours of shooting with the cats - there were two tigers and one lion when I was there. The funds go to support feeding and care of the animals. The facility has a good setup for photographers as the fence has a fairly open lattice so you can actually put the end of your lens through the fence and avoid getting it in the shot (unlike your standard chain link fence which has smaller openings). However, you do have to be careful standing next to the fence, as the larger openings mean that the cats can swat you if you're not paying attention.

I highly recommend this event - it was well worth the price of admission. Here are a couple of my favorite photos along with the complete set on flickr. Taken with a Nikon D700 and 70-200mm VRII, TC-20e III, and 85mm f1.4.







Jan 9, 2011

Does it matter when you invest in the stock market?

This chart from the New York Times shows the return on an investment made in the S&P 500 by holding period starting back in 1920. This matrix is a nice example of how to display decades of financial returns without resorting to massive data tables.