9 Benefits of Camping for Kids and Adults

 
Family-camping-photography.jpg

Guest post by Jessica Louie

These days, individuals go camping when they are burnt out on the city-life or need to have an experience. Regardless of whether you like hiking, biking or any of the other open-air exercises, camping can offer you a decent method to center entirely around your hobby for a few days with no outside diversions.

Do you know that camping can enable you to have a long and healthier life? Indeed, on the off chance that you, as often as possible, go camping, you will appreciate a lot of unique advantages of camping. As indicated by various research, there are a huge number of benefits that outdoors conveys to human well-being and life. 

1. Have The Open-air 

Living in the city is not in fine fettle with CO2 and other destructive gases that are being produced all around. In this way, that is the motivation behind why you ought to invest energy being in a place where you can have natural air. When you invest time being among almost a great deal of green trees, you will take in more oxygen. The joy that you feel when you take the breath of fresh air where you camp is not all in your mind. Instead, it is a serotonin discharge from the additional oxygen. At that point, your body can work with less strain when there is a lot of oxygen.

Having the fresh air is considered outstanding amongst other advantages of camping for children and grown-ups, so make use of it! 

2. Helps to Keep Relationships Rock-solid 

Camping alone is a lot of fun and has its charm, yet on the off chance that you go camping with your companions or your friends, you will encounter an extraordinary experience together that helps in keeping a solid relationship. As indicated by research, mingling can extend your life expectancy and lessen the dangers of memory issues. Beside this health advantage, some cozy connections can make our lives more fun. 

3. Diminish Stress 

Camping is a good way for you to cope up with stress. In point of fact, stress can have a negative impact on your wellbeing. Furthermore, when you are outdoors, you are putting less strain on your physical and intellectual capacities by offering yourself some time sans worry at the campground. The expansion in oxygen levels can lead you towards reduced levels of stress, more prominent levels of serotonin and controlled levels of melatonin. Likewise, there is a passionate factor here, since it is harder to feel irritated or furious when you are doing what you like.

4. Enhance Moods 

With regards to advantages of outdoors for adults, you should not skip out the way that outdoors can help enhance temperaments. Being in the daylight can enable you to even out the melatonin level in the cerebrum. Hence, by being outdoors, you can encounter better inclinations amid and even after your camping trip. Additionally, the open air exercises are essential for your psychological well-being. Analysts found that only a few minutes being in nature can help lessen depression, which is regular in the individuals who live in the urban communities. In a study, it was found that spending time strolling in nature can help lessen the pessimism that can bring about emotional well-being issues. 

5. Enables You To Work Out 

A standout amongst other advantages of outdoors is that you are investing much energy doing physical exercises. If you are going fishing, you are burning a larger number of calories than you simply lounging around your office. What is more, if you are taking a climbing or biking trip, you are doing cardiovascular exercise that will enable your heart and lungs to remain sound. 

The movement levels will be different. However bikers consume 300-500 calories for 60 minutes, climbers consume around 120-300 calories for 60 minutes, and fly-fishing can enable you to wreck 200 calories for 60 minutes. Also, analysts propose that these exercises can Improve your psychological well-being.

6. Being Free 

Back at home, you and your children are a slave to the web, online networking, computer games, and the TV. It is difficult to understand the reality of this vicious circle but is the truth. Nonetheless, you, your friends and family and your kids can do with a break from the majority of this once in a while. Being out in nature, speaking with each other and simply taking a break from all the innovation works wonders for the human body.

So next time you feel like getting away from the hustle and bustle of your monotonous life. Leave your gadgets behind and go on a camping trip. It will make everyone so significantly more joyful; nobody will feel like coming back!

7. Arouse a Sense of Awe 

Happy is the feeling when we soak up the sun or looking up at the stars. Also, to do that, there is no preferable place for camping in nature. Indeed, studies advocate that these striking minutes can make individuals more imaginative and more joyful. Presently, a few campgrounds have views that are wonderful and inspiring. Without electronic gadgets and power, we can take in every one of the sounds and sights of nature. We enjoy ourselves to value its magnificence and ponder of nature. This is equally among the advantages of outdoors for children and grown-ups, so you ought not to skip out it while picking a proper campground. 

8. Enable Youngsters to Grow More Independent

Another one of the advantages of camping for kids that I need to specify in this article and need the greater part of my readers to know is that outdoors can enable kids to develop freer. 

A camp is an ideal place for youngsters to settle on choices for themselves without the assistance of their folks and instructors. The caring atmosphere of camp, dealing with their everyday decisions, kids are prepared for this as a free way to move towards new directions. Also, youngsters are free from the excessively planned schedules of school and home, and camp life offers kids substantially more extra time to simply play and have a ton of fun. Youngsters can unwind, snicker and do what they need throughout the day.

9. It Is Easy on the Pocket

I could not care less what anybody says, the outdoors is a truly outstanding and modest excursion you can go on. It is, to a great degree, pocket-friendly and extremely fun in the meantime. Staying at a hotel or flying over the opposite side of the globe is considerably more costly than a weekend camping trip at your neighborhood campground, certainly!
 


Author Bio:

Jessica is a professional content editor and tech enthusiast who provides UK dissertation writing service as a mentor at Dissertation Papers. She never turns down any dissertation help request of any student and provides quality dissertation writing service UK globally.

5 Lessons I Learned In My First Year of Business

 
 5 images I produced in the year of 2017; my first year of business

5 images I produced in the year of 2017; my first year of business

1. Being Your Own Boss Is Harder Than You Think (and so much better...)

     There are a lot of things I'm not good at and a lot of shortcomings I have; laziness is not one of them. I don't ever remember a time in my life that anyone has accused me of not giving my current task all my energy and focus. Then I became my own boss and realized how hard it is to be self-disciplined when the only person you're working for is you. 

     Even now people who know me would probably say I'm hardworking at my business, but between you and me, I've never felt so lazy in my life. There are the occasional days where I hit snooze for an extra 15-30 minutes. Or times when my lunch break involves finishing just one more episode on Netflix. Things like these may seem like small matters, but to me, I see the wasted time in them. I see opportunities missed; the emails that could have been sent, the self-project I could have been working on, the blog I could have been writing. The truth of the matter is that starting your own business is hard and takes a lot of hard work (typically more than normal because you have to get your feet under you initially). I knew this going into 2017, but I never thought that a lack of discipline would be a problem for me; it never had been in the past.

     Therefore, just know, that even if you're a hardworking, focused, responsible personality, it's still easy to get bit by the evil bug sometimes when working for yourself. You have to push through and want it more than the other guys; and that takes time and a lot of energy. This is a struggle I need to grow in, but it hasn't all been bad. When the holidays came around and I had finished all my projects, I asked my boss for a little extra time with family... and he said yes (imagine that). Over the corse of the year, there have been times when a close friend needed help with something and I was able to drop what I was doing and be there for them. One of the main reasons I wanted my own business was so I could focus on things that were more important to me. My goal in life is not to be the richest or the most well known, but to have rich relationships and memories and pour into the people around me that matter most, people like my family and friends. That, to me, far outweighs any monetary success and having my own business has already started to allow me to do that.

2. Always Have A Detailed Contract

     Whew! I had to learn this the hard way and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, so listen close. Having a contract for every project, client, and model is foundational. I knew that! But making sure it is extremely detailed as to the expectations, limitations, deadlines, revisions, etc is where I made the mistake very early on in 2017. This caused a mass of head ache for me and I learned right off-the-bat never to make that mistake again. 

     One of the biggest shortfalls of this particular incident was not mentioning how many revisions this video project would have (large video project!). Let's just say that the client liked to do small tweaks and not all at once and sometimes would even change their mind on changes I'd already made. I knew my mistake near immediately, but because it was my own fault, I ate it and finished the project with all the gumption I had. But never again. Now every contract I do has an addendum page that very clearly lays out all our expectations. 

     My history teacher in high school used to always say that history was important because we can learn from the mistakes and successes of the past. Well, consider my experience history and learn from it so you don't make the same mistake too. And make sure that your contracts are professional and legal, not just self-written on a Saturday morning. Both TheLawTog and ShakeLaw have some great recourses on legal contracts for Photography and Video Production respectively. 

3. The Most Important Part Of My Business Is Marketing

     I once heard a story about a boy prodigy, smarter than Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison combined. His brain worked in a ways that we didn't know was humanly possible and his inventions and ideas could change the most major problems of the world. But he lived his life a hermit in the woods with no friends or contact with the world and died there, taking his ideas to the grave with him. The End.

     Actually, I didn't hear that story; I made it up. But it's to prove a point. It doesn't matter how good you are at something if no one knows you exist! This is why I've learned that one of the most important things I can do with my business is marketing. If people don't know that I exist and the kind of work I do, then I'm not going to get new clients. Bonus tip: it's hard to run a business if you have no clients...

     Many people automatically assume that perfecting your trade is the most important, but I disagree to an extent. I don't want to downplay the quality of your product though since it is very important. You need to have a quality product or service to give to your clients! If what you're offering is of noticeably poor quality, then I'd argue, mostly from a moral standpoint, that you're not ready to start a business since it really does a disservice to your client and other professionals. So when I say that marketing is more important, I'm taking an approach that already assumes you have something of value to offer. Sure we're constantly growing in our craft and won't ever be perfect, but we need to have a starting point or foundation that provides value. Therefore, with that assumption, as a new business, it is my belief now that marketing is the most beneficial action I can do for my company.

4. New Gear Without New Clients = Debt

     Oh the proverbial chicken or the egg question, except for us creative types, the question is gear or clients first. A plethora has been said on this topic and since they say it better than I, here are a few resources for you to read up on. Fstoppers-Is Gear Holding You Back, Fstoppers-30 Sample Images, Fstoppers-Should I Upgrade, and Digital PhotoSecrets-How To Tell. If you don't want to read those (you should check out the 30 samples though), I'll give you the short of it. Of nearly all opinions and articles I've heard over the years, the majority of professionals and authorities on the subject agree that skill is more important than gear. Not all, but most. Personally, I've found that it's a tough balance of both. You don't need all the best gear to produce great content, but having the right gear can enhance your craft and open doors for more creativity. At the begging of this last year, I leaned a little more towards the gear side. I knew it wasn't necessary, but I wanted to be able to provide clients with something a notch above. So I spent a lot of money on upgrading my gear... and it looks dang good on that shelf! Joking, but not joking. I feel great being able to use it for clients, but in hindsight (refer to point #3), I wish I had spent that money on marketing instead. If I had been able to double the amount of clients I had in this past year, I would have all my gear paid off and probably excess to keep expanding. 

5. Comparison Is A Killer

     Now don't completely mishear me here; I think comparison done right is beneficial. But typically we don't do it right. If you're sitting at home scrolling though all the beautifully managed Instagram profiles of the people you follow who have 22k+ followers and are thinking to yourself, "Wow, I guess I suck!", then you're doing it wrong. Been there, done that. But that's not going to move us forward, that's only going to pull us down.

     To do comparison right, we have do a few things. First, we need to be realistic and compare apples to apples. If you've been in business a year, been honing the craft for 8 years, and have 2,000 followers (using myself as an example), but you're comparing yourself to someone who has been in business 7+ years, honing the craft for who knows how long, and has 13k followers (using the wonderful Ian Coble as an example), then that's an unfair comparison. By the time I've been in business 7 years, who knows how far I will have come. Comparing my present-self to an experienced veteran isn't being fair to me. If you're going to compare in this way, then compare to local competition and your contemporaries so you know who you're competing with.. Second, when looking at experienced people and role-models, we have to take on a different attitude; an attitude of learning from them and striving to be more like them (not copiers, but learning learning from their successes). We need to use it as motivation, a visualization of where we could be down the road. And lastly, we need to have an attitude of comparison that realizes they are not the enemy. Don't be mad at them for their success. Don't be jealous (*too jealous) of their accomplishments. Don't hate on them or bad mouth them. They are also people who are or have been where you are; trying to make a living and enjoy the creative process. They too might have families they're trying to provide for. They too have their struggles they've had to overcome. We're all in this together, in a weird, disjointed sort of way. Rejoice for them and then put your best foot forward. You can't be responsible for other people's lives, but you are 100% responsible for your own. 

 

I hope that my mistakes, successes, and lessons from this year will help someone else along their journey. If you're reading this and have lessons of your own that you'd be willing to share, please do so in the comments. I'd love to hear them as it may be beneficial to me and other readers who are still getting started. 

Surfing with Strand _ Environmental Portraits

 
 Environmental portraits of surfer Matt Strand, sponsored by Fear to Faith. Active Lifestyle Portraits taken near Laguna, CA and Newport, CA

This last week I was able to connect with surfer Matt Strand through some mutual friends. Matt is sponsored by Fear to Faith Clothing and so we wanted to get some neat environmental portrait shots of him. The alarm at 4:30am came too soon, but we got up and headed down to Laguna/Newport area and found this rocky section which is just want I was envisioning.

We got there and setup as the sun crested the hill literally just before I'd even taken the first shot. My hope originally was actually to use strobe lighting (I really enjoy on-location lighting, but don't push myself to do it often. This was my chance... but...). Since the sun came up a bit sooner than I wanted/we got to the beach slightly later than I wanted, I rolled with the punches and just used the beautiful morning light instead. Something I've learned about doing photo and video production is that being able to be flexible, adjust, and problem solve quickly is a top skill requirement for this creative industry. There is always something that messes up your plan and you've got to make the most of it. 

As you can see, I made the most of the lighting change and nailed some awesome portrait shots with Matt. We were only there about 20-30 minutes in total (setup and teardown included), so I'm pretty pleased that I got so many shots I love for such a short amount of time. I suppose it helped that he's such a natural model. lol. 

Check the images out, leave comments, share them (with credit please) and do what ever you do. If you're a fellow photographer, get out there and have you're own photo shoot. If you're a surfer, get out there and have someone (or me) take pictures of you. It boosts the confidence seeing yourself looking like a boss!

We also had to get out and enjoy the water too since the waves were killer that day at both Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. So Matt went out and showed me how it's done. Photos weren't nearly as unique since I couldn't get out in the water this day, but still good fun was had by all.

Spare Me 5-in-1 Automotive Rescue Tool Review

 
SpareMe 5-in-1 Automotive Rescue Tool_Outdoor Review 3.png

I'm always down for an excuse to get out and have an adventure (adventure to me is a very broad term too!). In this case, a company offered to send me an automotive tool to review and it was a perfect 'excuse' to go off-roading and 'test' it. So today, I'm going to do a written review of the Spare Me 5-in-1 Rescue Tool. If you're more of a visual person, you can see my video review on my Youtube channel. 

The Spare Me 5-in-1 Rescue Tool is meant for automotive scenarios and has 5 features (hence the name) for which I'll break down one by one.

1. Traction

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This to me is the main feature of the tool, so I'll start with it first. When a car is stuck, it's ultimately due to a loss of traction whether that be due to slippery mud or a snowy pit that doesn't have enough car weight on it. Either way, as with any traction board, the tool goes under the tire to add traction, both by filling negative space and adding 'grip' spikes. The Spare Me tool goes under the tire and is strong enough to simply drive over. As you can see in my Youtube video review, I actually have footage where I got myself intentionally stuck and the tool was able to get me out. What separates this tool from other traction boards such as MaxTrax is the size and cost. Traction boards are typically quite large and expensive. This tool, could easily sit with your spare tire and cost less than an IHOP breakfast for two people. 

2. Shovel

Secondly, this tool is meant to be used as a shovel. Sometimes when stuck, what needs to be done is to just clear out the snow/mud/dirt/junk that is under or around the tire. A shovel is always better than hands both for keeping hands clean as well as a hard object like this can break up ice/dirt/etc better than you're hands can. One side of the tool is hollowed out in case you actually needed to scoop, but most of the time just scrapping stuff out of the way is good enough.

3. Lug Nut Wrench Leverage

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This feature is a nice to have the option of. Sometimes when switching out a flat tire, the lug nuts are extremely tight and hard to get off with the lug wrench in your car. So with the simple use of physics, adding a length extension can make it so much easier. I didn't get a flat, but I still tested it out on some overly tight lug nuts and would you believe it?! Physics works?! A little leverage and they come off with just one foot barely stepping on the end. The handle is hollow and by just removing the end cap, you can slide it on the end of the wrench. I will say that that end cap doesn't stay on well and we lost it somewhere out in the backcountry while off-roading. 

4. Tire Leverage

The fourth feature is again a simple aspect of physics; leverage for lifting a tire onto the rotor. I didn't test this one since it is again just physics and I had no doubt it would be fine. However, I don't see this as a selling point for the tool. Maybe it's just cause I'm a strong capable guy (picture James Bond. lol), but I don't have any issues lifting a tire onto the rotor, but I see how this could be nice for someone who can't lift the tire or who just wants to make it a lot easier. So again, I'm sure it works fine since it's just physics.

5. Ice Scraper

The fifth and last feature is an ice scraper. I couldn't test it since I don't live where we have ice currently, but I do have some thoughts on this feature, including some negative ones. So the edge of this tool comes to a very fine point for scraping as is logical. My issue with this feature is that, since it is a fine point (thus thin) it get's torn up easily when used for traction and shoveling. This makes the edge jagged, torn up, and thus very ineffective for scrapping ice once the blade is no longer flat. However, this judgement may not be totally justified. The reason my scraper got so torn up is that I was using it in rocky and sandy conditions. If you live somewhere where you'll actually need to use this for ice and snow, then you may not be using the tool for traction on hard rock and dirt. You'll likely be using it for snow which won't tear up the scraper and thus no complaints.

Overall Thoughts

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To put it as simply as possible, for the size and price, why not have the Spare Me 5-in-1 Rescue Tool. The company didn't pay me to say that, that's my honest review. I'm excited to keep this one in the back of my car. Since it's small enough to sit with my spare tire, I can put it there and just forget about it until I need it. I don't have to worry about leaving it in the garage and not having it with me. Furthermore, the cost of these tools are super cheap. From what I found online you can get them from between $15-30 from multiple places which is so cheap compared to a $300 set of traction boards. The Spare Me company is putting out an 8-in-1 version soon and that one may be closer to $30-40, but that's still ridiculously cheap. 

If you're in any kind of scenario where you may get stuck in snow, mud, dirt, alien goo, or lava, I'd highly suggest you get one or two to keep in your cars. They're effective, small, and cheap! 

 

My Advice to Aspiring Photographers (Plus my earliest work)

 
 A cascading waterfall is captured at evening in the Trinity Alps, CA.

This last week I received an email from a high schooler who had some questions for me about how to do photography for a living and grow in the craft. Although it took me about a week to respond, I did finally get back to him and below you'll find some of his questions and the answers I gave him. These are answers I'd give to anyone, regardless of age.

 

"To start it off, what type of education is necessary for this photography career?"

More than ever before in history, education is less and less important than your personal drive, your ability to be resourceful and learn from other sources (we have the internet at our fingertips 24/7 and that wasn’t available 100 years ago), your personality and character traits, how hard you can push yourself, and your ability to not give up. As with anything, you get good at something from practice and never stopping the learning process, not from the degree you hold in you hand. Now, on the flip side, hear me out; I think education is especially helpful! Not as much so you can put it on your resumé (although that is helpful if you want a 9-5 job), but because college offers the space to practice, try new things, find out where your skills are, have personal critique from classmates and professors, and have the resources of your teachers. Furthermore, my personal suggestion to you if you want to have your own business or freelancing practice is take some classes or minor in business. Most art departments don’t properly equip students on the business side of things.

 

"How should I go about taking this career into the next step?"

Start small. As with almost anything in life, the hardest step is the first step. You eat an elephant one bite at a time and you build a business and portfolio the same way. You’re in High School and have a lot of life in front of you. Not sure, what year you are, but if you took just one or two new portfolio images each month you’d have 48-96 high quality portfolio images by the end of college (if you were a graduating senior). Small things done faithfully add up to great things. One photo at a time. One youtube lesson at a time. One new client at a time. etc. Take small steps in the right direction and be consistent in that.

 

"How long does it take to obtain this quality of photography?"

Such a subjective question. “this quality of photography” has so many variables. I know of high schoolers that are better photographers than me and I also know of 50 years olds that have shot their whole life and I’m better than them. A lot comes down to natural skill and also a ‘quality photo’ is so subjective. Are you talking about the technical specs of the photo? The concept? The viral aspect that the internet shares it? 

    I think the best way I could answer this is this: never stop learning and never be satisfied with the quality of your photography. Always push yourself to the next level! 30 years from now, you should still be asking yourself how you could improve. The quality of the photographer will always (in the end) be more important than the quality of the photograph. Make sure you’re the kind of person and character that the world should recognize in your craft. 

 

"For the future, what should I do to make myself known as a photography?"

Social media is always a good start. Stay engaged with your followers and post regularly. Keep building that following (one follower at a time). Down the road when you’re ready to start freelancing (if that’s your goal), don’t underestimate paid advertising. If you’re the worlds best photographer and no one knows about you, you’ll never make it anywhere. That’s just the way marketing is. Start researching now how to do effective marketing and spend time getting used to the different marketing platforms so you can make more informed decisions down the road. You could even be proactive and start a fund for it now so that you have some savings built up when that time comes.

 

"Do you have any advice for someone looking to start this career out of high school?"

    First of all, glad your asking these kind of questions off the bat and while your young. I wish I had started sooner and tried planning for my future better when I was in high school. Sure, I was doing photography and video, but I wasn’t reaching out to other photographers and asking big questions about my future in it. Here are a few things are crucial for you as you move forward.
- Never stop learning, ever!     
- Start small. Baby steps get you further than no steps.     
- Pursue your dreams, but be realistic about how much hard work goes into it. Doing photography as a career sounds like the best thing ever (and it still is), but know that it’s going to take a lot of hard work, discipline, disappointments, and time. Just be realistic about the way life is.     
- Try new things and feel free to experiment. The world is full of great photographers, so find out what your specific strengths and weaknesses are. You’ll find that out best when you push your comfort zone. Try things you haven’t before. Try shooting with strobes. Try shooting film. Try shooting projects on just your phone. Try renting expensive gear. Try new angles. Try, Try, Try and you’ll learn pretty quickly what you like and don’t like, what you’re good and and what you’re not. This will help you know how to stand out from the crowd.

 


My High School Images

Just for fun, I thought I'd also through in some of my old work from back when I was in high school and was just getting started. You can compare them to my current portfolios and judge for yourself if I've grown at all. I'd say I've come a long way, but have a long way to go. Regardless, enjoy looking at some humiliating photos. These are only from High School and they are what I had considered my 'portfolio' images at the time.

Difference between Full-frame Sensors and Crop Sensors

 
 This image gives a visual demonstration of the crop difference between a full-frame camera and a crop sensor camera.

This image gives a visual demonstration of the crop difference between a full-frame camera and a crop sensor camera.

Buying a camera is a big investment and no small decision. There are many elements and specs to consider and research. One factor of picking a camera is deciding whether to get a full frame (more appropriately called a 35mm frame size) or a crop sensor camera and you may easily overlook it if you're not aware it's an option. I say that you may be overlooking it, because it's not actually something you would ever notice without looking for it or being able to compare it beside the opposite style. So in this article I'm going to cover what it is and some pros and cons to each to hopefully help you understand them better. So lets get to it.

What Are Full-Frame and Crop-Frame Sensors

First, to know what is happening, we need to have a basic understanding of what is happening between lens and sensor. First, although hopefully obvious, it should be said that not all sensors are the same. Just because both your phone and your DSLR are 12 megapixels, does not mean the sensors are equal. Resolution has very little to do with the sensor quality. The sensor size however, can make a big difference. This is typically most correlated to the fact that the individual light receptors (photosites) can be slightly larger. This helps in numerous ways, but largely for better ISO handling. Furthermore, as the feature image of this post shows, sensor size affects the crop/focal length. This is due to the focus length angle that the lenses must be able to create in order to have the image properly fill the whole sensor. As you can see in my beautiful illustration below, due to the sensor size differences, the angles of incoming light must change. This inherently means the possible perspective angles (regardless of lens focal length at this point) are different between sensor sizes. This is very basic explanation and the lens manufactures probably cringe and the rudimentary nature of this post (forgive me you fine lens makers). 

 A basic illustration of how the camera sensor size can affect perspective angles and crop ratios.

A basic illustration of how the camera sensor size can affect perspective angles and crop ratios.

So, to recap, not all sensors are equal for many reasons and as the size changes, so do many elements of the camera. Let's look at pros and cons to both, starting with Full-frame cameras.

 

Pros to Full Frame

1)  Low light capabilities - because full frame cameras actually have larger sensors, larger photosites, and have to use larger lenses, they collect light better (in laymen terms). This allows them to do really well in low light conditions.

2)  Low ISO Noise - because of what I just stated above, they also handle ISO beautifully! You can use higher noise than on a crop sensor and still get low noise. Due to this, many full frame cameras will also have larger ISO ranges. 

3)  Wide angle- without the 1.5x crop magnification you can get a lot wider angle. This and the listed benefits above are part of why full frames are so popular for landscape, arcitecture, etc, because they can get really wide angles.  For example, an 18-55mm kit lenses on a 1.5x crop-sensor is actually acting as a 27-82.5mm lens (focal length x 1.5 crop magnification = virtual focal length). However, on a full frame camera, an 18mm lens is actually shooting at 18mm.

4)  Dynamic Range - full frame cameras also tend to have greater dynamic ranges. They capture more detail in shadows and highlights. This also slightly affects color. You can get more correct colors (assuming you can take a proper exposure to begin with) and give you smooth colors due to details captured.

5) Depth of Field - full-frame sensors have a more shallow depth of field than crop sensors. This can allow you to capture more of that nice bokeh and set your subject apart from the background more. Keep in mind, this point still depends your lens, aperture, focal length, and distance from subject. But it does have some affect.

6) Last, but not least, they just look impressive. (hehe, my favorite!). No one likes feeling like the smallest camera out there (sometimes).

Pros to Crop-Sensor

1) Magnification - the crop sensor magnification can actually be a great thing. Crop sensors are sometimes preferred for sports, wildlife, etc. because a 300mm lens on a 1.5x crop is suddenly acting as a 450mm lens. It actually allows you to get a little closer crop without loss of resolution and that can be desirable depending on what you're shooting

2) Depth of Field - Crop sensors have quite a high depth of field. This could allow you to catch sharper details in both foreground and background. So opposite of having a super-shallow DOF with a lot of blur in the background. Again, this point still depends your lens, aperture, focal length, and distance from subject. But it does have some affect.

3)  Cost - They're a lot cheaper than full frame cameras. Ranging from $300 for entry level to $1,200 for better models. Full frame cameras on the other hand typically start closer to $2,000 and can get up to around $6,000 or more.

4) Weight - They're also lighter than full frame cameras. Lenses are slightly smaller, smaller bodies, and smaller parts inside.

5) Lenses - You have a wide variety of lenses to choose from. You can use either a full-frame or crop-sensor lens on a crop-sensor lens, but the opposite is not true. If you use a crop sensor lens on a full-frame camera, you will get a black border where the image doesn't reach the edge of the sensor.

Cons to Full-Frame

1) Cost - They're expensive. Because of the way the sensors are produced, the cost gets bumped up a lot. Again, they can get up to $6,000 for the body only. My Nikon D600, which I've absolutely loved, was only roughly $1,400 and is still an amazing beast of a camera body. I know also have the Nikon D750 which is also amazing, but closer to the $2,000 range.

2) Weight - Some people may not mind, but they are heavier. Add a heavy lens and a long day of shooting a wedding and you've  got your workout for the day in.

3) Lens Availability - There aren't as many FX (full-frame designation for Nikon) lenses available, however most FX lenses are high quality. A full frame lens will work on a crop sensor, but a crop sensor lens (DX) will not work on a full frame camera. You will get major lens vignette around all your images. FX lenses are made larger to handle the larger sensor, but there's not as large a variety like there is for crop sensor cameras.

4) The wide angle of view - Again, this is only a drawback depending on what you are shooting. If you're trying to shoot wildlife and sports where you want to be as zoomed in as possible without loss of quality, get a crop-sensor. But if you're wanting those wide angle perspectives, use a full-frame camera.

Summary

I'm not going to do cons for the crop sensor because you get the idea. If I've already said something about one, then the inverse is probably true for the other type.

So hopefully that helped give you a bit more info on the differences between the two. If you found this article helpful or interesting, please share it with friends and family by using the share buttons below. Thank you.

 

David Wahlman does photo and video production for outdoor and active lifestyle industries. To learn more about him, view his About Me page.

Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Torch 5º Sleeping Bag Review

 
 The Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Torch is warm enough for the harshest conditions.

The Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Torch is warm enough for the harshest conditions.

First of all, let me say that this is a great bag! I've had it for over a year and used all across the US and in all conditions and temperatures on all sorts of adventures, so I feel that I can speak to it well.

 

Pros of the Mountain Hardware Lamina

When it comes to things I like about this bag, I may not mention things that I would expect to be normal of a good sleeping bag. I really want my pros list to be things that appear to be above and beyond normal. Thus, just cause I don't mention something, doesn't mean it's not good.

First of all, it is a decently warm bag, although I find that it may be rated a little colder than is realistic, but not by much if so. Granted I sleep colder than most, but I took that into consideration. Coldest weather I've been with it was around the 15º F mark and I slept fairly well, but awoke in the night more than normal due to being momentarily cold. This was with me in a warm base layer, in a tent pitched on snow, on-top of a 3.5 R-rated air mattress, totally zipped up, beanie on. It's always good to understand that temp ratings aren't indicators of comfort, but extremes. So I'm not saying that I expected to be toasty warm at 5º, but I was surprised that I was still remotely cold around the 15º mark considering the other factors. Again, this will vary from person to person.

Secondly, the material is good and handles moisture well. Unlike some materials, where you're afraid it will rip or snag if a butterfly lands on it, I tend to feel quite confident this material holds up well to abrasion and 'stretching' from things like stuffing it, etc. Furthermore, the zippers don't have too many issues. The zipper air guard does occasional get caught, but not enough to truly complain. I like that is the double-zipper (one at feet as well), but this is becoming fairly standard on sleeping bags.

As I said, those are the main pros that standout, but unless otherwise mentioned below as a con, assume that it's a good feature of the bag.

 

Cons of the Mountain Hardware Lamina

One thing to mention that isn't a con of the bag, but is a con for me and I wish I had paid more attention to before buying the bag, is that it is a very big fit when it comes to a mummy bag. So unless you want the wiggle-room, I'd find something that fits more narrowly and is thus more heat efficient. In the future I will be paying more attention to this. So just be aware it is a broad-shouldered fit. On a skinny guy like me (155lb, 5' 11") it leaves lots of dead air space.

I will say that I'm not a big fan of the drawcord because it's difficult to work once already totally zipped up in the sleeping bag. The mechanism spring is stiff and the drawcord is tough to handle. Maybe I just have issues (and that is always a possibility with me), but it seems more difficult than it needs to be. The release spring is stiff and requires a fair amount of effort to release (can be a good thing since it holds it tight) and the string tends to be facing away from you when at rest, meaning that once zipped up and trying to reach outside the bag, it's an odd angle.

This may not be an issue for some people, but the small pouch on the outside of the bag for cellphones or batteries causes me disappointment. Because it's on the outside of the bag and thus the outside of the insulation, it doesn't keep things warm. So, if I were to use it for batteries or phone, my power levels will all be zapped by morning time. If you're just putting keys or something in there, I guess it's fine, but for me personally, I'd rather have it be on the inside so I can keep certain things warm and away from condensation/damp. 

Furthermore, I don't feel that it is as compressible and light as they make it seem when advertised. For someone like me who does mostly backpacking and hiking, I need something more compressible and more lightweight and this is the reason I'll soon be upgrading to a quality down bag like either Feathered Friends or Western Mountaineering (I haven't decided yet). Compared to other synthetic bag at this temp degree, it's quite compressible (what they say, I haven't compared in depth). However, it's not a bag I'd recommend for backpacking due to this. Spend a little more and get a down bag that compresses. 

 

I hope that helps give a bit of insight to a few features. If it's helpful, I also have this video review on my youtube channel, but I basically cover the same stuff (but included visuals and examples):

Hope that was of some insight to you on my personal opinion of this bag. You can check out more of my gear reviews here.

San Gorgonio in the Snow _ Adventure BLOG/VLOG

 
 Trudging through 2' of freshly fallen snow on our way up to San Gorgonio Peak

Trudging through 2' of freshly fallen snow on our way up to San Gorgonio Peak

4 days... 3 days... 2 days... 1 day away! The weekend was drawing nearer as we prepared ourselves for hiking San Gorgonio, the tallest peak in Southern California. For our experience level, it wasn't going to be anything new or crazy, but things were different this time: the weather. One of the largest weather systems of the past few years was coming in and was going to hit us broadside while we were up on the peak.

I kept a very close eye on the mountain's forecast with each approaching day and the storm just seemed to be getting worse. Eventually, Tyler and I just accepted the fact that we would not summit on this trip due to the unsafe conditions, but we planned to still make basecamp for the night at about 9,800 feet. About 2' of snow was supposed to fall Friday and we were heading up Saturday, spending the night, then coming down Sunday. However, the snow wasn't our main concern; it was the wind. At basecamp alone, the winds were going to be between 40-45mph. I have the Sierra Design Convert 2 which is a 4-season tent and I know Sierra Design wind tests all their gear for 4-season work. So although the weather made me nervous, I still had some confidence we'd be alive the next morning. The wind speed at the peak on Sunday morning however (the morning we had planned on summiting) was going to be 75mph and increasing throughout the day. For reference, 74mph is considered a hurricane status. Thus, we did not plan on summiting. 

Saturday morning came and we set out from LA nice and early and got to the park entrance at a decent time. The weather was on and off sunny which made for a beautiful initial hike. The freshly fallen snow on the other hand was extremely powdery; the type that doesn't compact at all. We discovered very quickly that this type of snow makes snowshoeing difficult. I can't recount the number of times we (mostly Tyler. lol) fell just while trying to hike. Granted, we had heavy packs and the snow was deep, but it was borderline ridiculous. The only thing making it reasonably possible was the fact that we were following in the steps of a few day-hikers that had gone ahead of us. We eventually passed them as they were coming back down and after about 2 miles, we very abruptly found were they had turned around.

With their trail ending, it was only fresh, unadulterated snow lying before us. After about 20 steps in this fresh and unturned snow, we realized we'd never make it to basecamp that night. It was far too deep and difficult with heavy packs on and in such deep snow. Thus, with heads held high, we cheerfully agreed that we'd have just as much fun camping right where we were at for the night. We got set up with my Sierra Designs Convert 2 tent and took a nice little nap before waking up to go explore one more time before dusk. We were able to catch the sunset over the mountains as dusk fell upon us. 

 Catching the last light of the day as night fell upon us

Catching the last light of the day as night fell upon us

Returning to our tent, we made some delicious pasta and sausage before retiring to our warm sleeping bags. The night was uneventful will minor wind and only a few inches of snow by morning. No bear attacks, no hypothermia, just the sound of Tyler snoring and me talking in my sleep. 

Waking up afresh, we made breakfast, packed up, and headed on down the mountain, determined to return for it's conquest on a later date.

 Tyler (left) and David (right) hiking down San Gorgonio in a snowstorm.

Tyler (left) and David (right) hiking down San Gorgonio in a snowstorm.

As part of this blog and the story, I've included below the video for this particular weekend. I consider these videos my "Adventure Vlog" and also post them on my Youtube Channel where you can subscribe to all my videos. 

To find learn more, visit my About Me page and to see my photography, select my Adventure Photography Portfolio or any other portfolio you should choose from the top menu. Thanks for reading and watching, feel free to share with others and please subscribe to my blogs in the right hand column. As always, have a good one!

DIY DSLR Big Dome Port Underwater Housing

If you've done research into underwater housing (and their cost), you'll know how expensive they can be. In some instances, they cost more than the camera. Certainly, when you pay the premium price you're also purchasing assurance, functionality, size, etc. However, rebel that I am, I didn't want to pay the premium, so I built my own. They make cheaper underwater bags which I've used before, but the reason that didn't meet my needs is I specifically wanted a big-dome port. Since they don't sell those in any version except expensive housing cases, I knew my only option was to DIM (Do It Myself). 

This post shows you how I built it, and some sample images that have since come from it on two different shoots. I've been quite pleased considering it cost me less that $50 and has had no issues with water leaks.

First, the materials I used. Run to a few local stores and pick up supplies (images below). Such supplies include:

  • A sealable container (I got some Tupperware from Wal-mart that I measured to know was big enough for my camera and hand simultaneously. It was thick enough to maintain stability (unlike some types of Tupperware would have been), yet thin enough to cut with box cutters and drills. I could have bought a more expensive pelican case or something, but I was on a budget, on a time crunch, and wanted to be able to see the back of the camera. 
    For extra sealing security, rub a bit of Vaseline along the rubber gasket before using.
  • Extra lid or flat plastic. The Tupperware I got was a set of 3, so I had an extra lid. This will be cut to be the extension that attaches the 6" dome port to the 4" NBS.
  • 4" NBS or PVC male adapter and female adapter. This is for the lens port. I measured my lens and 4" was the best option for what I was using. You could also use piping and cut it to length, but I wanted to used threaded pieces so I could screw and unscrew the big dome port for if I wanted to collapse it better for travel. Mine were a white and black only because they didn't have both in black. Wish they did though.
  • 3" NBS or PVC pipe, cut to your appropriate length. You could also use an adapter again if it's the length you need. This piece is where your hand and glove inserts. 4" would have been too big, so 3" gave more flexibility in location placement and fit the glove better.
  • Chemical glove. This is where your hand will insert to function the camera. Getting a Chemical glove or similar is important, because you don't want it leaking or puncturing. Don't use a thin or non-water proofed glove. 
  • Plumbing fastener/gear clamp. This will go around the outside of the 3" NBS piece to hold the folded glove in place.
  • Silicone, this is what I used to seal edges and joints
  • 6" Big dome port (not pictured till later). I got this product off Amazon and could have gotten a 9". Not too sure if one would be better than the other, but I wanted the 6" so it would fit better with my setup. From my understanding, the larger 9" dome would help achieve better above-below images. But don't quote me on that. I need to experiment more first.
 The majority of supplies used for my DIY underwater housing

The majority of supplies used for my DIY underwater housing

Once the tools are assembled, figure out what holding position is going to be most comfortable and starting cutting holes. I used a sharpie and box cuter for my holes. I didn't want to use any kind of jig saw due to how flimsy the plastic would be with that. Also, I know that I'm a meticulous and detailed person, so I knew my cuts wouldn't be sloppy. Make these holes as perfect, snug, and precise as possible. The goal of the silicone isn't to fill large gaps, but to seal and hold a tight fit. Also, I wouldn't suggest siliconing pieces in place yet. I waited to have everything together and tested before securing it.

You can also see here how the glove works. Insert into the 3" piping and fold over the end. I rubbed a thin layer of silicone under the folded section before putting the clamp on and tightening. Also, as you insert the pieces, be testing with the camera to see how far pieces should be inserted to be comfortable and in proper position. If the 3" piece was too far in, it would squish my hand while holding the camera, but if it's too far out, I wouldn't be able to hold the camera properly. These adjustments are why I wouldn't silicone anything yet.

Once the dome port arrived two days later, I took the extra lid and cut two circumferences from it; one for the 6" dome port and one to go over the 4" NBS. 

Once pieces are ready to assemble and have been tested, we can begin siliconing. One thing I did to ensure a better adhesion is I scraped and made a rough surface for the silicone to grip. That way it's not adhering to a perfectly smooth surface. You could used a rough file for this or just a blade like I did. 

Now add silicone to all joints, ensure a tight seal, and let dry. I gave a full 2 days of drying just to be sure before testing. 

After testing in the sink and tub to ensure it was safe to put my camera in, I used it for some actually shoots. Although I may not be able to access all buttons at any moment and it is big and clunky, it was still almost $1,950 cheaper and has produced some neat images thus far. The way I function it inside the case is by putting it on manual focus, a larger aperture for good depth of field since above and below the water will be different focal planes, and I have used it in both Manual and Aperture priority. I turn on the live view and can trigger the shutter whenever I please. 

Here are a few images from shoots to show it's results. Thanks for reading.

If you have any comments, thoughts, improvements, corrections, etc., I'd love to hear them.