third column

Stary Stary Norwich

Stary Stary Norwich NightI know I said I would post more often but it gets difficult to find something to say that you want to truely share. This Thanksgiving I went home to see my family and took this in the backyard. I was preparing for months on trying to setup for astrophotograpy and hoping for the best in clear days. It gets pretty dark and the only really good day was Friday after Thanksgiving.

I pointed my camera at Polaris and set the intervalometer from Michron for what I thought was 27sec take a photo, 27secs rest and just fill up my 32GB card. What  end up happening was I did set it up to take a photo every 27sec but only for 27 minutes. So while not a complete circle I did get something.

As always it is a learning experience and I know what to do now. I think.

Oh and the flare in the lower right is from the neighbor next's door turning on their porch lights probably from seeing me walk around in with my red head lamp trying to setup.



What is going on? Why haven't you posted in over a year? What is going on? Why did the site name change?

Ok so it has been a verrryy looooong time since I last posted. I have been struggling how to revamp my website without loosing all the current content. There are many things I like about this site being on the Squarespace platform 5 and there are a few minor nit picky things I don't prmarily the inflexiblity (or my lack dertimination to invest in figuring out) getting this to be platform device independent. Squarespace advertise that their templates are designed to resize apporiately to any device. That is a on the Squarespace 6 platform and also has its positives and negatives. I guess it is all the price you pay for not hard coding yourself, but there are benifits as well.

Whaa, Whaa, Whaa. I don't like my site so much any more. So what are you going to do with it?

Having been a member of Squarespace for so long I have both platforms (5 & 6) so I'm taking advantage of this and moving some domain names to one, adding a new, and keeping the old.

One of the things I really wanted to do is have more of a branding site for myself. Sort of a brouchure of all my skills and talents. So and are the new(er) site that focuses on that in the platform 6 environment.

The site your on now is more of an amaligmation of my talents and my thoughts.  This site will focus on more on my adventures and photography. and The logo I developed of the peering eye is me and does belong on both. More of that marketing branding buzzword.

Woop-de-do. Where have been and why no updates for 11 months? No thoughts?

Like I said I have struggled if there have been any new updates in my life. What do you share and what do you keep private? Most people come to the site come for more images of places and things. I have been posting sparadically on Fliker, 500px, and Pixoto. These seem to get more traction and self-branding brouchure idea becomes lost here. So as Squarespace changes I am adapting.

I will keep trying to answer my own questions but I can not promise a daily post. Everything is a work in progress. Some things just take longer than others.


How I connect my camera strap

A friend of mine is finally graduating to a big boy tripod with a ball head and was asking me about acra-swiss style plates and I how I work with them with my camera strap. There are some post on some camera forums I could direct him to, but I thought why not write it up here.

First I want to make it clear, this is something I do. It may not be the best for you. You may prefer to go some other route and I will give some links at the end.

Now I have an L-plate attached to my camera always so I can put the camera on the tripod so the lens is always above the center of the column wether in landscape or in portrait. Mine is a Kirk L-plate designed for my camera. There are some generic ones out there but a custom plate for your camera will be a tight form and once it is on you really don't notice it much and you get used to the weight. Really Right stuff makes these and there are some Chinese ones always floating around on ebay.

My friend is getting a ball head that comes with a camera plate, but not all ball heads do. Some are just a flat base like my Gitzo GH1781T, with a 3/4 inch screw sticking up. For this post I am going to stick issue of just attaching a strap and not the different type of camera plates (arca-swiss style, manfrotto, etc.) So in my case in addition to the ballhead I have, I purchased an Acratech quick release clamp to attach to the 3/4 inch screw. 

So you have your camera plate or L-plate attached to your camera. Not all camera plates have an additional 3/4 inch hole for you to put the fastener into. Rather than continuing to juggle around disconnecting the camera plate and attaching the strap and going back in forth possibly loosing either the fastener or the camera plate, I purchased an additional quick release clamp but one that was as basic as I could get and the nob was less protruding. Figure 3 shows all my caring strap components.

Figure 3

Figure 2Figure 2 shows the under side of the quick release clamp.

Figure 1Figure 1 shows the connected setup from the fastener end.

Figure 4So with the camera plate on, I just slide and lock into to place as I would if it were on the tripod with a ballhead. It is pretty simple but visuals always help. 

Over on the DigitalStory, Derrick has reviewed the Joby Ultra Plate and you can see how that works from the link. Since I use a L-plate this doesn't work for me. Another issue I can see with this setup is where if my camera strap is still attached to me and now the tripod, if I back away and I don't have enough slack, I would just wind up dragging the camera and the tripod now. One could always unthread the connector and snap away from the fastener but I'm not sure if this is any faster.

Another alternative I found was a Kickstarter project. The Fusion Plate over at is a really cool manufactured camera plate that has a little spring loop hinge that flops back into place. It is a little pricy at $68 but you don't need the fastener that probably came with your strap at all in this senerio. Still doesn't work for me since I am using the L-plate.

So if your using any kind of custom fitted plate, be it just a flat piece or an L-plate you kind of have some decisions to make and costs envolved. The least connection points between your camera and the tripod the better. Otherwise you have this sandwich of metal slabs can come undone.

Joby Ultra Plate | $19.95 | Sold only through
Fusion Plate | $68.00 | Sold only through
Custom Brakcets QRA | $52.95 | B&H Photo/ Adarama / direct through Custom Brackets / etc.

I am sure there are other quick release clamps that maybe less expensive and of different stiles, but like I said this works for me and until something else comes along, I ok with it.