Archive for September, 2015

Adventures in Photography

Posted: September 29, 2015 in Ramblings
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A little over a year ago, Gran-Gran sent us her black Zuca Sport rolling suitcase.  Our intention was to use this as an airline carryon, but it exceeds the dimensions for that.  So I had this brilliant idea to use it as a rolling photography kit.  Three people, three or four cameras, and all our gear…our former photography bag was the Kipling Sherpa, which was quite roomy and adequate but got very heavy!

Unfortunately the Zuca Sport didn’t do so well, even on blacktop.   I wrote to Zuca suggesting an “outdoor adventure” model and learned that they were actually in the process of developing an off-road model for these kinds of situations!  The company offered me a prototype if I’d do testing and of course I said yes.

Frankly I’d forgotten all about this, because so much else was going on, but two weeks ago Zuca contacted me to see if I was still interested.  Well, we hadn’t come up with an alternate rolling gear solution, so I said yes again, and today the product arrived.  We will be putting it through its paces this weekend and upcoming weekends, but here are the initial thoughts as it comes straight out of the box.  Behold the Zuca All-Terrain:

Compared to G-G's Sport model on the right.

Compared to G-G’s Sport model on the right.

First of all it’s a lot bigger than I’d expected.  I’d visualized a Zuca Sport with the bigger, more rugged wheels, but the entire frame has been sized up.  The Zuca Sport had sufficient interior space to carry all our camera gear; in the All-Terrain, there’s plenty of room for more stuff.

We always carry:

  • a Clik Elite ClikSit
  • a MeFoto Roadtrip tripod
  • a MeFoto DayTrip tripod
  • my Fujifilm X-T1 in a snug fit neoprene holster case
  • Chris’ Sony RX100 in a slimfit leather case
  • Alex’s Ricoh WG-4 camera in a slimfit nylon case with a waterproof strap (this is a waterproof camera)
  • a slim zipper pouch with all the accessories for Chris’ camera
  • a bigger zipper pouch with all the accessories for my camera
  • a Gorillapod
  • notebook and pen
  • (usually) a bottle of water or two
Loaded, with room for more.

Loaded, with room for more.

As you can see, all those items fit in the All-Terrain easily.  We can definitely get Chris’ Canon DSLR in there as well.  There is also a slim side pocket that holds a Surface Pro 3!  Can you tell I’m excited about this thing?

Side view of the All-Terrain. The zip pocket holds the Surface Pro 3.

Side view of the All-Terrain. The pocket that holds the Surface Pro 3 is on the other side (an elasticated deep pocket). The one you see here, zip pocket, is rather shallow.

Other than the size, this also differs from the Sport model in its handle.  The Sport model has the standard rolling luggage type handle of two parallel bars that are joined across the top by a horizontal grip.  This means you can slide a carryon with a trolley sleeve over its handle for easy carrying.  However, the All-Terrain has a single extendable pole with a fixed handle on it.  (It took me a few tries to figure it out, but it’s in place now.)  It seems easy to steer (on the hardwood floors, at least).

Stay tuned for this weekend’s report on its handling and utility.  Posts about this unit will be tagged with ‘zuca.’

Whoops.  Came back to edit and point out that small-car drivers may have trouble with this thing because of the size.  We have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon so there’s plenty of room in the cargo section, but the wheels are big (12″ diameter), far apart (18″ span), and the bag is 24″ high when the pole is retracted.  I can see the wheels being an issue for some.

This is really not helping!

Posted: September 25, 2015 in Ramblings

This project is supposed to get me out of my rut, and instead I keep forgetting about it.  Well, here is today’s picture, a Pale Dragon about to devour a bacon sandwich.

Panera breakfast sandwich.

Panera breakfast sandwich.

Reflecting

Posted: September 23, 2015 in Ramblings

Today’s picture is an interesting reflection on the kitchen wall.  The sun shines in the back door as it sets, and reflects off the granite (which has little mirrory bits in it).  This is the abstract thing it created.

I like to reflect on interesting photos.

I like to reflect on interesting photos.

Settling for Second Best

Posted: September 22, 2015 in Ramblings

I’m a fan of the Winter Soldier; I always like those tormented, dark men with mysteries in their pasts (Sharpe, Aragorn, Snape…).  There’s always optimism about uncovering the secrets.  Well, since Disney is affiliated with Marvel for the making of the Avengers movies, I headed into the Disney store for yesterday’s photograph.  Unfortunately for me, there was not a single Winter Soldier item in the store, and so my photo of the day is a child’s Captain America costume.

This shield is plastic, not vibranium.

This shield is plastic, not vibranium.

Empty Blog Post

Posted: September 20, 2015 in Ramblings

Well, I completely forgot about taking an interesting picture today, and it was raining most of the day anyway, so I leave you with a picture of an empty blog post.

emptyblogpost

Swedish Issaquah

Posted: September 19, 2015 in Ramblings

I stopped off at Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah this afternoon, because there’s a gift shop there I wanted to browse.  Disappointing:  all the shops close at 4PM on Saturday (I got there at 5:15).  Even more disappointing:  the entire wing of the hospital was deserted!  Nobody at the info desk, Starbucks closed, nobody walking around…it was like a ghost town.  If we ever need medical care, I am demanding service at Evergreen Redmond!

A wooden sculpture hanging from the ceiling of the deserted atrium.  (Looking up from below.)

A wooden sculpture hanging from the ceiling of the deserted atrium. (Looking up from below.)

September 18

Posted: September 18, 2015 in Ramblings

Well?  I don’t know what else to call these entries!

Today I bring you three photographs from Molbak’s Nursery and Garden Center.

Giant metal flowers almost as tall as I am.

Giant metal flowers almost as tall as I am.

A very tall vase, perhaps to put the metal flowers inside?

A very tall vase, perhaps to put the metal flowers inside?

A top-down view of some pink cacti in a tray.

A top-down view of some pink cacti in a tray.

Still working on some alternate-universe situations for these. Stay tuned.