I’m a sucker for quality, that has never been an issue. Ever since reading Yvon Chouinard’s book Let My People Go Surfing, I realized that I, too, believed in the product well made, well crafted and in paying a premium for it. It just makes sense on a value spectrum, on an environmental note, and simply in owning something that is awesome and will be awesome for awhile. It is on this note that I introduce to you some of my favorite products from 2012 (or at least that I used in 2012) whether they be for the photographer, the traveler, or anyone else for that matter.
A PAIR OF PANTS
Yeah, you read it right. The best pair of pants. Besides underwear, I argue that pants make up the most crucial part of your wardrobe. If your pants are off, you my friend, are going to have a very miserable trip, vacation, shoot, night out, night in…Pants for me have to fulfill my goals of being all things to me: they have to be nice enough for an office visit and not nice enough that I can quickly go hiking in them.
They need to fit well above and beyond everything else. Too canvasy? Kuhl…until they made the Desparado. Too cottony? Most pants until the outdoor companies realized they could thread a few percentage points of spandex in those babies and viola, you’ve got yourself a killer pair of do everything, be everything pants. Thanks, Mountain Hardware for making the Passenger Pant in shark color ($80 REI). They are all of these things. I own three pairs.
AN INTERESTING NEW CAMERA
This one was easy. Sure the market saw a rush (or delayed rush) of new cameras this year, mostly encompassing in the digital world the Canon vs Nikon clash of similar cultures. I agree the Nikon D4 and the Canon 1Dx, not to mention the fabulous Nikon D800/Canon 5D Mark III, have all been more than noteworthy. The Nikon D800 probably changed the playing field among the four of these. And yet, I’m still more interested in the low profile, very cool Fuji X-PRO 1. Ok, it’s slow on autofocusing; we get it. Aside from that though, it’s an advanced amateur/street photographer/back-up-pro-just-in-case-my-other-cameras-go-down-but-I-really-just-want-it/travel photographer’s dream.
I love the solid/metal feel to it and the manual controls. I am starting to see what I can get out of the digital video. The sound so far isn’t that hot (even though it is stereo instead of mono), but I guess you shouldn’t expect a ton. The pictures are great and the 35 mm lens is awesome. The price is also dropping to around 1249-1399 which is awesome. Fuji is building more lenses which means it should be around for awhile (and upgraded eventually). I’m very pleased with it, and I’m trying to find trips that will make it my main camera.
AN INTERESTING MAGAZINE
This year I still have to hand it to PDN. Photo District News puts out fantastically useful articles in a variety of genres, and even if you aren’t shooting weddings or fine art, it’s really interesting to follow the trends and great photography.
To have it in your hand is a different experience than on the web. You should subscribe if you wanna know more about the industry as a whole and love cool photographs.
AN INTERESTING VIDEO
Besides Gangnam Style, which happened to define for me the difference between “Good” and “Entertaining,” my favorite video so far this year was David McLain’s trailer for his upcoming documentary on “Bounce – The Kirkwall Ba, Orkney Islands, Scotland.” David McLain is a well known National Geographic photographer who started really becoming a well known cinematographer .
A SET OF HEADPHONES
I understand that beats by DRE are very stylish and probably very good. They don’t contour to my head very well, so maybe this is a “it’s me, not you” situation. I also don’t like to be stared at TOO much when I’m monitoring sound in another country or anywhere, actually. Black is fine. I tested out several sets of headphones when I went to purchase, meaning about fifteen. I have been very happy with a set of Sennheiser HD 280 pro. They sounded like one of the best to my ears, they fold up very well, and they contour perfectly. What’s not to like?
They continue to do great work in the studio as well as on location. They do not have a noise canceling feature, but for $100, I have been more than pleased with the purchase.