The Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop 2022 Video (Podcast 786)

The Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop 2022 Video (Podcast 786)


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Following on from the previous post about creating a slideshow using Boinx Software’s FotoMagico, although I was taken out of action for two days following my fourth COVID vaccination, I spent several additional days creating the background music for my slideshow, as I mentioned in that previous post. Slideshow music can be difficult because you don’t want it to be too prominent, but at the same time, it needs to compliment the images and content, so it takes more thought than simply sitting down to make a track just for the sake of it.

I’m not going to go into much detail, as this post is really at this point to point you to the video. Still, as the video starts, you’ll notice some simple Kalimba music, which is an African instrument that I have in one of my many plugins. I then spent some time finding chords that matched the subject matter, slightly sad sounding in places, mainly because of the feeling from the deserted diamond mines, and then I make it a little lighter with some flurries when necessary. We drop back to the Kalimba several times to break up the piano. After the initial Kolmanskop piano accompaniment, I switched to a hybrid traditional piano and electric piano played together. My wife thinks the flurries with the hybrid piano sound a little 70s or 80s, and she’s probably right because I was thinking Blade Runner as some of the notes and feeling of the music started to form.

Here is a screenshot of the final score in Ableton Live before I exported the music to embed into FotoMagico. If you click on the image, you’ll be able to see more detail if you are interested. Note that I designed the dark-teal theme for Ableton, as I don’t like the look of any of the actual themes provided with the software. The only additional thing to mention is that I also added some orchestral strings with brass and horns at various places, again, to add a little variation while changing the way I played some of the chords, hopefully making it a little less monotonous without having to compose and play each bar individually. This is to both save time and because too much variation can also get in the way of the slideshow if it starts to take the viewer’s attention.

Namibia 2022 Slideshow Score
Namibia 2022 Slideshow Score

I changed the timing a little, so although I’d say this would be around 18 minutes, the final video is 16 minutes and 30 seconds, which is still very long for a slideshow. This essentially represents most of my “keepers” from the trip, as the slideshow is designed to show you how much can be achieved during my 17-day Complete Namibia Tours. If you have time, do try to watch to the end, but I doubt with the number of images, it will be a video you’ll rewatch many times. Either way, though, if I can get my message across, that’s great. I hope you enjoy this. You can see this and over 100 other videos on my Vimeo Channel.


Show Notes

See the video on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/737475715

Check out my Vimeo Channel here: https://vimeo.com/martinbailey

Music by Martin Bailey


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Traveling Smart with Tenba Messenger Camera Bags (Podcast 551)

Traveling Smart with Tenba Messenger Camera Bags (Podcast 551)

I gave some thought to my travel strategy recently and made a few purchase decisions—one of which indicates a firm thumbs-up for the Tenba Messenger line of camera bags—so today I am going to talk about the reason for my decisions along with a review of my Tenba bags.

Most of my purchases are based on trying to solve a problem, and the problem I was facing is that it’s becoming more and more difficult to board flights with a second bag, in addition to my camera gear. Some airlines don’t even allow a second bag for a laptop now, so I ended up traveling to Namibia last year with my 15″ MacBook Pro sticking out of my photography vest pocket. We also had a really hard time taking second bags on helicopter flights in Greenland this year, so I figured it was time to totally rethink my travel strategy.

Smaller Laptop

My 15 inch MacBook Pro is three years old in January (2017) which means from a business perspective, the value of my current laptop is fully depreciated in the next couple of months. With that, I decided to pick up a new 2016 13″ MacBook Pro, which will fit nicely in the laptop compartment of my 18L Bataflae camera backpack.

Since I’ve been able to downsize most of my camera gear to three lenses and two bodies, I’m now traveling with the 18L Bataflae most of the time, and when I have to use my larger Bataflae bags, when necessary I can put the MacBook Pro under the front flap. I always put a plastic cover on my laptop when I travel, so it won’t be damaged by doing this, and the covers are like ten bucks, so I can replace it easily when it gets too scratched.

Rearrange After Flights

I don’t necessarily want to keep my laptop in my camera bag for the duration of my journey though, so I figured that most of the time I can take a messenger style bag with me in my luggage, and put the laptop in the messenger after I arrive at my destination. It’s also nice to be able to keep card readers and other cables with the laptop, so having a dedicated bag once on location is nice.

I started to look around for a good messenger style bag that was a good fit for the new 13″ MacBook Pro, and no matter how hard I looked, I kept coming back to the Tenba Messenger Mini. The reason for my attachment to this bag is because I have been using a Tenba Messenger Large for my 17″ then 15″ MacBook Pros for much of the last five years, and I absolutely love the design. I actually didn’t even know that Tenba made a Messenger Mini until I started looking, but once I knew it existed, I couldn’t get away from it.

Comparison of Small and Mini

Here’s a photo of both my old Messenger Large along with the Mini (below) so that you can see the size difference. You’ll also notice that the design is pretty much the same, although as you explore the bags the Mini has a few less pockets than the Large.

Tenba Messenger Large and Mini

Tenba Messenger Large and Mini

The Large version comes with a removable photo gear insert that can be quickly pulled out to convert the messenger to a regular bag. The Mini version comes with partitions that can easily be removed as well. In this photo (below) I’ve removed the photo insert from the Large Messenger and laid the Mini down so that you can see the partitions inside.

Tenba Messenger Large and Mini Camera Inserts

Tenba Messenger Large and Mini Camera Inserts

A Camera and Laptop Bag

Both bags will fit a camera with lens attached pointing downwards and a couple of other lenses. As you can see in this next image (below) I can actually fit my 5Ds R camera without the battery grip, attached to a 24-105 or 24-70mm lens, my 11-24mm lens, and my 100-400mm lens. The 13″ MacBook Pro is also nice and snug there in the back laptop compartment.

Tenba Messenger Mini with Gear and MacBook Pro 13" (2016)

Tenba Messenger Mini with Gear and MacBook Pro 13″ (2016)

You can also see the business card holder in the back there, for owner identification. I will put a business card inside that holder, in the hope that if I was to leave the bag somewhere, it might help someone to return the bag to me. Believe it or not, there is actually a good chance of that here in Japan. Some bags have these card holders on the outside, which I don’t like, because people sitting on a train for example could see your personal details, and that’s not good, especially when you look like you’re traveling to the airport and going to be away from home for a few days.

Messenger Mini Padding Stops it Going Flat

As you can see in this photo (below) when you remove the camera inserts from the Messenger Large, it becomes quite flat, so it can easily be packed into my check-in luggage. One of the problems with buying online though, is that I couldn’t tell that the Mini is actually padded, to provide protection for camera gear, because it comes with partition dividers and not a modular camera insert. This means that it doesn’t go as flat as the Large.

Tenba Messenger Large and Mini Without Photo Inserts

Tenba Messenger Large and Mini Without Photo Inserts

For this photo, I put a camera on top of the Mini to hold it as flat as it will go, and it’s still about twice as wide as the Large. The upside to this though, is that because the camera inserts for the Mini are so light at just 50 grams, I will probably just pack them as well, and that way I can still use the Messenger Mini as a camera bag if necessary. Say if I get the opportunity to do a bit of street photography while I’m traveling. It’s much less conspicuous than a full blown camera backpack.

With the photo gear inserts inside the Messenger Large weighs 2.97 lbs (1,035 g) and the Mini weighs just 2.4 lb (1,016 g). Note that the published weight for the Mini is just 800 grams, so I don’t know where that came from. Mine’s certainly heavier.

Why the Tenba Messenger?

Let me explain the main reasons that I really like the Tenba Messenger bags. First of all, the design is just really appealing to me. I think the bag just suits me. I’m not overly concerned about how I look, but I do like to use items that I think suit me as a person. I also like the fact that this bag doesn’t scream laptop bag, or camera bag for that matter. It just looks like a regular bag, so that makes it less of a target.

I also really like the feel of the carrying handle. It is padded, and coated with the same fabric as the rest of the bag, so it is really comfortable to carry. The shoulder strap is also really well designed and has great padding for comfort, and it doesn’t slip off your shoulders easily.

Pockets that Make Sense

The number and arrangement of pockets on the Messengers make a lot of sense. I like the two pockets in the front flap for keeping my business cards and other things that I need quick access to. The pockets on the front of the bag, underneath the the front flap, as you can see in this photo (below) are great for keeping things in that you don’t necessarily need hyper-quick access too, but don’t want to put away in the internal zipped pockets.

Tenba Messenger as Laptop Bag

Tenba Messenger as Laptop Bag

To be totally honest, I actually wouldn’t put a hard disk in these front pockets, as I’ve done here for illustration. With the top flap fastened down securely they would probably be fine, but I prefer to keep items that are as important as a hard disk further down in the main compartment, or zipped into the inside pockets.

The laptop section is inside the bag, as you can see, and I really like this. It is well padded on all sides for protection, and has a flap over the top to stop the laptop slipping out if the bag should get flipped over without the top flap fastened down. You do have to open the top flap to get the laptop out, unless you want to drag the laptop along the top zipper, but I like that added security.

There is also a large pocket on the back of the bag which is useful for carrying travel documents etc. as you can see in this photo (below). That’s a page of A4 paper here for illustration, but of course a US Letter sized document would also fit in this back pocket.

Tenba Messenger Mini Back Pocket

Tenba Messenger Mini Back Pocket

Waterproof Bottom

The last nice feature that I’ve found myself inadvertently relying on a lot over the years is the waterproof bottom of the bag, as you can see in this photo (below). I have used my Large Messenger a lot on my winter tours, and the snow on my boots invariably melts creating a puddle of water on the floor at my seat, and I generally have my bag down there on the floor too. I then realize later that the bottom of the bag is wet, but the water has never made it’s way into the bag to wet my gear or paperwork that I keep in the back pocket.

Tenba Messenger Mini Waterproof Bottom

Tenba Messenger Mini Waterproof Bottom

Conclusion

So, a quick episode this week, but to wrap this up, I’d just like to say once again that I really do like these little bags, as you can tell by the fact that I voted with my dollars (or Yen) to pick up a second for my new laptop, and I’m really looking forward to my upcoming flights now that I’ll be able to travel with just one carry-on. I could of course carry on both my Bataflae backpack and either of these Tenba Messenger bags on some flights, but I really just don’t want to any more.

I’ve put links to these bags on Amazon.com and B&H Photo in the show notes (below) so if you decide to pick one up yourself, please use these links to support the podcast and help to keep our weekly content coming. With the three sizes available, including the Small which I didn’t mention, you can probably find a good match for yourself, or that special significant other as a Christmas or birthday gift.


Show Notes

B&H Photo Links for Messenger: Large | Small | Mini

Amazon.com Links for Messenger: Large | Small | Mini

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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An Interview with Oded Wagenstein – The Visual Storyteller (Podcast 393)

An Interview with Oded Wagenstein – The Visual Storyteller (Podcast 393)

Oded Wagenstein is an accomplished Israeli photographer and regular contributor to the Israeli edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine, and he’s just joined the Craft & Vision fold with his new book, The Visual Storyteller, which is an excellent introduction to incorporating story into our photographs.

And here’s the video if you prefer to watch.

 

Oded Wagenstein

Oded Wagenstein

Questions asked:

  • When did you get into photography?
  • What led to you starting to work for the National Geographic?
  • Tell us about your new book The Visual Storyteller?
  • I really like how you use the word Highlighting. Please tell us more about that?
  • You run workshops around the world. What sort of things do you teach?
  • Could you talk us through five of your photographs?
  • Talk about your approach to portrait photography
  • Where can people find you online? (Answer after images…)

You can buy Oded’s new book The Visual Storyteller, in which he covers these questions and much more, from Craft & Vision here.

The Visual Storyteller

The Visual Storyteller

Here are some of Oded’s amazing images that we discussed in this interview.

Highlight © Oded Wagenstein

Highlight © Oded Wagenstein

Leading Character © Oded Wagenstein

Leading Character © Oded Wagenstein

Universal Emotion  © Oded Wagenstein

Universal Emotion © Oded Wagenstein

Tools of the Trade © Oded Wagenstein

Tools of the Trade © Oded Wagenstein

Access © Oded Wagenstein

Access © Oded Wagenstein

Previsual © Oded Wagenstein

Previsual © Oded Wagenstein

The Monk © Oded Wagenstein

The Monk © Oded Wagenstein


Show Notes

Oden’s new ebook from Craft & Vision – The Visual Storyteller: https://mbp.ac/odedwtvst

Oden’s Web site: http://www.odedwagen.com/

Oded on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oded.wagenstein

Oded on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113944540803643018896/posts

Music by UniqueTracks


Audio

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