Category Archives: Sport

Eternal Frustration

I am a huge Lakers fan, always has been and always will be.  Today it got a little too much for me (and I’m sure I can speak for the millions of Lakers fans out there).  For those of you who missed out on the “fun” here’s what I’m talking about.

Seriously, that’s the effort we got tonight?!  Excuse me while I learn to tie a noose with one hand.  48 POINTS!!! ARE YOU KIDDING?!  I know the Clippers have a stacked roster, even with Jamal Crawford and JJ Reddick injured they still managed to put together a bench that consisted of Glen Davis, Danny Granger, Matt Barnes, Hedo Turkoglu.  I know that the Lakers have been through injuries that teams don’t deal with in the span of 5 years .. Nash, Kobe, Nick Young to name a few.

And yes I know this is a lost season for the Lakers anyway, with Kobe not likely to come back from his kneww injury, Nash hobbling like Oscar Pistorius without his prosthetics one day and being superman the next.  On top of that we have a starting 5 and rotation consisting of guys like Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry, Kendall Marshall, Kent Bazemore, Marshon Brooks (are you laughing yet?), and Robert Sacre (now you’re definitely laughing).

There’s all this talk about the Lakers tanking and getting a lottery pick, maybe landing Wiggins, Exum, Parker, Embiid etc and that’s all well and good but knowing the Laker’s luck we’ll have the 10th pick and miss them all.

Finally I’m going to address the hope of landing a superstar in free agency either this offseason or next.  Melo, Lebron, Love … looking at this Lakers roster, does anyone actually believe that anybody other than Lebron or Durant can resurrect this franchise?  Be real now, Carmelo fanboys don’t start talking, he’s proven himself to be a great scorer and nothing else.

I should make it clear that I am OK with losing.  I don’t mind watching the Lakers lose if they compete for 48 minutes and rally back from a large deficit like the recent loss vs Pelicans.  This Lakers v Clippers game pisses me off. WHERE IS THE PRIDE GUYS?! Pau needs to man up and put Blake Griffin on his ass!  If that ranga wants to throw cute lob passes to DeAndre Jordan, stick an elbow in his damn face!  And what the hell is up with Marshon Brooks and Kendall Marshall traveling? What kind of professional basketball player makes fundamental mistakes that even 15 year olds don’t do?  There was no pride, no togetherness, no team effort.  I’m surprised the Laker fans at Staples Center didn’t boo them off the court tonight.  The game got so bad that TWC resorted to showing Mitch Kupchak’s defeated face multiple times to take our minds off the living hell that was this game.

Rant over.  Go Lakers.

Advertisements

Lowepro Photosport 200AW Review

Some time ago I posted a quick review of the Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW, which you can read here, since then I have experimented with quite a few more camera bags and due to the insane popularity of that last post I’ve decided to do more bag reviews.

So here it is, another camera bag review by a photographer for photographers.  I present the Lowepro Photosport 200AW.

This bag was designed by Lowepro to suit the more active photographers and those who like to combine physical activity with their love of photography.  I would highly recommend this bag for cyclists, trekkers, and climbers to name a few.  The video below sums it up extremely well.

I needed a camera bag that was going to carry a bit of gear and a bit of everything else while maintaining a slim and subtle profile.  I already have a huge bag that carries everything in the Pro Runner 450AW.  Here were my list of candidates:

 The thing you’ll notice immediately about this bag is the way it looks.  It’s a great looking camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag at all.  If anything it looks like a trekking bag, or something I would take snowboarding (which I did).  Lowepro offers this bag in two colours, black and orange.  I went with the black mostly because I didn’t want to stick out too much when walking around the city, though the orange still appeals to me and would be my choice for hiking/climbing/snowboarding for visibility reasons.

A quick run down of the features of this bag. 

  • Hydration pocket at rear
  • Dual compartments for camera and personal items
  • Stretch durable fabric
  • Waist and chest straps for improved stability
  • Plenty of pockets for bits and pieces

Outside

 

Lowepro logo aside, pretty inconspicuous as a camera bag which is great for traveling.  You can see I’ve also managed to use the bottom straps to clip my tripod in place (Benro C2692).  The zipped pockets on the waist strap are great for holding things like coins and quick release plates.  The back is padded just enough to keep the bag fairly comfortable when carrying heavy loads over a long distance, I have had no issues with weight in this bag.

 

Sides

 

In the side view you can see I can still squeeze a water bottle on the right.  The camera compartment is a side access much like the Fastpacks which is great for getting your camera in and out on the run without taking the bag off both shoulders.  My only issue with this bag is that it doesn’t actually carry much camera gear in the padded compartment.  In the photo I’ve managed to put my Canon EOS 5D MkII with EF 24-70mm f2.8L attached with a reversed hood.  In the side I also have a second lens.  

This compartment is too small for a pro body like the 1DX or D4, or any body with a battery grip, so certain sacrifices will have to be made.  I’ll only briefly speak about the ‘Ultra Cinch camera chamber’ as I hardly use it, it is only useful if your gear flops around a bit while it’s in the bag.  If your gear only just fits in the compartment, then leave that tucked away (like I have) and it’ll save you a bit of time when accessing your equipment.

 

Interior

 

In the rear pocket where the hydration pack goes, I prefer to put my iPad, in the top zipped pocket I like to put my filters.  In the top half of the bag (designed for everyday things) I have elected to put a padded compartment to fit more gear.  This is my solution to the small space in the camera compartment.  I this padded cell I have:

  • Canon EF 50mm f1.4
  • Canon EF 15mm f2.8 fisheye
  • Olympus OM-D with 12-50mm attached (Used to take these photos)
  • Olympus 12mm f2.0 (not in photo)

At this point the bag carries pretty much everything I need for a day of shooting.  My Canon 580EXII is also in the top compartment somewhere.  

 

Gear

 

There’s a photo of the bag emptied out, as you can see there’s quite a bit of gear in there (again, OM-D isn’t in photo).  Looking at that, most enthusiasts would be satisfied with that setup to handle just about anything that can happen on a day of shooting.  

All in all, I absolutely love the bag, it looks great and is comfortable when I carry as much or as little gear as I want (the above setup weighs in at about 7kg, tripod is about 1.7kg).  For me, the bag gets an 8/10, my only issue is the lack of space in the camera compartment but not everyone will want to carry the amount of gear that I do.  All that aside, this is still the perfect bag for an active photographer who needs a lightweight, comfortable bag to carry a mixed bag of goodies.

 

Rips

 

A minor issue, one side of the top carry strap actually ripped off while I was out on location (slightly annoying), but since I don’t use it a whole lot I elected to cut it off all together.  Not a huge concern, and it didn’t make me think any less of the bag, only the first time any Lowepro bag has done that on me. 

The bag sells for about $149USD on B&H. If you are local in Sydney, Australia, check out Castle Hill Camera House which is where I get a lot of my gear from, the friendly staff are always happy to help and talk photography as well as great local prices (Castle Hill Camera House did not pay me to write that, despite what it sounds like).

As usual, any questions, ask in the comments and I will definitely get back to you, I’m also up for criticisms, after all that’s the way to improve 🙂

Big Fish

It’s that time of the year again, where my good mate and I suit up for another unpredictable season of coaching high school basketball.  I love every aspect of coaching, sizing up each player, formulating a game plan, character building, and of course the wins.

For some reason I felt a bit different about this upcoming season, maybe it’s because it will be my 5th season as a coach, maybe because I’ve been around basketball for so much of my life.  I couldn’t quite grasp what the nagging in the back of my mind was.  So as any person would do, I went in search for some much needed inspiration, and what better place to find it than in a small time Division III school near Pittsburgh, La Roche College.

The story of Scott Lang, youngest NCAA basketball coach, who recruited players based on character rather than talent and was 100% dedicated to his team and community reads like a tragic tale.  Up until he was the age of 41, he had goals of his team taking part in the NCAA tournament.  In that final season he would say “This is the team to do it, we’ve never had this group of young men together before”.

On the court is where he lived, and on the court is where he died.  Midway through practice, Scott Lang suffered a heart attack center court and passed away.  Later that night when players were told the terrible news, they mourned in a way that would have made coach proud.  Some sat on the bleachers, others took to the court, shooting, reminiscing, trading stories and remembering the legacy.  La Roche Redhawks continued to win the rest of the season, the tournament, and was invited to take part in the NCAA Div III tournament.

Because of coach, this was a team who loved each and everyone with a La Roche jersey, these boys were willing to defend together, suffer together, and play together with and through the spirit of Scott Lang.

Me? I didn’t know him personally, but if I can be half the man he was when I step on the court with my team, then it’s going to be a great season.

Read more about Scott Lang here.