Emerging Gear: Outdoor Products This Week

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A peek at emerging products on the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.

Bicycle Brake Light

An accelerometer gauges when your bike’s speed falls, triggering the FLR30 rear light by Fabric Cycles. It automatically increases in brightness, just like a brake light. It retails for $40, and has static and multiple flash settings.

Helmet-Mounted SOS Tracker

In the event of dramatic deceleration, the PhiPAL sends an emergency message to your contacts along with your location. It fits on any helmet – bicycle, ski, motorcycle – and is intended to work for any incident that would cause an accident, including sudden health emergencies.

Ultra-Visible Cycling Jacket

Copious waterproof reflective material on the front and rear, neon waterproof-breathable sides, and four detachable lights make the Showers Pass High-Vis Torch one of the most eye-catching jackets we’ve ever seen. Both men’s and women’s trims run $325.

Phone Case With A Cause

All of Woodchuck USA‘s custom wood products are handcrafted and made in Minneapolis. Its products range from wood-inlayed flasks, bottle-openers, journals, and its top-seller: iPhone cases. Best of all, for every product sold, Woodchuck plants a tree.

‘5 Quarters’ Knife

A stout steel blade, carbon-fiber handle, and titanium clip create a lithe knife that weighs 1.3 ounces, or about the same as $1.25 in quarters. The Ultra C-Ti will be the first blade from SOG Knives & Tools to hit the market in 2017.

Backpack Tent, Pad, And Bivvy

‘Stop, Drop, and Camp.’ That’s the idea behind the Shelterpack, an all-in-one, portable camping shelter. A single-person tent, memory foam sleeping pad, and bivvy cover all fold up, transforming into a waterproof backpack.

Jackey Power Pack

A new entrant into the portable power market, the Power Pro by Jackery boasts up to a week of juice for your gadgets. The $1,400 Power Pro weighs 12 pounds, has solar-charging capability, and enough muscle to run a mini-fridge or flat-screen TV.

Tern’s First Electric

One of the preeminent names in folding bikes dips its toe into the electric bike market. The upcoming Vektron (sounds like an intergalactic superhero) comes equipped with Tern’s tool-free adjustable components, a built-in rear light, hydraulic disc brakes, and a 250 W Bosch motor. The Vektron will retail for around $3,400, but Kickstarter backers receive $300-$400 off.

Clean Feet, Anywhere

An unassuming Adventure Mat that folds down to the size of a small tablet device. The all-weather mat is for every time you need to change into, or out of, your footwear outdoors. It looks perfect for the beach, campsite, or ski slopes.

Knife To Benefit Fallen Firefighters

An industry team-up to raise money for a good cause: Spyderco knives and Never Summer snowboards release a limited-edition folding knife. Spyderco’s popular Native 5 receives a bright red handle and special blade engravings. Sales help raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Email info@neversummer.com for more information on ordering.

After-Market Spare Tire Carrier

The Hitchgate swings open for rear-door access and holds a full-size spare tire. Made by Wilco, it fits “almost any vehicle” with a 2-inch hitch receiver.

Ski-Snowboard ‘Golf Bag’

The “only ski and snowboard travel bags that have extendable legs and wheels,” the $300 SkiGlider and FreeGlider bags hit the the market for the 2016-17 winter season. It’s noted golf bag manufacturer Sun Mountain’s first step into the ski/snowboard market.

Origami Measuring Spoons

One of the more unusual and potentially ingenious innovations we’ve seen, the Polygons measuring spoons fold to accommodate different sizes, from 1 to 2 Tbsp., and 1/4 to 1 tsp. These plastic sheets look like a great space saver for campers.

Mountain Man ‘Lollipop’

Three brothers took up their parents’ challenge to either get summer jobs or start a business. Opting for the latter, they used a Scout background to handcraft and package (and market) these unique firestarting kits: Mountain Man Lollipops and Belly Button Lint, Sasquatch Scat, and more.

‘World’s Lightest’ Cast Iron Skillet

By using less material than traditional cast iron (up to 5 mm less thick), Marquette Castings created a skillet that is up to 20 percent lighter. Does this make it ideal for camping trips? Maybe. The 8-, 10-, and 12-inch pans will retail between $105-$135.

Glow-In-The-Dark Activewear

An “ultra-light fabric, woven with spandex” that’s breathable and dries in seconds, not a new claim for an outer layer. But the FANIGHT‘s ReNano material absorbs UV light and reemits a glowing pattern for up to two hours. The glowing jacket will retail for $130.

‘Center Drive’ Multi-Tool

Ergonomics and price set Gerber’s new Center Drive multi-tool apart from others. A redesigned, full-size driver allows you to torque this multi like a standard screwdriver. It also sports an outboard blade that’s 30 percent longer than competing multis and spring-loaded pliers for $89.

Modular Wallet

RFID-blocking technology gets a fresh perspective on design. The CRATE titanium-carbon Multi-Mode wallet is modular and can be configured to any of five forms. An elastic band and various interchangeable shells let you assemble the wallet to custom fit what you’re carrying (business cards, credit cards, cash) and where you’re carrying it, from backpack to pants pocket.

The post Emerging Gear: Outdoor Products This Week appeared first on GearJunkie.

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Astronomers just reported 234 signals that could be from aliens trying to make contact

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There’s a new study out that has identified 234 stars, out of a sample of 2.5 million, with a peculiar pulsing signal. The two astronomers who conducted the study, using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, report that the pulsing is similar to what a signal from an intelligent alien race might look like, if they were trying to make contact.

The astronomers behind the study, as well as outside experts, are displaying a healthy level of skepticism about the possibility of aliens as an explanation. Still, there are only a few other possibilities that could explain this odd behavior.

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A rare double ‘moonbow’ formed during Sunday’s supermoon — and a photographer captured the incredible moment

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The delight and surprise we feel after spotting a double rainbow
arcing across the sky almost never wears off.

So imagine photographer Ben Gwynne’s shock while he photographed

Sunday’s supermoon
— and turned around to see a
double moonbow.

Below is Gwynne’s photo of the relatively rare phenomenon, which
he first posted
about on Facebook
(and we first saw at the BBC).

The UK-based professional photographer
snapped the image over a field in northern England at 7:38 p.m.
as fog rolled through the area:


moonbow full moon rainbow copyright ben gwynne 159photography.

A
rare photograph of a “moonbow” photographed in northern England
during the supermoon on Oct. 16, 2016.


Ben
Gwynne



Sunlight did not directly cause the rainbow, since it was well
after dark. Moonlight — which was beaming from low on
the horizon, opposite of the moonbow — refracted off droplets of
water in the fog, splitting into a rainbow of colors.

“I’d never seen one before and getting to photograph it was
amazing,” Gwynne told the BBC.

“There may have been a couple of [curses],” too, Gwynne told
Business Insider via Facebook Messenger.

Gwynne set his camera to capture a long exposure, which helped
saturate the subtle lighting and colors. It also brought out the
double moonbow hovering above the main arc, plus some
orange-colored light pollution.

Sunday night’s full moon was a supermoon, or when the moon swings
closest to Earth in its monthly and slightly elliptical orbit.
Technically called “perigee-syzygy
of the Earth-Moon-Sun system
,” supermoons are not only a bit
brighter than typical full moons, but they can also cause
stronger ocean tides and weather events.

The next supermoon is November 14, 2016 (the
closest supermoon since 1948), and after that there’s one
December 13, 2016. (We wish you luck in seeing a
moonbow.)

Sunday’s full moon also earned the name of a Hunter’s moon and a
blood moon, which are just two more of the
dozens of names we ascribe to lunar phases
.

Rebecca Harrington contributed to this post.

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I Really Didn’t Expect This Guy to Land Where He Did After He Jumped Off a 129-Foot Roof

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I’m totally safe and sitting in front of a computer screen, and yet I’m sweating because watching this guy pull his crazy jumps from buildings is just not okay. This one is especially brutal because I really didn’t expect him to end up where he landed. He starts on the roof of the building 129 feet in the air and ends up safely down in the harbor—but I thought he was gunning for that soft middle landing of water between the dock and not, like, on the freaking other side.

He barely dodges the dock too. The wrist camera angle is even scarier because you see the world fall around him as he’s making his jump.

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10 Non-Technical Ways to Improve Your Street Photography

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The technical side of street photography is incredibly important to master, because if you do not understand your camera, then you will not be able to do the tips in this article well. You want to be able to know your camera so well that you forget it is even there.

However, it is the non-technical tips, thinking beyond the camera, that can help you to improve to the next level. So here are 10 of my favorite tips to help improve your street photography.

1. Be spontaneous

5th Ave, New York Street Photography

While out shooting, I hear photographers all too commonly worry about cutting people’s legs off in the photo, not composing it right, or skewing the photograph by accident. Of course, these are technical issues to keep in mind when you review your work later. They can be important, but wasting your energy thinking about this nitpicky stuff while shooting can kill your ability to notice and capture those quick and wonderful moments that constantly appear.

Try to turn the analytical side of your brain off when you’re out photographing. Enjoy the process, and spend your time seeking out your subjects and looking at the light. Allow some spontaneity and chance in how you compose and shoot your photographs. Let your instincts take over. The more you train these instincts, the better they will become. William Eggleston only takes one photograph of every scene that he comes across. While you don’t have to go that far, many photographers do the opposite, try to ease any tension when you’re out there shooting and let your instincts guide you.

Garry Winogrand skewed more of his photographs than not, and everyone cuts off peoples legs constantly, but none of these factors alone have ever ruined a great photograph. By shooting more spontaneously you might miss a few shots, but the good ones will be even that much better.

2. Slow down and look

Graffiti and Gallery, 14th Street.

There is no need for a brisk pace when out photographing. Doing this will hurt your ability to notice your surroundings. Many people will come across an area and completely disregard it and move on to the next spot before they give it a proper chance. They just keep moving on and hoping for that magical location. But magical locations usually don’t swoop down on you like that. All of the places that you immediately disregard have a good photograph somewhere, maybe even a great one, you just need to find it. Those elusive photographs can be more interesting than the ones that immediately pop out at you.

Instead of spending your energy walking, spend it looking. Go high, get low, look left, and look right. The more you might disregarding an area, the more you have to ask yourself why you feel that way, and the more you should push yourself to try and get a good photograph there.

3. Do not be afraid of taking bad photographs

Smoke, Prince Street, SoHo

Photographing this way will yield many bad photographs, and it will also yield incredibly interesting ones that many people will not understand. But try to not let this affect how you photograph and how you feel when you are out shooting. Do it for yourself.

The bad photographs come constantly, but it is important that you spontaneously take them, because it means you are getting yourself ready for the moments when those incredible images will briefly appear before you. Shooting the bad ones will help you to better notice the good ones, and those bad photographs are just practice for those rare and elusive moments that you do not want to miss.

4. Notice the light

Smoke, Grand Central Terminal

The more you slow down, the more aware you will become of your surroundings. This will help you to better understand and work with light. Light dictates how the scene will look in the camera, so you need to pay attention to its strength, the locations of the light sources and how they hit your subjects, the color of the light, and any contrasty areas with significant differences between the shadows and highlights.

Light is not necessarily the first thing you should notice, though. The subject needs to be the first thing that catches your eye, but you should always be aware of the light when entering a new location. If you are aware of the light, then you can work with it in a spontaneous way as well.

5. Notice people from afar

Sailboat, Manhattan Bridge.

While street photography is not only about capturing people, candid photographs of people are at the heart of street photography. When you slow down and pay attention to your surroundings, you will now find yourself with the ability to pay more attention to everyone walking around you, along with their interactions. Try to go beyond just noticing people as they cross your immediate path. Try to look farther away to see people who might be interesting. The earlier that you notice them, the easier it will be to get the shot when you both intersect.

Really watch people. In street photography, your eyes are the true viewfinder, and the better you do at locating your subjects before you look through the viewfinder, the better your photography will be.

6. How will your work age?

Prince and Broadway, SoHo.

Try not to take anything for granted. We all wish we could go back 50 years in time to photograph for a day. If we were able to do that, everything we saw would look so foreign and interesting to us, but back then they were just going about business as usual. They thought about their surroundings in they way that we think about ours today.

Think about how the photographs you take today will look in 50 years. What do we take for granted that people in the future will love? What will go out of style, what will seem weird and foreign, and will everyone still be staring at a mini handheld computer while walking down the street? These are not the types of photographs that most people take, and so they will stand out much more in the future.

7. Be consistent

SoHo, New York Street Photography

Consistency is the real key. Street photography is such a difficult skill to master, and it’s easy to get rusty if you don’t do it often enough. Try to figure out a way to integrate a consistent shooting schedule. Maybe it’s a half day once a week, maybe it’s 30 minutes a day during your lunch break or after work, or maybe it’s in 10 minute increments constantly throughout your day.

Keeping some level of consistency will not only get you better photographs because you are giving yourself more of a chance to come across them, but you will improve much more consistently. Over time, your style and what you like to photograph will begin to emerge as well.

8. Use the camera as a key

cop_manhattan_bridge

The beauty of a camera is that it acts as a key to new experiences. It forces you to go out at times when you would normally be watching TV. It makes you photograph at night, in the rain, in a snowstorm, and in the worst weather. It makes you want to explore places that you would normally be too tentative to try to get access to. When people see you with a camera, many of them will understand and let you do things that they would otherwise be suspicious of. Use that to your advantage. Try to get access to areas that you would normally not take the effort to see.

In addition, a camera is a key to making new friends. This does not only apply to other photography enthusiasts. People love cameras, so use yours to break the ice. Take a portrait. Make some new friends and get yourself into new situations to photograph. This access will help to improve your photography in profound ways.

9. Expression, gesture, and emotion

Prince Street, New York Street Photography

Photography is about bringing out some sort of emotion in a viewer. Capturing expressions or gestures in people are extremely important ways to achieve this. The look in someone’s eyes or the stance that they hold can create a powerful feeling and make or break a picture.

The surface is so important to a photograph, but so is what lies beneath it. Try to see what might be hiding or hinted at under the surface of your photos. Questions will keep the person interested in the image over the longterm. You do not need to give them the answers. They will come up with some themselves.

10. Photography books

Look for inspiration outside of your own work. Purchase books from the masters to read through at night. This will give you more ideas about what you can possibly achieve when you are out there shooting. Try to find books with all different styles to shake you up a bit, such as one from Garry Winogrand and another from William Eggleston.

Over to you

Do you follow any of these ideas? Or maybe you have some other suggestions that have worked for you. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

The post 10 Non-Technical Ways to Improve Your Street Photography by James Maher appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Look Ma, No Hands (Surf’s Up Edition!)

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Here’s a bag you never thought you’d need, but won’t be able to resist buying if you’re a surfer dude or surfer chick. The Koraloc Board Bag is perfect for carrying your surf gear… surfboard included! The bag has a strap set that even holds surfboards in place, allowing you to carry everything you need, hands free. Just watch out for low-lying branches!

The bag’s highly utilitarian, being touted as completely waterproof. It even houses a laptop-sleeve, so that’s a testament to the quality of waterproofing. The insides of the bag even have their own waterproof compartments, which means your wet clothes won’t end up drenching your dry clothes or electronics. Duuuuude! Niiiice!

Designer: J.J. Davis [ Buy It Here ]

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Watch this MIT-engineered crib put crying babies to sleep in minutes

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New parents rejoice. An innovative baby sleeper aims to teach parents more about their infants and become a “member of the family.” SNOO is billed as the world’s smartest and safest baby bed. It was created by pediatrician Harvey Karp, engineered by MIT Media Lab, and designed by Silicon Valley’s own Yves Behar. SNOO creates white noise and motion to recreate the womb environment for newborns.

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