The Great Three Piece Luggage Set

packing in a tight caseThe Travel Industry

Today travelling is a big industry, tourism, business travel, sightseeing. All made possible by the availability out cheap flights and accommodation.

Now it might seem that travelling, especially international travel is expensive. And it still is, but everything is relative. Compared to fifty years ago it’s relatively cheap. However some locations are more expensive than others. Connected major cities are fairly cheap because these routes are the most popular and so lots of people fly them. So there’s a whole airline industry there to pick up the trade.

Lesser or smaller destinations, means the traffic is less and airlines have problems filling all the seats on the aircraft. So those that fly those routes have to cover the airline’s costs, which includes their profit. This is Supply and Demand on action.

The same applies when traveling direct internationally. Flights to London, Paris, Rome are cheaper than the smaller European cities.

The Arduous Airport Check-In

One of the worst things about flying is airport check-ins. Such an arcane system of showing your passport, your ticket then handing over your baggage belongs to a bygone age.

It’s inefficient and causes unnecessary delays for passengers. It’s good to see that Singapore’s international airport is moving into the twenty first century and making self check-in an option for all passengers.

You scan your passport, your ticket, optical face recognition makes sure it’s you. Then you check-in and label your cases. Hopefully all airports will introduce this soon.

Talking of airport check-ins, make sure your suitcases are up to it. Good suitcases save you a lot of grief in the long run. And our favorite are the three piece luggage sets, like the ones here

vintage 3 piece luggage setGood Three Piece Luggage

Good suitcases are expensive but they pay for themselves in the long run as you can expect to get ten good years or of them. Whereas a cheap suitcase might give you just three or four years. Then it becomes tatty and needs to be replaced, which is another cost.

Lost luggage, how it happens and why?

What happens to lost luggage?

Best Camera Tripod

camera, tripod and bird


You’ve chosen your tripod and you’ve purchased a good quality one. Solid but not to heavy (always a compromise). If you haven’t you can find some good ones here Tripod for Camera And when choosing a tripod think about the type of photography you’ll be doing and allow for those big telephoto lenses for sports or wildlife photography.

All camera tripods tend to be quite simple to operate and it takes only a few minutes to become accustomed with all the controls and settings. But do you actually use one and what camera settings should you consider?


Shooting on a high shutter speed is great for hand held shots but if you have a tripod, the need for speed is reduced. And you want as low an ISO setting as possible. Obviously there’s a trade-off depending upon if the subject is moving and/or moving quickly.

When taking night shots or low light shots, lower ISO numbers reduce the time the shutter is open and produce higher quality images.

lens and mountainsNot to High

Opening the tripod all the way up is not always necessary or ideal. When the tripod is at its maximum, that’s when it’s at its least stable. So only open the tripod up as far as you have to. Lower means more stable

Shutter Release

Ideally a remote shutter release is the way to go, they’re not too expensive these days. Failing that there mechanical shutter releases that press the shutter release button for you while not introducing any camera vibration.

If don’t have or have forgotten the shutter release device then you’ll have to press the camera’s button manually. Not idea as that will introduce a slight shake. The way to deal with this is put the camera into a delay (normally used for selfies). This one or two second delay in taking the shot means that any vibration introduced has gone once the picture is taken.

Image Stablization

When the camera is on a tripod there shouldn’t be any vibration. But if there is the camera’s stabilization tries to compensate. Which itself, introduces a tiny vibration.

So when the camera’s on a tripod, turn off image stabilization – you don’t need it.

Camera with large lensLock the Mirror

If you have an SLR (more properly a dSLR, these days). Then you camera will have a mirror. As you take a shot the mirror flipping up, despite the damping added by the camera manufacturer, it will introduce a small vibration. And you want to avoid that.

Fortunately most SLR cameras will allow you to lock the mirror up so that only the shutter moves as the photo is taken.

tripod guide

How to use a tripod

tripod head types

Taking Photos

Photography – My Passion

Anyone, like me, that’s ever had a passion for photography knows that just pointing a camera and pressing the shutter does not make you a photographer. Although many cell phone owners might beg to disagree.

There’s nothing snobbish here, I’m not saying that you have to have a dSLR to join that high echelons of photography, because you can take good shots with an iPhone. I know, I’ve done it. So it’s not the equipment, although this certainly helps, it’s more than that. It’s about composition, framing and having a basic understanding of light.

The Good Old Days

When I started out it was all film and film was expensive, especially color film. So we, as in I, tended to stick with black and white. Plus; color was just so complicated and developing was difficult and temperatures of the developing chemicals critical. Then most film was made for daylight use so white balance was always wrong inside.

I used flash cubes back then, which worked once and once only. Designed to blow but in that instant give a brilliant flash. More of a novelty than a serious bit of kit but it meant you could get results at weddings, parties and indoor gatherings. But they were no better than the limited flash from a cell phone, that are used today.

Back to the Future

Fast forward to today, I bought a Canon 7d mkII, two years ago. If I compare it to my old Minolta camera, which is now 28 years old – it’s incredible. No more white balance issues and when there are I can fix these easily with software or even inside the camera.

Instant feedback, I can see what I’ve taken immediately, no waiting for days. A flash unit that negotiates with the camera how much flash is needed. And ISO (used to be called ASA) which was set for a film and max’d out at 400. Now it goes to sixteen thousand and I can set it per frame.

All quite amazing but the old rules of good photography still apply and optics never change. So all those things I had to learn, still apply. And I think I’m a better photography because of all that knowledge. My (long) apprenticeship, so to speak). And some of the best photographs are still the iconic ones from the last century

I’ll be sharing my thoughts here on this site, so stay tuned.