Online Magazine

Recent Posts


More Places to Go


Close Ups

16th September 2022

With the naked eye, it’s often difficult or impossible to see the detail of smaller objects.
Most modern cameras and cellphones have lenses that can focus close enough to capture some of this detail.

When shooting up close I try to have good lighting, careful focus and a steady hand (or better yet a tripod) to keep the images as in focus as possible.

Below are some of the pictures that I’ve been able to photograph up close without using any special camera equipment.

Whatever type of camera that you’re using you’re probably equipped to take close ups. It not only interesting to see your subjects up close with lots of detail, it’s fun too.
Written by: Arnie Lee

PhotoPlus Expo – ZipShot

12th November 2013

Tamrac’s very compact tripod

For photographers who like to travel light, Tamrac has introduced the ZipShot.


This is a very small and lightweight tripod.

Weighing less than a pound and only 15″ long when folded, it’s easy to carry.

Alana, the rep for Tamrac is showing me how the compact ZipShot easily unfolds for setup.

If you’ve set up a camping tent that uses fiberglass shock-cords, then you’ll understand how the ZipShot works.

It has aluminum legs that stand 44″ above the ground and has a heavy duty ball head.

Alana told me that the ZipShot can be used with equipment weighing up to 3 pounds so it won’t be useful for long, heavy telephoto lenses.

She also showed me the Quick-Release accessory kit for the ZipShot.

Place the base to the ZipShot’s ball head and you can quickly attach/detach your camera to the tripod.

Price of the ZipShot (TR406) is about $59. The Quick-Release kit (A120) sells for $20.


For more information about Tamrac’s ultra-light tripod see ZipShot


Written by: Arnie Lee





The Case For a Tripod

I’ve never been a big user of tripods. I have nothing against using them and in fact I own several of them. I use a tripod mostly around the studio when shooting still life and products. But when I’m shooting out of the studio, I rarely take one along. I like the lightweight freedom and try to minimize the amount of gear that I carry. And I am not very patient trying to set up for a shot. When traveling by airplane a tripod is just not very convenient.


That being said, I found a tripod very helpful on my most recent outing.

To be completely truthful, I didn’t use a conventional tripod. Instead I carried a Joby Gorillapod.

The Gorillapod is a very lightweight flexible stand. It has a 1/4″x20 screw for mounting to your camera’s tripod socket. Its legs are jointed and bendable to provide a stable platform even when rested on uneven surfaces.

I carried a Gorillapod with me while exploring Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona. These are slot canyons formed from sandstone and carved by wind and water over millions of years. What is thrilling about these formations is that light filters it way from above through narrow passages creating amazingly colorful visuals as you hike through the passageways.


During daylight, the canyon is dimly lit yet remains easily and comfortably walkable. Photographically, there is enough light in some areas to shoot handheld. However to capture images of some of the more dimly lit rock faces, you’ll need to use longer exposure times e.g. 1/2 second or longer. Not many of us can handhold at these slower shutter speeds.

Knowing this ahead of time, I mounted one of my cameras on the Gorillapod. As you can see from its short legs, when placed on the ground it’s not convenient to use unless you’re kneeling down. In the canyon, the rocks are the perfect surface on which to rest this mini tripod.

For much of the tour, I’m looking upwards towards the light entering the canyon from above. To capture a long exposure, I twisted the legs to conform with the contour of an adjacent rock surface to make a “rock steady” platform. I used this technique for exposures up to two full seconds.

If you too are a non-tripod guy like me, you might find it useful during one of these outings to include a very portable tripod. There are several brands of portable steadying devices. You can find out more about the one I used at Joby Gorillapod

If you’re interested in visiting these amazing slot canyons located near Page, Arizona, you’ll want to book a tour with one of the five Navajo owned companies. I chose an extended photo tour 2-1/2 hours instead of the normal 1-1/2 hour tours. I booked through Antelope Canyon Tours and our tour guide Rosie was splendid in pointing out many of the colorful formations and giving us photo shooting tips.



Written by: Arnie Lee







Newer Posts »