Archive for April 10th, 2008

New National Geographic Earth Explorer Bags

April 10, 2008

National Geographic has just added seven new styles to its “Earth Explorer Camera Bag collection”, a series of camera bags manufactured from a variety of environmentally-friendly materials, including hemp, cotton, and all-metal antique brass hardware. The bags provide ample room for carrying cameras, accessories, and personal belongings as well.

The new additions to the Earth Explorer collection include a large shoulder bag and a small sling bag. The large shoulder bag ($125) is ideal for photo gear for the on-the-go professional photographer. The small sling bag ($45) is designed to carry a point-and-shoot camera.

National Geographic also sells a line of pouches geared toward small point-and-shoot camera enthusiasts, listed from smallest to largest: the nano pouch ($11), micro pouch ($13), and little pouch ($15). Each of these camera pouches can be worn on a belt or over the shoulder using the included cotton strap. Each of the pouches also contains storage space for digital accessories like camera batteries and memory cards.

For additional information directly from National Geographic on these new bags and pouches, including where to buy them, be sure to visit


What do you think of these new camera bags? What do you carry your camera gear in? Please let us know in the comments.


Your Light Meter is the Hand on the Faucet

April 10, 2008

Understanding Exposure, Bryan Peterson’s award-winning photography primer, gets a lot of exposure here on Ed Krimen, Photobird’s co-founder and CEO, likes this book so much, he’s arranged with the book’s publisher, Amphoto Books, to award two copies each month as part of the prizes in our monthly Photobird Photo Contest.

I bought mine on and last month I wrote about what Bryan Peterson calls “The Photographic Triangle”, the three important factors that govern camera exposure: aperture setting, shutter speed, and ISO. Bryan points out that at the heart of this triangle lies your camera’s built-in light meter, which determines your exposure.

Next, Bryan says to think of your light meter like a hand on the kitchen faucet. It determines how long the faucet (your camera’s shutter in this analogy) stays open. Below the faucet, there are 200 worker bees (remember, that was his analogy for ISO), each holding a bucket. All of these tiny buckets are waiting to be filled. The light meter knows that to fill these buckets with an opening at the faucet of, say, f/5.6 will take a certain amount of time (say 1/250th of a second). If the faucet stays on too long, the buckets are overfilled with water and the resulting photograph is overexposed. If the faucet doesn’t stay on long enough, yep, you guessed it, the bees’ buckets aren’t filled enough and the resulting picture is underexposed.

As Bryan is quick to point out, however, there really is no best or correct aperture or shutter speed. Controlling how long that faucet stays open can, in fact, open you up to a new and creative interpretation of your pictorial elements, eeking out what is most interesting artistically in your composition. His example in the book is a bridge which he purposefully overexposed with a shutter speed set at 8 seconds, resulting in beautiful trails of light from the cars headlights and taillights streaming across the bridge.


Are Bryan’s analogies helpful to you? Are there other concepts that have helped you understand exposure? Please let us know in the comments.