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Don’t get caught in the rain without your Bheestie Bag (Review)

September 24, 2013 Comments off
56g Bheestie Bag

56g Bheestie Bag

Bheestie Bag (56g)
Bheestie & Co., LLC.
$29.95 (56g)/ $17.95 (28g)

What’s worse than getting your new Canon T3 DSLR wet because you got caught in the rain? Telling your wife that you think your new Canon T3 DSLR might be ruined because you got caught in the rain, that’s what. Water and electronic devices don’t mix. It’s kind of an oil and water thing, only much worse. Plus, even at the price of oil these days, electronics are still more expensive. They’re far too valuable to use a few times and then have to scrap them or sell them on an auction site for pennies on the dollar just because they got a little damp.

We were on a short, impromptu family vacation this summer in Wyoming (aka Kenapalooza), when we got caught in a downpour at a place called Veedauwoo (between Laramie and Cheyenne) in southern Wyoming. Nice place. Cool rock formations and a biblical proportion deluge that was unexpected.

Southern Wyoming. Summer. Downpour. Which of these things doesn’t belong?

I did everything I could to protect my camera during the quick mile-long walk back to the car in ever-increasing rain. We were all soaked by the time we got back to the parking lot. I held my camera and leaned over it while I walked at first. The trees protected me from the rain when it was only sprinkling. But when the rain came down so hard that I couldn’t see ten feet in front of me, I was worried. I was worried about our safety and my camera’s status as a floatation device.

Soon, I placed the camera under my shirt and walked briskly back toward the car. The rain came harder. The camera, under my shirt, was still getting wet. I bent over it to shield it more, while also trying to trot along while herding kids, my wife, and her sister uphill toward dry refuge.

As soon as I got back to the car, I dried myself and the camera with a beach towel that we had in the back. My wife looked as if I’d sacrificed our first born to an angry volcano.

We were both upset at the prospect of my camera becoming a paperweight, when I’d only had it a few months.

I meticulously dried it after getting back to her sister’s house a few hours later.

The only thing I noticed that had gone wrong was that the Flash wouldn’t pop up when it was supposed to. It just made this loud clicking noise and an error appeared on the LCD screen.

Ruined, I thought. Ruined.

I’ll never be able to replace it. That’s OK, I can always go back to film. Yeah, like that’s an option these days with all of my online venues, Dropbox, and relatives that don’t want to wait two days for developing and scanning.

Rice wouldn’t work with a DSLR. I’m not putting my camera into a bowl of rice to dry it out. That’s just silly.

A few days went by and I had researched ways to get my Flash to pop up again but no luck. A few more days went by and I got an email from a representative of Bheestie who read one of my stories about the trip and wanted me to test out the bag on my camera. I said that I would.

After receiving the bag and reading the instructions (I know, who does that? But, hey, I’m desperate), I reluctantly placed my camera in the bag and sealed it shut. I left the camera in for 24 hours per the instructions.

The next evening, I removed my camera, checked it out and then thought I’d try the ultimate test.

Click, click, pop! Up came the flash.

Whoa!

It worked. I was so happy that I tried it over and over and it worked every time. Sometimes after only one click but it worked.

I put it back into the bag for another 24 hours to be sure that everything that could be done was done.

I brought the camera out and have had no trouble with my flash. Sometimes it only clicks once and sometimes it pops up the first time. It’s not 100 percent back but it’s much better than 100 percent broken.

If I’d had the Bheestie Bag on the day that the camera got wet, I think it would have been much better. Instead, I had to rely on other methods that weren’t effective such as drying with rubbing alcohol, blow drying, and using Q-tips.

The Bheestie Bag saved my camera from the auction block and saved me from the wrath of “you know who.” I wish I’d had it sooner but I didn’t know about it. The large bag (56g) was more than adequately big enough for my camera, attached lens, and strap.

I’m convinced that the Bheestie Bag is the right choice for anyone who uses electronics such as DSLRs, phones, tablet computers, or anything that might get wet in the process. Personally, I’ll never be without one. If you’re thinking that a bowl of rice is just as good, you’re wrong. That might work for a momentary plunk into some water but for something that’s soaked, you’d better have something other than rice available to you.

I’m sure that there are commercial services that would dry your gadget for you at almost the price of a new one but that isn’t frugal. So, how is the Bheestie Bag frugal, you ask? $500 camera. $30 fix. You do the math.

It would be ridiculous of me not to highly recommend the fix for my camera, now wouldn’t it? It worked for me and there are hundreds of other testimonials on the Internet that agree.

Review: 10/10

Recommendation: Buy one and keep it handy for emergencies. You don’t use a fire extinguisher everyday but you keep one handy, don’t you?

Momentisa app (Product Review)

April 15, 2013 Comments off
Figure 1

Figure 1

Momentsia
madbits, LLC.
Free
iPhoneography effect app

I am an avid freelance, semi-pro photographer and as such, I really enjoy all types of photography from the very lowest common denominator of point-and-shoot film cameras all the way up to my fancy shmancy digital SLR (Canon T3). I’m equally intrigued by iPhoneography. I like the instant effects I can get with different apps that mimic, almost imperfect pixel by imperfect pixel, the effects I get with film and cross processing. I’m also a big fan of art, especially the various schools of modern art or what I call modern art–from the post Impressionists through the Bauhaus movement all the way up to what’s popularly known as Post-modernism*.

The Momentsia app gives you sort of a Modrian type effect in multiple collage type frames. See Figure 1 for an example.

The app is very simple to use. See steps below. Once you open the app and select the frame style that you want from the dozens of options, then tap a frame to take a picture with your phone’s camera to send to that frame. Repeat for the other frames.

Using Momentsia

  1. Select a layout.
  2. Capture or select a picture.
  3. Save or share.

If you’d like to add any shots from one of your albums, then tap and hold to bring up your album options. Select a photo for the selected frame and continue until your frames are filled. You can also use your front or rear facing camera with this app to get yourself into the action.

Mannequin collage

Figure 2: Mannequin collage

You can perform some minor manipulation like zoom in, zoom out and pan on your photos, which can give you some more interesting effects even with the same photo. See Figure 2 as an example.

The photo in Figure 2 is the same mannequin picture used for each frame. I zoomed in on the face for the lower left frame. The upper frame is a zoom and pan. The lower right frame is the original photo as it landed into that frame.

You can change the frame arrangement after your photos are in place if you want by tapping the design icon. Your photos will stay in the buffer. You can add, remove, take new shots and rearrange your pictures an infinite number of times.

Once you’ve completed your new masterpiece, you can save it to your Camera Roll, email it to a friend, post it to Instagram, attach to a tweet or post on your Facebook page.

The app is easy to use, versatile, offers lots of options and does what it says it does: creates collages.

Momentsia is free but I think if madbits wanted to monetize this app, they could for a cool 99 cents. I don’t think many people would pay more for it and it’s totally worth a buck for all you can do with it.

One thing to note about this app: the colors you see in the design preview have nothing to do with the actual colors in the end product. I’m not exactly sure why there are different colors, since they have no apparent effect on your photos.

In all, Momentsia is fun to use and is a great little app to have for you iPhoneographers out there who want something a little different to play with. I say, “Get it.” Why not, it’s free so if you hate it, you can delete it without a moments (Yes, that’s a slight attempt at a pun) remorse.

I give Momentsia a 7 out of 10 because there are few options and I can’t figure out how to get color tinting, if it’s even an option, for my frames. It’s a “good enough” app for a collage special effect but don’t expect spectacular and you won’t be disappointed. Hey, it’s free, after all.

Review: 7/10

*In today’s terms, Post-modernism would no doubt have the name Modernism 2.0.

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