We had rain when I left work yesterday, we had rain when I left home today, we had rain on my way home.
Actually these are the moments when I am very happy with my Lowepro SlingShot 300 All-Weather Camera Bag. Of course judging a camera bag is extremely subjective, but that’s what works for me. In Carinthia I have the smaller SlingShot 200, but although this one is bigger, it is also more comfortable to wear.
The reason is, that it is more like a traditional backpack, featuring a very comfortable padded waist belt along with the equally padded diagonal shoulder strap, and you can still swing it around like the smaller SlingShot bags. I just saw that there is even a 350 now, and that is supposed to take a laptop as well.
Tamrac has a similar design, they call it “Velocity”, it’s cheaper, comes in three or four sizes, but the last time I checked, it felt awkward, at least compared to the SlingShot.
The great thing with Lowepro bags is their “All-Weather” cover, a built in hood coming out of a pouch at the bottom, that perfectly protects the bag and your gear from rain. I have four Lowepro bags now, and with each generation they have improved this cover. There were variations where the cover, when in the pouch, would make the bottom of the bag uneven, making the bag always topple when put on the ground (the Lowepro RoverPlus AW has this problem), there were variations where putting the cover on would require you to tighten it by pulling two strings, but this is all gone. The 300’s cover has a rubber band in its seams and two velcro straps to fix it to the upper loop. Ingenious. It takes only seconds.
Now the only thing that I’d wish for, were a good umbrella. I’ve had all kinds over the years, cheap ones, expensive ones, an original Knirps with a three year storm guarantee (or something like that), but all of them invariably break. This just happened yesterday with a medium priced fiber model, when I was already near home. Something broke, the umbrella closed, and when opened again would not stay open. Oh dear. I love the wind in Vienna.
The Image of the Day was taken this morning in front of a flower shop in Josefstädter Straße, very near work. I took a series of shots, but the one with the woman arranging the flowers was the best.
In post-processing I have combined three variations from DxO, using three different presets and two color temperatures, one for the background, one for the woman and one for the flowers. The resulting image was very flat, but with all detail intact. Then I have used “Hue/Saturation” layers in various blending modes to push saturation. I have already described this technique elsewhere, its purpose is to push saturation without losing detail in any of the color channels. Currently I use an action that produces a group with a layer in “Soft Light” mode, blended in the dark tones, a layer in “Multiply”, blended in the light tones, and another layer in “Soft Light”, blended unconditionally, but most of the time with reduced opacity. In some cases, here for example, I may add a layer in “Screen” mode. Each of them has a mask and sometimes I paint in the mask. Here I did. I finished the image with a slight vignette and a “Lens Blur” along the edges.