The ViewCatcher, a compositional tool created for artists, has some
practical applications for photographers as well. This device, made
of durable ABS plastic for withstanding repeated use, is a cropping
aide suitable for use in the field, or for deciding how to crop prints.
Made of #5 value, mid-gray plastic, it measures 3.5x3.5" and looks
like a medium format slide mount. There is a small hole in the middle,
which helps the photographer distinguish light, middle, and dark values
as well as isolate colors. Then a sliding portion is pulled out to create
a vertical or horizontal composition. Premarked measurements approximate
standard print sizes. After adjusting to the desired format, you can
look at the subject to determine if you have a lead into the composition
toward the focal point of prime interest. This pocket-sized device,
which can easily be carried most anywhere, has a MSRP of $9. Contact:
The Color Wheel Company, PO Box 130, Philomath, OR 97370; (541) 929-7526;
fax: (541) 929-7528; www.colorwheelco.com.
Versatile Gear +
There are three new total-access Tenba ProDigital Shoulder Carry Gear
cases that zip open from the front, back, or either side. A built-in
shock-dispersion wall spreads impact at any point to help prevent damage
to delicate equipment such as laptop screens. Quick-access panels for
PDA, cell phone, gray card, etc. plus quick-access ports for the laptop
computer bay make the contents very reachable. It's custom configured
for digital cameras, but easily accommodates other types of cameras.
Constructed of Tenba's DuraTek nylon, it has a comfort wedge strap
and handle for comfort and security and a fold-out, waterproof, full-coverage
rain cover to keep the contents dry. It's offered in sizes to
accommodate three popular laptop screen sizes: 12, 15, and 17".
The smaller model, which holds a 12" laptop, camera body, three
lenses, flash, and a multitude of smaller items, has a street price
of $158. Contact: Mamiya America Corporation, Tenba, 8 Westchester Plaza,
Elmsford, NY 10523; (914) 347-3300; fax: (914) 347-3309; www.TenbaGear.com.