Sunday, August 16, 2009

Power Octopus

One of the main impetus for my inventions is saving weight and volume of the gear I need when traveling to regattas around the world.
At the moment I am traveling with two camera battery chargers, an AA charger and the adapter / charger for my MacBook Pro (Another plus side to running an iPhone was no charger).
This requires several cables and hence requires adapters for the different sockets encountered around the world.
The Apple charger has a very nifty system of inter-changable slide in adapters to easily convert the charger from one socket type to another. This system uses the standard figure 8 style socket in the charger so it will also take any of the small computer / jug style cords supplied with most hardware.

The little octopus (Tritopus?) I have made is three male jug cord ends into one female jug cord socket.
So now all I need to travel with is two or three Apple plugs and the Octopus.

 I couldn't find a socket at any of the electronics or electrical supply stores at home so ended up recycling a socket from an obsolete appliance.
A bit of careful soldering and Voila. The rubber cover over the socket was a lucky find in the local electrical supply store, not entirely sure what it was meant for but it works perfectly here.

On a safety note. If you intend to copy this idea, I take no responsibility for any damage to you, your equipment or you burning down a hotel / home etc.
All the appliances I plug in will take 110/115 or 220/240 volts and draw less than 500mA.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Copa del Rey

I was shooting the Copa del Rey regatta in Mallorca last week.
A nice event with over a hundred boats competing, great weather, though for pictures I would like a bit more breeze and some heavier swell. Can't sweat what you can't control.
It was the first regatta for Neville Crichton's new mini maxi, the NZ registered Alfa Romeo III. So that was the main focus for me.

Some of the usual frustrations though from things that should be better but are almost always an issue.
Photo boat drivers who don't understand what it is we do or the importance of being in the right place at the right time. We invariably end up explaining and training for the first half of the regatta. A bad boat driver is akin to having legs that can't do what you want them to or won't do what you ask them to.
The driver of the boat I was assigned to at the Copa del Rey was particularly bad in this respect being of a certain age and temperament that doesn't take direction well at all, not to mention drinking beer and smoking cigarettes all day.
Where do the organizers find these guys?

There were also too many amateur photographers meaning photo boats crowded with guys who are all elbows and size 11s and girls with long hair who insist on standing just up wind when the best action is happening. I understand regatta organisers need to show the sponsors they have the media numbers to warrant their investment but really, 13 on a eight metre rib does not make it easy to make your event look as good as it could.
At least it was a decent boat, powerful enough, not too wet and no stupid obstructions.

Apart from these niggles I was pretty happy with how things went. I got some shots I was happy with and have already made a couple of good sales.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Hi there and welcome, not sure there will ever be anyone interested enough to visit but thought this might be a way to vent my spleen when the occasion requires or share some of my experiences chasing boats with a camera.

As well as a photographer I am a bit of an inventor. I have designed and built various bits of kit to make my photography easier or to add a new element to my creativity. Being a New Zealander I would rather spend a weekend building something I need than spend a days earnings on an off the shelf equivalent. Its just the way we are.
So it is my intention to share some of those here as well.

I welcome any questions or feedback on this blog or on my photos.
Not sure how prodigious the posts will be but I will endeavor to blog whenever I think I have something interesting enough to add.