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Winter Strolls in the Isle of Man

Every year we go back to the Isle of Man for Christmas, generally to spend quality time with family but it is always an opportunity to sneak in a couple of landscape shoots too. With the stunning views and beautiful coastline it’s a great place to photograph, if the weather holds out for long enough which is 90% of the battle! We still get a buzz though when the sun is low and the location is beautiful allowing us to shoot for our own pleasure. Normally we carry our gear in a roller case or cumbersome shoulder bag but as space was at a premium and we were restricted to cabin baggage on the flight, our new Manfrotto Advanced Tri Backpack was perfect.

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I’ve been shooting for around 20 years, mainly portraiture and editorial for magazines and books. Sarah and I joined forces 3 years ago after I showed her the ropes and we’ve never looked back, focusing our work together on photographing weddings around the UK and beyond. I’ve found that having a womans eye on these special occasions really helps to bring out the beauty of the day and capture the tiny bridal details perhaps I as a man may not always appreciate.

Towards the end of our trip when the bad weather broke for a day we trekked along the coast by Peel Castle, Port Erin and Castletown, not even noticing the weight of the bag on my back, despite having a Canon 1DS MkIII, Canon 60D, a 24-70mm, 50mm and 70-200mm and a speedlight flash. We left the 17 inch laptop at home but it fits inside perfectly with everything else. Everything is separated neatly allowing you to access either your cameras or laptop from different access points to the compartments.

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Normally when you have such a compact backpack you find you can’t get everything you need inside but in this case we still had plenty of room if we needed to carry extra gear. We really like the changeable shoulder straps allowing you to wear the bag in a multitude of ways. My preferred way is the cross body strap so you can swivel the bag around your body, giving easy access to gear for quick lens or battery changes. The normal shoulder straps offer the comfort of a normal backpack, and the ‘X’ (cross body) configuration ensures that your bag is not going to be snatched off you.

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Once we found the spots we wanted to shoot and set up our Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod we found getting the camera and lenses that we needed out was no problem at all with the clever design of the main pocket and zip. You don’t even have to take the bag off your body, you can swivel it round to the front and grab what you need. Particularly useful if you’re alone and don’t want to let go of your kit or in our case, if you’re at the mercy of the crashing waves it is ideal to be able to grab everything and run!

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Sarah finds the bag particularly useful. As she is small she used to struggle sometimes with the weight of our old shoulder bags which meant I was left carrying everything. Thankfully now we don’t have this problem so a least she can’t use any excuses and is more than happy carrying the lions share of the kit.

The bag is extremely sturdy, the protection for the cameras and lenses is perfect and as I’ve only ever needed to buy 3 Manfrotto tripods in my career I know they are built to last and I trust this bag will be the same.

The next venture (amongst shooting engagement shoots before the wedding season gets in to full swing) is what has become our annual trip to Iceland. We’ll certainly be taking the Advanced Tri Backpack with us.

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If you want to see more of our wedding or adventures throughout the years please take a look at our website www.fineanddandy.photography or @fine_and_dandy_photography on instagram.

 

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