Walker’s Tools

What’s In My Camera Bag, Part Two (The Other Stuff)

My last post dug into the camera bag slung over my shoulder. Cameras. Lenses. Filters. My creative tools.

As I mentioned in that post, my kit is tailored to the needs of long distance walking where weight and volume are as important as image quality. 

But there is another collection of photographic ephemera, the less glamorous bag of technical bits and pieces required to keep my equipment working, to write blogs, to edit photos. It’s the stuff that gets tucked into my backpack, waiting for the day’s walk to be over and an evening of charging and editing and blogging to begin. (more…)

What’s in my Camera Bag, 2018 Edition

It’s fair to say my technical approach to photography has shifted. Gone are the days of lugging eight pounds of Nikon bodies and lenses across Europe. Or backpacks loaded down with Cirkut panoramic cameras. Or car trunks filled with 4×5 view cameras, massive tripods and film holders.

No, my gear kit is decidedly minimal these days. With my new emphasis on photographing my walking experiences—let’s call it street photography with velocity—too much equipment simply gets in the way. And it kills my back. (more…)

Picturing One Year on Foot

It starts with Moves, a smartphone app that tracks my every movement, second-by-second, day-by-day. How far I have walked. Where I have run or biked. My destinations and how many times I have visited them. My life in motion, quantified.

Frankly, I rarely open the Moves app. It just runs in the background, non-stop, collecting data and automatically sending it to the cloud. More on that later.

My focus is on Move-O-Scope, a ‘connected app’ that uses the data collected by Moves to create a visual representation of my journeys. In other words, a map with tracks. As of November 24, 2016, I have accumulated 52 weeks of data. The Move-O-Scope screenshots, below, show what that year of walking looks like. Remarkable!  (more…)

Apps To Get Lost With: Trace

Trace is the third in a trio of walking apps that I’m putting to the test. And, yes, it involves a dog.

Compared to Drift or Likeways, Trace calls for a high degree of user interaction with the app and, optionally, collaboration with others using the app.

Developed at the Tactile and Tactical Design Lab (TAT Lab) at the University of Washington., the app was designed to explore the role of GIS (geographic information systems) technology in shifting our walking habits away from efficiency and towards communication and reflection.

It all starts with a sketch drawn on the screen of a smartphone, a simple line drawing that the app then transfers to a mapped route for the walker to follow.

Here’s how it works. (more…)