Announcement: 2014 Wyoming Overland Rally

Photo from the 2013 Event

Mark you calendars for June 20-22 as we head to Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains for a weekend of back-country exploration, great food, and making new friends!  We received a lot of feedback from our 2013 event that we decided to make the Rally a Yearly event.  Each year we will scout a new location to visit to help showcase the beauty our great state has to offer.  This year we will be exploring the western side of the Big Horn Mountains near Shell, Wyoming.

A Tale of a Stolen Photo

by Beau Johnston
My original image

At the end of 2013 I wrote about my experience using a Chinese-made LED light bar on the front of our 4Runner.  What I didn't realize was one of the images I captured for the review, and was subsequently used as a centerfold in the January issue of Toyota Cruisers and Trucks Magazine, would be used on a Chinese LED light bar manufacturer's website.

Finding My Image Being Used
I will, on occasion, perform a Google search of a selection of my images.  I run Google Chrome on my computer and installed the 'Search by Image' extension for the browser.  This allows me to right click on any image and search for other instances where the image is used on the internet, all by selecting the 'Search Google with this image' in the pop-out window.

The cropped image from the website

On March 31, 2013 I decided it had been a while since my last search, so I spent my lunch our browsing the internet for my photos (I know that sounds a bit vain).  In doing so, I came across one of my LED light bar images being used on a Chinese LED light bar manufacturers website.  I immediately noticed the image had been cropped to remove my watermark, which I placed along the right-side of the image.  Not only had the company used my image without a licensing agreement in place, but they had cropped the image to remove all recognition of the photographer that took the image - Me!

In an effort to document the copyright infringement, I exported their webpage as a pdf file (which you can see here).  I wanted to have evidence of their violation before I contacted them about the image.  This is not the first time I have confronted someone about using my images without my permission, but it was the first retail business that was promoting their products with one.  I felt it was best to document everything, just in case.

Review: GSI Outdoors Commuter Java Press

by Beau Johnston

Bolume: 15 fl. oz.
Weight: 10.4 oz.
Material: Copolyester, Foam
Price: $22.95

Our Thoughts:
I am, as some would say, a coffee convert.  I can now be found showing up to the office early, just so I can get the coffee going.  It is no surprise then that I need my 'cup of Joe' when out camping.  Krista and I have tried nearly every device for making coffee in camp, and nothing seemed to fit our needs.  We have limited space in our 4Runner and most devices require additional space for storage.  Large percolating coffee pots and French presses were taking up valuable space in our kitchen drawers and their size and shape were not conducive to nesting gear within.

Review: Vello BG-N10 Battery Grip

by Johnathan Aulabaugh

Vello BG-N10
Battery Grip for Nikon D610
Plastic with a metal Brace
Get a Grip:
As a photographer I put a lot into my gear and having the right gear can often be the difference between getting the shot or not. Because I capture a lot of images in portrait orientation, I have found that it is nice to have a vertical grip or battery grip on my cameras. Yes this makes the camera heavier to haul around but I can remove it when I need to go light, such as on the trail, or leave it for portrait jobs. I have for the most part stuck with products like Nikon for accessories but I had read about the Vello grips and figured I would give them a try.

Immediate Issues:
While I would like to go into greater detail on the product there are some factors preventing that at this time; I will get into that shortly. When the package arrived I opened it and had a look before setting it up on the camera. Although it is primarily plastic it looked nearly identical to the product made by Nikon. One major issue, which I notice almost immediately, was the battery compartment's twist lock does not swing and stay out of the way.  I feared it would catch on my clothing and break. Despite this, I figured I would still give it a try because, quite frankly, at $80 it is less than half the cost of the Nikon product.  I figured I can always come up with a way to deal with that issue. I put the grip on making sure it was secure and all worked fine; in fact the feel was only slightly different than that of my Nikon grip on my D7000. I was impressed, so far, with my $80 purchase!
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