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GoPro Fetch Review

GoPro Fetch

My dog Cabo wearing the GoPro Fetch

GoPro finally has the whole family covered; first it was the Chesty, then came the Jr. Chesty, and now we have GoPro Fetch.  The family dog can now be a part of the GoPro action, capturing priceless moments like never before.  The GoPro Fetch is, like most GoPro accessories, well thought out and well built.  I would not say it is perfect, but it does do what it is supposed to do.  I have some very easy going dogs, which allows me to attach this to them without much bother.  I can’t say it will be easy to get on all dogs, and once it is on, there will inevitably be dogs who won’t like having it strapped to them. The device is designed with the comfort of the pet in mind however.  The nicely padded areas and soft lycra straps make the GoPro Fetch comfortable  for your dog, or any other quadruped for that matter!  The Fetch comes in one size and is adjustable to fit small, medium and large breed dogs. Smaller dogs may need to remove the front chest plate on the GoPro Fetch for a better fit.  The GoPro Fetch dog mount harness is fully machine washable, so at the end of the day, just toss your GoPro Fetch in the washer.  Some people have commented that the price of $59.99 seems too high, and yes, it may be a little high, but compared to other harnesses on the market it is reasonable.  As many dog owners do, I regard my dogs as members of my family, and thus, despite the device having some imperfections, and the price perhaps being a bit high, having the ability to see the world from my dog’s viewpoint is absolutely priceless.  Who knew the day would come when man’s best friend would join man (and woman) in capturing amazing GoPro moments.

Pros:

  • Great design
  • Comfortable for the dogs
  • Capture great moments through your dogs view
  • Washing machine safe

Cons:

  • Straps can slip
  • Price $59.99

GoPro Fetch Final Thoughts

The GoPro Fetch is a fun accessory to have, giving you the ability to capture the world the way your K9 companions do, as they experience life’s adventures along with you.  It is great to see GoPro expanding past the extreme sports market; this is yet another of many ways to use these amazing cameras.  GoPro Fetch is a winner for me.

More on the Fetch

Buy GoPro Fetch

Buy GoPro Hero4 Silver

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Toyota’s crawling Moab an adventure on Pritchett Canyon Trail.  Every year, usually the first weekend in May a group of friends and I take our trucks to some of the worlds most amazing off road trails in Moab, Utah for a few days of rock crawling.  Toyota trucks may not be your first thought in off road vehicle but in the 4×4 community most anyone will admit Toyotas make great off road vehicles both as hardcore crawler or just a trail rig.  I have only been going down to these incredible trails in Moab the past few years but the group of guys I go with are serious Moab crawling veterans who have been making this annual trip for over a decade now.  The group is mostly made up of  hard core Toyota owners there may always be at least Jeep or two.  In the end it is all about the love of going out and testing the ability of both you and your truck enjoying good times with friends.  During this time in Moab there is also an event going on called cruise Moab centered around Toyota land cruisers and Toyota 4×4’s of all kinds.  If you are looking for a great place to take your 4×4 vehicle Moab Utah should be on the top of your bucket list.  One other great reason to go to Moab is the beauty, from natural stone arches and the red rock formations Moab is simply amazing.

here is a link to some of last years pictures and a video.

Buy GoPro Hero4 Black

Buy Polar Pro Polarizer

Pritchett Canyon video was filmed with a GoPro Hero 3 Black camera using a PolarPro polarizing filter.

The day Crawling Moab Pritchett Canyon trail Video

Toyota's crawling Moab

Descending back down rocker knocker

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GoPro extension Pole Review

If you are an avid GoPro user, having a good extension pole in your gear bag is a must.  Having good equipment that is easy to use and functions properly is key in capturing that epic POV (point of view) shot.  In this GoPro extension pole review, I examine key features, as well as weaknesses, of three popular GoPro extension poles on the market today; the GoPole reach, UK Pro 38HD, and the Sandmarc pole black edition.

GoPro extension pole review

GoPole Reach

GoPole reach

GoPole Reach

GoPole is one of the more popular extension pole companies out on the market, especially since that is their main product base.  I have owned a GoPole for the longest period of time (about 16 months) out of the three poles I review in this post.  The GoPole reach is a great piece of camera equipment; it simply does what it is supposed to do.  My only complaint about the GoPole reach is that the twist locks occasionally don’t engage when the pole is twisted (method of engagement).

GoPole Reach specs:

  • MSRP $54.99
  • 17″ retracted 40″ extended
  • Pole made of aluminum
  • Waterproof
  • Rubber grip
  • Adjustable wrist strap
  • Weighs 8 Ounces
  • GoPro style mount

GoPole.com

Buy GoPole Reach 

UK Pro 38HD

UK Pro has also been making a number of GoPro accessories for several years, and does an excellent job.  The twist locks are outstanding, easy to use, and lock in place consistently.  The UK Pro comes with its own tightening knob, which works very well.  The grip is high quality and is available in orange and blue; both colors are highly visible, making this extension pole a great pick for scuba divers or surfers.  Another great features is the lanyard, which has adequate length to wear while adjusting the camera (when not fully extended).  Although this is not a huge feature, it has come in handy in water situations.  The UK Pro is my pick in this GoPro extension pole review, due to its great features, quality construction, and mid range price.

UK Pro 38HD

UK Pro 38HD

UK Pro pole 38HD specs:

  • MSRP $49.99
  • 16″ retracted 38″ extended
  • Pole made of aluminum (anodized black)
  • Waterproof
  • High visibility rubber grip
  • Adjustable wrist strap
  • Weighs 7.2 Ounces
  • GoPro style mount (includes knob)

UKPro.com

Buy UKPro 38HD

Sandmarc black edition pole

Sandmarc also makes a variety of gear for the GoPro user, and, like the other manufacturers reviewed above, they are a United States based company in San Diego, California.   The Sandmarc black edition pole is the best priced of those reviewed in this GoPro extension pole review, at only $39.99.  It has very similar twist locks as the UK Pro, and also, like the UK Pro, Sandmarc provides a tension knob and extra nut.  Although the added tension knob is handy, this particular tension knob is just a bit too long, which doesn’t allow the GoPro to tighten down completely and can result in the camera moving while in use.

Sandmarc Pole Black Edition

Sandmarc pole black edition

 

SANDMARC pole black edition specs:

  • MSRP $39.99
  • 17″ retracted 40″ extended
  • Pole made of aluminum (anodized black)
  • Waterproof
  • Rubber grip
  • Adjustable wrist strap
  • Weighs 8.5 Ounces
  • GoPro style mount (includes knob)

Sandmarc.com

 Buy Sandmarc Black Edition

Here is a video of my GoPro extension pole review

 

Final thoughts:

I value a GoPro extension pole as one of my top 5 GoPro accessories and when I need to use it, having it work is a must.  My GoPro extension pole pick is the UK Pro 38HD.  Overall, it fits my needs, is a quality product, and does what I want it to do.  If you have anything to add to my review, or if you have had a good experience with another brand of GoPro extension poles, please post a comment below.

Questions or help with any other GoPro accessories?  Let me know in a comment or on the contact page.

 

 

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Polar Pro Polarizer filter Review

The Polar Pro polarizer filter for GoPro HERO3+ housings a quick review.  The Polar Pro polarizer filter is great if not mandatory for shooting with your GoPro camera in full sun. I found that the Polar Pro polarizer filter really cut down on glare and sharpened up clouds and the skyline.  It also brings out blues in the sky and a deeper saturation in all colors.  Other key things the Polar Pro polarizer will help with is shinny objects like water, car shine, window shine and most all snow sports.  Overall I can’t say to many bad things about the polar Pro polarizing filter it does exactly what Polar Pro says it will do.  This polar Pro polarizing filter definitely ranks as one of my top 5 GoPro accessories to always have with me when using a GoPro camera.PolarPro Polarizer filter

One of the downsides is that it is not a water tight seal on the GoPro case. The way I found this out is not necessarily Polar Pro’s fault.  If you are an avid GoPro HERO3 user you know that heat is a problem with the GoPro cameras.  While on a recent trip to Moab, Utah out on the trail doing some filming my cameras were getting hot so I would put them in the cooler to keep them cool.  This does help but with the Polar Pro polarizer filter on one camera got into a part of the cooler with water thus I found out the filters do not make a water tight seal.  Which was a problem out on the trail getting it dried out so I did not have water droplets in my shots and condensation in between.  I can’t fault Polar Pro to much for the filter not being water tight it is was not designed to be it just would be nice if there was a rubber seal on the inside were it attaches.

 Comparison

(Photos taken using a GoPro hero 3 black in the blackout 3+ case)

The photo on the left showing without Polar Pro polarizer filter note clouds are one big white area blended with the sun.  Photo on the right showing much better cloud definition with a sun flair and much better colors in the trees and grasses.

PolarPro polarizer filter

Left without right with PolarPro polarizer filter.

This video was entirely filmed using the Polar Pro polarizer filter.

Polar Pro polarizer filter THE GOODS

  • Helps to reduce glare from shinny objects like water, car & window shine, snow sports
  • Brings out blue sky in over cast conditions cloud definition
  • Deeper saturation in colors
  • Prevents overexposure
  • Easily snaps on & off for changing conditions

Polar Pro polarizer filter THE BADS

  • Does not make a water tight seal when attached to a GoPro housing.

    Polar Pro polarizer filter

    Polar Pro Polarizer Filter

 

 

In the end if you are looking to take better videos and pictures with your GoPro camera Polar Pro filters are an easy snap on no brainer.

Check out Buy PolarPro filter to get yours

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Top 5 GoPro Accessories

The top 5 GoPro accessories that every avid GoPro user needs.  If these five accessories are in your bag you will be set to get any shot that comes your way.

Filters

Don’t get me wrong, GoPro cameras take great photos and video, but as with all cameras– video and photo alike –having the correct filter for a specific application separates good photos and video from great ones.  Whether taking photo and video under water, in bright sun, under low light, when overcast, or close-up, having the right filter makes for professional looking work. One of the best companies that makes filters for use on GoPro cameras is Buy PolarPro -you can’t go wrong with these filters.

PolarPro Polarizer filter top 5 GoPro accessories

Battery backpack & extra batteries

GoPro battery backpack top 5 GoPro accessories

GoPro battery backpack

There are not many things that GoPro hasn’t succeeded with in building great cameras. In keeping the cameras small, a key feature has been sacrificed however– battery power and consumption.  Because of this, adding a battery backpack to your top GoPro accessories is a must if you are shooting where you are not in the position to change batteries often.  Having a battery backpack and extra batteries is a must for serious GoPro users. Buy GoPro battery backpack

GoalZero Guide10 Battery pack top 5 GoPro accessories

GoalZero guide 10 with GoPro battery charger

Also, for longer shooting or for time lapses, having an external battery is another great tool; one of my favorites is Goal Zero’s guide 10 battery pack with the Nomad 7 solar panel. This unit is great for both directly charging your GoPro camera, or even having it charge spare batteries somewhere as convenient as your pocket! Buy GoalZero Nomad 10

Extended reach pole

GoPole reach top 5 GoPro accessories

GoPole reach

Having the ability to get POV shots of yourself, to getting closer to subjects such as snowboarders, are just a few of the benefits of having an extended reach or telescoping pole mount in your gear bag.  GoPole is just one of the companies out on the GoPro accessory market that makes extended reach devices for GoPro cameras, both in a fixed size, or a size that ranges from 17″ – to 40″ for getting that perfect shot.  The extended reach pole is most definitely a top 5 GoPro accessory.  Buy GoPole Reach

Suction cup mount

Yes, this is a simple accessory but sometimes the simplest thing is all you need to get the shot.  The suction cup mount works great for car shots, both inside and out.  It’s also convenient and functional as a stand, using it to get the perfect angle on your shot. Buy GoPro suction mount

GoPro suction cup mount top 5 GoPro accessories

GoPro suction cup mount

iPhone GoPro app top 5 GoPro accessories

GoPro app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smartphone 

Yes, I know this may not be the most obvious accessory, but since the GoPro app launch (available for iOS & Android) with the wifi being built in on HERO3 camera series, this has been one of the biggest game changers for the GoPro user. It allows the ability to adjust all settings within the camera, and to view and upload both pictures and video directly to your smartphone.  Those two features alone made the GoPro a full featured tool for both shooting video and pictures.  It does come with a few drawbacks, with the biggest being that your GoPro’s battery will drain much faster due to the use of wifi technology.  All In all, this app has been a game changer for the way GoPro can be used, and that’s why it completes my list of top 5 GoPro accessories.

 

These are my top 5 GoPro accessories and must haves in my arsenal of GoPro gear.  What are yours?

If you have some others to add, leave a comment below.

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South Jordan Skatepark with Zach

South Jordan skatepark

South Jordan skatepark

A visit to the South Jordan Skate Park with Zach Eulberg; we did some filming using the GoPro camera.  I am glad to see that cities are now embracing skateboarding by putting in places like this skatepark, giving kids more options at public parks than jungle gyms or slides. Twenty some years ago a skatepark like this was only a pipe dream for young kids like me.  I grew up in southern California…more specifically, the Orange County area.  We rode our skateboards miles, to get to a cool waxed up curb we had heard was a fun spot, usually only to be chased off not long after we had gotten there.  Now with places like the South Jordan skatepark and other parks all across the country, kids who love skateboarding have places like this to build their skills and get good exercise as a bonus.  Getting kids to enjoy being outside playing and skating like Zach in this video is much preferable to the trend of far too many young people…that of enjoying hours on end of sitting, playing video games.   I would promote a better option of going out and having fun by making their own “video” by doing something active.   One of the great features of the skatepark is that they have a special time for kids under 12 years of age to use the skatepark with their family without having to worry about the bigger guys zooming around them.  Skateboards, inline skates, and scooters are all welcome at the park.  I was a little bummed to see that they don’t allow bikes; I have seen many skateparks function just fine having bikes and skateboarders together.  There were a few guys on bikes when we were there, so  it’s obviously not monitored and enforced 100% of the time.  As long as those few bikes ride carefully, keeping everyone safe and having a good time, there doesn’t seem to be a problem.  Last, I want to give a big thanks to the city of South Jordan for providing the South Jordan Skate Park, for kids and adults alike, to get out and have a good time in a place where it’s FINALLY acceptable to skate!

Family time for the South Jordan skatepark is Wednesdays & Fridays
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
ONLY open to children under 12 and their parents

The South Jordan skatepark location is 10866 South Redwood Road (Behind Fitness Center) in South Jordan, Utah

Leave a comment bellow on what you think about public skateparks and why you like or dislike them.

Thanks,

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DSLR Camera Not My Go To Camera

Is the DSLR camera still a good choice for an every day adventure, get the good shot camera?  I just recently came to the realization that my DSLR camera was of little use to me anymore.  I have always enjoyed using DSLR cameras and liked the results I got while using them.  The question, “Is a DSLR camera still necessary?” is a tough one to answer.  Yes, the DSLR camera offers the most in adjustability and range of options, but when faced with the decision of lugging around a slightly better camera, or having the freedom and ease of a pocket-sized camera, I favor the simplicity of the smaller camera, despite the loss of options.  Now, I am no professional photographer,  just a guy who likes to take great pictures and video, so this works well for my needs.  My cameras of choice are the GoPro Hero 3 Black and my phone, which is currently the iPhone 5S.  With these two amazing devices, I enjoy a good variety of options in small compact packages. Each of these cameras is easily carried and can be used by anyone in the family.

Grey tabby cat

Toph the cat

 

Sledding fun

Sledding Fun

All three of shots are from a GoPro Hero3 Black camera.  One of the good and bad parts of the GoPro is that they shoot at extremely wide angles which can give a little more field of view distortion than desired. Sometimes it makes for great shoots like this close-up of Toph the cat. There are great apps to adjust for the distortion in post process of your pictures.

 

Now, do I think cameras on phones should be the only way you take pictures?…no.  Phones these days, especially the iPhone, take pretty good pictures but they are also limited in what they can do.  They lack the ability to zoom, which at times, can be a huge loss.  Phones use a digital zoom technology which is getting better, but is far from perfected.  As for the GoPro, it has no zoom at all, although I expect this to change in the near future. The zoom is probably the one feature that the DSLR camera still has over these smaller cameras but you can capture a wide variety of great shots without using a zoom.  Some other cameras that are taking the place of DSLR cameras in many photographer’s camera-of-choice are 3rd generation cameras like Sony NEX.  These cameras are also referred to as mirror-less cameras.  Trey Ratcliff of StuckinCustoms.com, a wonderful photographer and adventurer of whom I admire, has a great post on these new camera options.

feeble grind

South Jordan skate park feeble grind

What are your thoughts on the DSLR camera and it’s future?  What do you think of the smaller camera option?  Let me know how you feel with a comment below.

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Moab Utah Action 4Wheeling in Toyota Trucks

Every year some of my friends and I go to test our 4Wheeling skills in Moab, Utah.  The Moab red rocks are a must-visit place for anyone who enjoys the outdoors–even if you are not into 4Wheeling.  There are all kinds of activities in and around the Moab area from hiking, rock climbing, and rafting down the Colorado river that runs through Moab, UT, just to name a few.  There are camping areas right on the river that make for a great place for the whole family to stay in Moab.  For more info on activities in the Moab area, check out this site: DiscoverMoab.com.  Also, there is not one but two amazing national parks just minutes outside of the Moab area.  Arches National Park, which has some of the worlds biggest and highest concentration of natural arch rock formations, is only 10 minutes outside of Moab.  Canyon Lands National Park has numerous canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado River, and the Green River is just 40 minutes away.  Moab may very well be the 4Wheeling capital of North America; there is a large event every year called Easter Jeep Safari that attracts thousands of people from all over the world.  From major car manufactures, to 4×4 accessory manufacturers, you’ll find them all attending the Easter Jeep Safari event.  For more information on the Easter Jeep Safari, check out the Red Rock 4Wheeler’s site: rr4w.com

Metal Masher Moab, UT

Taking a rest at the top of Metal Masher trail.

Here is a video I made of just some of the 4Wheeling we did in Moab in April of 2013.

YouTube Preview Image

I decided to make this post in anticipation of our upcoming trip back to Moab, this place is a lot of fun and great place to visit any time of year.

Toyota 4Runner 1st gen

Conquering Metal Masher trail

Moab, UT FJ40 Toyota

On the trail

 

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Baby Robins Nest Evolution

Baby robins recently hatched with care from a robin bird that decided one of the trees in our backyard was a good place to make her nest and give birth to baby robins. I  took pictures along the way documenting the different stages from eggs to full grown baby robins.  The nest was only about five feet off the ground making it easy to take pictures although mama bird was none to happy with me every time I went out to snap a photo of them. She would usually fly up higher in the tree and squawk at me until I left.  I was glad to see she did this showing me what being a good parent to baby robins is about.  I made sure never to touch the nest or anything at all around the nest being afraid she would abandon the eggs if she were to smell any human smells on her eggs.

robin bird eggs

There were a total of three baby robins eggs although for some reason I found one on the ground near the tree shortly after taking this first pick. I never got a shot with all three eggs in the nest but I was careful to use a glove when placing that stray egg back in the nest for care from it’s mom.

robin babies in nest

 

The baby robins decide to hatch the third is still not out yet.  I was a little worried that there was a reason that that third egg was on the ground but it to hatched a day or so later.  This was the point mamma bird was very upset at my approaching the nest to take pictures of her baby robins.  I also had noticed mama robin would fly at our as they dogs wandered around in the backyard.  The dogs not knowing there was a baby robins nest even in the backyard but she was taking no chances, it was a funny site to see.

newborn baby robin birds

Baby robins nest with three newborn baby robins.

baby robin birds

 

baby robins

At this point as I would approach the baby robins they would even think I was delivering food to them and start opening their mouthes want me to drop in worms or something yummy.

baby robin birds

Just before they had started to leave the nest and learn to fly they barly all fit in the nest it was bursting at the seems. It’s time to leave guys go on and be adults now. Good luck out there!

For more info on baby robins visit here

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Overlake Golf Course

Overlake golf courseOverlake Golf Course is a great links style Course in Tooele, Utah. Here are a few pictures taken in panoramic mode with an iPhone 4s while playing a round at Overlake. The course is very fun and challenging to play, well that is if you keep your ball in the fairway. If you are wild off the tee bring plenty of extra balls as the tall wispy grass seems to eat golf balls. We also ran across two snakes during our round I think they are just garter snakes but I did let them bite me just in case. I definitely plan to play there again as it was a fantastic links test. If you would like more info on the course here is a link to their site OverlakeGolf

Overlake golf course

snake

 

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