Hipster Essentials – Michael Gordon Hill

The following article is taken from Michael Gordon Hill’s blog.Michael Gordon Hill

Hipster Essentials

I’ve shot a little still life called Hipster Essentials and I’m reviewing/highlighting the products that feature in the shoot. Some are made and designed locally, some are classic designs and some are popular items from the big players.

Noddy Boffin Plywood Milk Crates:

I’ll start of with my favorite! These plywood milk crates are laser cut from marine ply leaving very clean and accurately cut shapes in the ply. This is great design, materials and techniques coming together to produce a quality product. I love that you can assemble and disassemble the milk crates easily and quickly without using any tools. The 4 sides and base all slot into each other. So you can pack them away flat when they are not needed. Just like the plastic milk crates you have “borrowed” over years, these have 101 uses. You are only limited to your imagination. They could be stacked up in columns and rows to make a bookcase; you could use one as a stepladder, use them for storage… Even stack a couple in your living room and use them as a designer feature.

Link: http://www.noddyboffin.com/portfolio/plywood-milk-crates/

WeWood Watches

Watches made out of wood! These are fantastically cool watches that look completely unique; they will be a conversation starter for sure! On the WeWood website you’ll find plenty of different styles and designs to tickle your fancy… Get one for each of your different outfits! The best thing about this company is they will plant a tree for every WeWood watch bought!

Link: http://www.we-wood.com.au

Fuji x100 

This awesome little camera has become a very popular carry-around camera for professional photographers since it was released in February 2011. The idea was simple: make a light and compact camera with a retro design, give it manual controls for the aperture and shutter speed, then add a killer lens with a huge (for the size of this camera) APS-C sized sensor. I’ve been very impressed with the quality of this camera. Its size and weight means that I can carry it around with me. I can have a professional quality camera with me so long as I remember to put it in my bag before I leave the house. The quality is good enough for me to use it for a couple of personal projects I’ve been working on. Unfortunately the camera interface and autofocus do let the camera down. The autofocus can be slow and inaccurate in low light. The x100s has recently been released and most of these issues have been addressed in the new model.

Link: http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/x/finepix_x100/

JLP Melbourne Gil Gil Bore Bag:

I stumbled across the JLP (Just Leather Products) stall when I was making a shortcut to the fruit and veg section at the Queen Victoria Markets. JLP has a large range of locally made quality leather products. Being a sucker for a nice leather man-bag, I made the impulsive buy. Upon inspection, the first thing you will notice is the quality of the materials and how well they have been put together. Initially I was looking for a replacement for my 10-year-old (and falling apart) Ted Baker man-bag but I got excited and ended up with a larger bag. I might have to head back there when my next invoice comes though and get the Tocantins bag, which is closer in size to my original Ted Baker. Good enough for your wallet, keys, phone, lip balm, headphones and your x100 camera!

Link: http://justleather.com.au

Uppercut Featherweight hair wax

I got a tin of this from my local barber. It’s great stuff! Here’s the description I pinched from the Uppercut website: “Don’t be fooled by the name, just because this wax is light doesn’t mean it can’t pack a punch. Featherweight has plenty of tack and dry finish for a natural looking hold. Great for messy quiffs and textured styles. Another great feature with this product is that it’s water soluble which means you get a great dry look without any build up or residue. Without a doubt the great all rounder.” I like it for all those reason but especially because it’s water-soluble. It feels good in and washes out easily.

Link: http://www.uppercutdeluxe.com.au

Pavoni 2a espresso machine

This little machine belongs to one of the guys at my studio. It looks great but I can’t tell you how well it performs as it does not belong to me. I did offer to buy this one but they are worth a bit more then I expected. Second hand they go for about $350 to $400 and you can get them band spanking for about $800. Maybe I could borrow this one and have a play. Till then I’ll keep using my Hario pour-over, which I like very much.

Link: http://www.lapavoni.it

Roselli 16t track cog:

This is the only cog that can withstand the awesome power of my legs!

42t front cog from Cycle Underground in Sydney

I’m told these are the same cogs as Fyxomatosis ones without the branding. You can get them from Pony Bikes.

Links: http://www.ponybikes.com/blog/

Izumi Chain and drivetrain from Pony Bikes

As it says on the box: for easy running. These chains are smooth, heavy and strong. I got my whole new drive train and a new back wheel (Velocity Deep V rim, Gran Comp hub and Vittoria Randonneur tyre) from Pony Bikes. I can tell you there is noting like having a new solid drive train. It’s super-smooth, tight and responsive! And when you are running fixed without brakes, it’s all about that feeling you get back from the bike. You are connected to the bike and if you are connected to poor quality components then you will feel that though your whole body. Man I freaking love my new fix-gear setup!

Links: http://www.izumichain.co.jp/en/ http://www.ponybikes.com/blog/

Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch with Retina Display. 2.4 Ghz i7 with 8 gig of RAM

This is my photography workhorse! It’s nice and light so I can throw it in my bag and jump on the bike to do editing work at my studio (Of course I plug it into an Eizo monitor when I get there). The retina display is nice and crisp but some applications are not supported yet. All the Apple applications are super-sharp but my old version of Word is fuzzy because it is not made for a monitor with such a high resolution. Another slight issue is the glossy finish on the monitor, which is not ideal for photography. This is no huge drama as I do my serious editing on a proper graphics monitor in the studio.

Apple has decided that Thunderbolt is the future so they ditched the Firewire port. This was a problem for the first couple of months owning the laptop because I could not shoot tethered with the Phase One back… Then they released a Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adaptor. Problem solved. Then I wanted to connect to the internet to do some trouble shooting… No network port. Then I realised I can buy a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adaptor. So all is good… So long as I remember to take those little adaptors with me to my jobs! :-|  And guess what? No CD drive either. And I don’t think you can upgrade it either. I think the idea is buy it, use it for a couple years then buy another one.

What else is good about this computer? Well it’s super fast and performs very well for the $2500 I paid for it. It’s light, it’s quiet, it’s good! I love that the only moving part in this computer is the cooling fan! Who needs a CD/DVD drive. CD/DVDs are old technology and it’s cheap enough to buy a couple of USB thumb drives. When I first got it I did try to fit a software DVD into the side of the computer… Luckily most software can be downloaded from the internet. At least you get the most current version. Startup time is lightening fast because of the solid state drive.

I can see why many other professional photographers have opted to get one of the older model MacBook Pros and spec them out but this little beast will suit me well for the next couple of years… I hope! :-)

Link: http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/shop_mac/family/macbook_pro

View the original article here – Michael Gordon Hill’s Blog.

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