Urbex Accessories: Cyba-Lite Explorer Head Torch

Posted by sickbritain On May - 12 - 2009

Every Urban Explorer needs a torch to help navigate around the dark, dank places we tend to find ourselves in but as a photographer you need both hands free in order to properly handle your camera gear. The natural solution is to buy a head torch, they’re available in pretty much all outdoor shops and cost as little as a tenner but unfortunately 95% of all the models I’ve seen in shops are rubbish for urbex photography.

The reason most head-torches are unsuitable is that they sit smack bang in the middle of your forehead which might be perfect for a caver but if you’re an SLR user you’ll find that when you bring your camera to your eye you’ll end up banging the body (or attached flash) right into the torch.  The other problem is that you’ll need the torch for exploring and to aid focusing but unless you’re light painting you won’t want the torch light to come out in your shot and trying to switch off a head torch whilst wearing gloves can be a pain.

Given all of my whinging above you’ve no doubt realised that I was getting fed-up with the situation but luckily I came across the Cyba-Lite Explorer, it’s effectively a small pen-torch (like a mini-Maglite) that comes with a clip-mount and an elastic head-strap…

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From a general standpoint this is handy because you could clip it to a tripod, a baseball cap or whatever you like but the most useful part to me is that the clip mount swivels.  This means that I can wear it as a head torch but mounted on the side of my head, meaning that it won’t get in the way of my camera and that rather than fiddling with any switches I can just point it away from the subject of my photo if don’t want to capture the light.  My only criticism so far is that it could be brighter, it does well enough but there’s no way I could use it as my sole torch in the really dark places but hey – I carry my 4-cell Maglite as much for defence as for light!

You might think that I’m gushing with compliments about something pretty simple but having this torch has made exploring and taking photos so much simpler and hassle free that I just can’t help it – especially seeing as you can pick them up for less than a tenner (I paid about £14 though).  If anyone’s interested in picking one up there seems to be an offer on at 7dayshop.com where it’s going for £8.99 delivered.

Book Review: In a Landscape by Paul Osborne (Compound Eye)

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On April - 4 - 2009

ial_coverI’d been following Paul Osborne‘s photostream on Flickr (under the name Compound Eye) for some time before he released his book on Blurb and given that all of the photos are available online under Creative Commons you might ask why I’d buy the book in the first place. The answer is that books are nice, especially photography books – it’s just nice to have the book to leaf through, somehow it gives you a better sense of the photograph to see it there in the page and explore it with your eyes without feeling the need to click on anything.

The book is titled In a Landscape and aside from brief introduction it contains no significant text, there are over 100 individual shots broken into chapters by site. The book is printed and published by the print-to-order service Blurb and the price isn’t cheap (starting at £31.95) but the quality you get for the money is extremely good and there’s little to distinguish this from a commercially produced book as far as I can tell.

One of the main reasons I decided to purchase the book is that a lot of people I know just don’t ‘get’ what urban exploration is and what I mean when say that there’s beauty to be found in decay, I think being able to show them a copy of Paul’s book and they’ll instantly see what I mean. So if you fancy splashing out on a treat for yourself, or maybe for someone you know who’s into Urban Exploration then I recommend In a Landscape, I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite shots from the book…

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About Me

If youre into Urbex or youre trying to find out what its all about you may find yourself needing some help finding out about the art of Urban Exploration.  Here at Sick Britain Im planning to put up original content like my What is Urbex? and Urbex Safety articles as well as posting links to other community sites such as 28 Days Later or Derelicte.

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