Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


Merry Christmas to all my photography friends. We at Escape to Nature Photography Workshops appreciate all your support. Without you, we don't exist. Thank you.


We have a new workshop to announce. Our Springtime Waterfalls Workshop. We have a Christmas Special which will run through January 15, 2018. Please take a look and register early. Click on the link below for further information.






We still have some openings in our February Florida Workshop. If you are interested in Birding photography come join us for a great week of photographic fun.






    Just a few of the photos you may capture at this event. Register now while there are a few openings left.







                                          Mindshift PhotoCross 13 Sling Bag


I recently got to test the Mindshift PhotoCross 13 Sling bag. This is the larger of the two sling bags. This is one great sling. In fact I can't say one thing I would change to improve this. The bag is designed and manufactured by Mindshift. Its advanced technology materials make for a strong but lightweight bag. 


I wasn't a sling bag guy but I ended up carrying this bag for an almost 4 hour round trip hike to Upper Grave Yard fields Falls in Brevard NC. Bag held up well. In fact the photo below shows two bags. The clean one my wife, Annette, carried and the dirty one where clumsy me, fell down a hill. All equipment was safe and the bag and I went on.




Above my wife bag to the right and my bag to the left after our round trip hike.



Small cascade along the trail to Upper Falls. Nikon D5 with 24-70 f/2.8 at f/16. Singh-Ray 3 Stop ND and polarizing filter. Gitzo Tripod with RRS ball head.




Upper Grave Yard Fields Falls. Nikon D5 and 24-70 f/2.8 at f/16. Singh-Ray Filter 3 stop ND and LB polarizing filter. Gitzo Tripod with RRS Ball Head.



As you can see above we made it and the Sling bags held up well. These bags are a great design and hold quite a amount of gear. Great for short one day hikes as well as travel and vacation photography. I don't leave home without one in my SUV in case I want to take a short excursion and don't want to carry my Mindshift MP-3 and all my gear.





See the Mindshift PhotoCross at many dealers around the country. Check out the Web for Mindshift below.




You can also get yours at Hunts Photo. Contact Alan at Hunts below

Alan Samiljan

Hunts Photo

100 Main St.

Melrose, MA 02176

(781) 462-2383 

[email protected]


Tell him Vinny sent you.



Southeastern Camera in Raleigh NC also carries Think Tank / Mindshift



Another great item I want to mention that I just started using is the MagMod Wildlife Kit. A lot of you know that I use a Better Beamer flash extender to extend my flash range when photographing wildlife. I still have my Beamer and still love it. The MagBeam is a little different version.

The MagBeam wildlife kit is a flash extender to amplify light out of your flash unit 2-3 stops. This in itself is no different than others I have tried. However the Mag Beam is much more rugged than any flash extender I have tried before. It is easier to use than any other. The magnetic mounting system works fast and is the best I have seen.







 I am always using this on a telephoto lens. This means your flash head needs no special manual adjustment as other extenders do. This one is designed to work with the flash zoom set from 70mm-200mm and doesn't have to be manually set to 50mm as others do. 


Here is my setup with a Nikon D5 and 200-500. Sp-5000 flash with MagBeam mounted.




Below some test results. I picked a heavy backlighted subject to see how this all worked. F/8 at ISO 800, flash head at 200mm and lens at 200mm.




The first image is shot with no flash, aperture priority. The second image was aperture priority, with flash. 




The image above was manual metered on the bright weeds to the right then flash with the Madbeam. 

Camera in all shots were in high speed sync and matrix metering. See how nicely we can control the light at a distance of 60 feet. 

So far it seems to work great. As I get more under my belt I will share techniques. 

You can even grow this system for many applications including creative lighting.

Note: Unlike other extenders, the MagBeam is not flash specific. The universal rubber magnetic mount fits over the flash head no mater which model you own. It all folds flat and although it comes in a handy pouch, I put mine into a Mindshift GP cables and power case for added protection. The case slides into my mindshift MP-3 with ease.

Ask Hunts Photo for the Mindshift case as they carry those as well.

See their link:

You can order direct, but why?  Hunts Photo is running a special on the Wildlife kit for Vinny Colucci Workshop participants.

Go to the Hunts link to get yours today.  I will be doing flash classes using this device in 2018. Watch the website for workshops as well as webinars at:




Buy yours today:

For additional Hunts photo specials:





                                           Singh-Ray Filter Statement


I am a big user of filters in the field. To me its about controlling light to get the best image possible. To do that I use the best filters possible. To me that is Singh-Ray filters.  I knew Bob Singh for years. Bob Passed away the end of 2016. We are sorry to see Bob pass. He will be well missed by many.

There have been rumors about if Singh-Ray would continue as before. Let me tell you now, Singh-Ray is as strong or stronger than ever. The same technical team that has engineered, manufactured in the USA, and developed the best filters made, are still in place. They are doing what they do best, providing you with the best filters made. Why put a cheap filter in front of your expensive lens? Why cheapen that lens. Use the best filter possible.


I have visited the plant in Florida many times over the years. I have been there recently. Their quality control, engineering, and manufacturing are 2nd to NONE.


Give them a try. Use vinny10 and get 10% off your entire Singh-Ray order.


Check out their new website and learn. Singh-Ray is now offering monthly webinars on photography techniques.





Bosque del Apache backpack drawing. Our winner from New Mexico event is Herb Parsons. Herb won a Mindshift backpack. Herb, contact [email protected] to claim your prize. 



Until next month  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Vinny & Annette



                                                                                             " If you don't see something to photograph, create it "

                                                                                                                                  Vinny Colucci 2017