What to Look for When Shopping for a Tripod

Most people tend to think of tripods as being a “unit”. In reality, most full-sized tripods can be purchased as two parts: the legs and the head. These parts may come in various configurations so that you can customize the tripod that best suits your style of shooting, your budget and even your height!

You’ll want a much smaller, lighter weight tripod for hiking than for studio work. You’ll need a sturdier tripod for star trails or time-lapse images than for simple landscapes. You may need a more flexible tripod in confined spaces than if you always shoot in wide open areas.


  • Height – Legs may be purchased in various sizes and strengths (how much weight they can support.) Very compact models may not even go up to waist height, versus super stretch models that can extend tall enough for a basketball player to use without having to bend over. For any tripod you plan to use on a regular basis, the ability to raise the camera slightly above your head is a must-have feature, in case you are standing uphill or on some elevated surface.
  • Low – If you shoot small subjects (such as flowers, mushrooms and the like) then it’s also important that the tripod be able to get your camera low to the ground and hold it steadily in place. This may be different from simply collapsing the legs. Some tripods offer reversible center posts for mounting the camera upside-down between the legs. Others have clever designs where the center post can be mounted horizontally or locked in an infinite number of positions.
  • Collapsed – For carrying around, you probably want the smallest collapsed length possible. Bear in mind that there’s a direct correlation between amount of collapsibility and cost. More collapsible generally also means less stable when extended, though this isn’t always true. A good rule of thumb is that a collapsed tripod should be just over 1/3 or 1/4 its maximum height, depending how many leg segments it has.
  • Flexibility – As noted, some tripods have clever adaptations for moving the center post. Some also have legs that can be splayed independently of one another. A few have secondary camera mounts on the legs themselves. Some very small models even have flexible legs which can wrap around things. The more flexible a tripod is, the less weight capacity it’s likely to have but the more ways you can use it in unusual settings.
  • Locking Mechanism – Tripod legs have various different locking mechanisms when the segments are extended. Most popular are:
    1. Flip levers. Simply flip the lever to the open position, extend the segment as far as you want it to go, then flip it back to the locked position. Flip levers are popular and handy because they are reliable and can be operated with one hand.
    2. Twist-locks. In essence, you twist two leg segments against one another. One direction releases the segments so they can be extended or collapsed, the other direction locks the segments from moving. Twist locks have a low profile and won’t catch on loose clothing or camera straps but require two hands to operate. Lower quality ones are very prone to sticking, freezing up or even breaking.
    3. Thumb screws. Far less common than the other two options, thumb screws are literally screws with oversized heads that can be loosened and tightened without tools. They are low-tech and very reliable.
  • Capacity – All tripods include, as part of their specifications, maximum recommended weight capacity. Think of the combined weight of: your camera, the largest lens you are likely to use, whatever additional “weight” you place on it by holding onto the camera. (Most people press down a bit when operating a tripod mounted camera.) It’s good to go for the most capacity possible. This will also be the strongest, most secure setup but remember that there’s a direct correlation between capacity and carry-around weight. There is also a rough correlation between capacity and cost.


  1. Pan-Tilt – A pan-tilt head adjusts on each of three axes separately. These are often the default heads found on the most inexpensive tripods. There is nothing “wrong” with a pan-tilt head (despite often being billed as just for video, they perform fine for still photography too) but most professional and advanced amateur photographers prefer a ball head.
  2. Ball – A ball head has just a single thumb screw. The head is literally mounted on a ball. Loosen the screw and you can adjust the camera orientation infinitely in just about any direction. The biggest problem with ball heads is getting one that is strong enough to hold the weight of your camera-lens combination.
  3. Capacity – Like legs, tripod heads always include capacity in their specifications. In this case, the capacity refers to the maximum weight the head can hold at an angle without slipping. More is always better but capacity also correlates to price. Buy the best you can comfortably afford.

Other Features

  1. Level – Some tripods come with a built-in level. This is fine except that it’s entirely possible to stand the tripod on a hillside (where it will not be level) then adjust the head so that the camera is level. A tripod-mounted level does nothing to help you in such a case.
  2. Quick Release Plates – Quick release plates can be a very convenient and useful feature if you have more than one camera, lens or other piece of equipment. Or if you frequently mount and unmount your camera to the tripod. There are several configurations of quick release plates and they are not all mutually compatible. If you already have a tripod or other support that takes quick release plates, try to match your new tripod so that it uses the same type.
  3. Spikes – Some tripod legs may have spikes on the tips. Usually either the spikes can be extended out beyond the standard rubber tips or the rubber tips can be retracted to reveal the spikes. These are for “digging” into dirt to help hold the tripod from moving. Spikes vary in their usefulness with most being not all that useful at all.
  4. Rotation Measurement – Some tripods will include a kind of circular “ruler” around the top. This can be theoretically useful in taking a series of shots to later stitch together as a panorama. (In practice, most people are more likely to look through the viewfinder when determining the amount of overlap between shots.)
  5. Monopod Leg – Some tripod legs are configured in such a way that two of them can be removed and the whole assembly converted into a monopod.


As a very broad generalization, expect to spend no less than $100 on a new, full-sized tripod. Some may go into the multiple hundreds of dollars. Bear in mind also the old adage that “the best tripod is the one you have with you”. This means that even the best tripod ever made does you no good if you don’t carry it with you and even a flimsy lightweight tripod is usually better than handholding your camera. So get one that suits your needs, your budget and that you will actually use. For information on the best hunting tripod for a spotting scope click here.

Choosing Spotting Scopes For Hunters Looking For Big Game

A spotting scope is a vital object of hardware that has a tendency to be forgotten and under utilized by many American professional game hunters. Even though it is maybe a typical tool utilised by a big number of hunters, many factors can make contributions to a huntsman not taking this productive hunting object on their next big game adventure . The price of the spotting scope, having to carry the additional weight in your backpack, or an absence of long range glassing terrain in your hunting area can definitely lead many hunters to steer away from this optical piece of equipment.

Many people are often thinking about hunting and how more times then not “that big one got away”. Over the past few years I have practived and developed better hunting techniques that have aided me harvest those animals that seemed to slip away during the past. I would not have been ready to attain this without total use of a spotting scope. Together with passing more time outdoors, figuring out game, and figuring out the area, using a spotting scope will certainly let you see more game. It will also allow you to see animals while they don’t see you or smell you first. This is a key element to cropping bigger animals.

Spending $4,000 on a spotting scope is not possible for me and many of you almost certainly feel the same as well. Thankfully, a bunch of quality spotting scopes for sale will probably aid you see more game while not requiring you to spend a lot of cash to buy the scope. I give you some spotting scopes that I feel are good products at a good price.

1. Leupold Golden Ring 15-30x50mm Compact Spotting Scope

Selling for $399, this spotting scope delivers multiple features to hunters that want to mix light weight with quality. The Golden Ring line is the very best quality that Leupold has to offer in spotting scopes and this spotter is no exception. Weighing in at 21.5oz, and just over 11in. In length, this scope can be placed in any back country bag without taking up a lot of room or weight. Though there’s a bit of sacrifice in only having 30x magnification and 50mm objective, this scope gives you clear edge to edge viewing in all light circumstances. This scope also gives you a craggy water evidence design and full lifetime guaranty that increases the rationalizations to obtain this scope.

2. Bushnell Excursion 15-45x 60mm ED Spotting Scope

Selling for just over $300, this spotting scope has features that will satisfy many hunters. This waterproof scope has a large objective with 45x power zoom capabilities in a relatively compact design. Despite giving up some edge to edge clarity at longer distances, this scope will do the job for those on a tight budget.

3. Leupold Golden Ring 12-40x60mm HD Spotting Scope

The final spotting scope is the one for you if you who have a bit more money to spend on a top of the line scope without paying $2,000 for it. This scope offers HD quality that rivals the best scopes on the marketplace for $1,200. This spotter offers HD lucidity, edge to edge precision in any light condition, and 40x magnification. With a 60mm objective, your field of view is bright and crisp at the longest of distances. You’ll have the facility to view terrain for long amounts of time with minimal eye pain and improve your chances at catching that big animal on your next hunt. This scope also offers a rough water explanation design and full lifetime warranty.

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For information on the best spotting scope chick here https://ballachy.com/blogs/reviews/best-spotting-scope-tripod

Save Your Money Through Cheap Van Lease

When you are running a small business, you have to be very careful in choosing your vehicle. The task is not at all easy. However, you can own a van by contacting the van leasing company of your locality. These vans can be used for commercial as well as personal purposes. The leasing prices of these vans are different. What you can do is to go for a cheap van lease. When you are a van for lease for which you don’t have to pay a huge sum, you can invest the remaining amount to expand your business. The money involves in getting a van on lease is negligible as compared to buying a van.

When you contact a leasing company, they will show you vans of all sizes. You will be free to pick a van of any size keeping in mind the main reason behind leasing it. With the plethora of the leasing companies available today, you can easily take your van on leasing from that company which promises you the cheapest price. But, don’t get lured by the price only. Check the quality of the van you are going to take on lease. Make a comparison of the price quotes of different companies to find out which company is giving the best offer.

Some companies may ask you to pay huge upfront money. These companies will try to convince you by saying that if you pay big amount initially, your monthly installments will be low. In such a case, you shouldn’t take any decision in haste. It is always better to make a low upfront deposit because when you give a big amount in the beginning, you may likely to get deceived by that company. They may not assist you in case of any mishap. So, choose a company that asks you to make a small upfront deposit.

Maintenance charges are also a part of the van leasing deal. The company you are choosing will pay the maintenance charge and hence, you don’t have to take any tension regarding its maintenance. Sometimes these companies also give free service offer. Avail it to keep your leased van in good condition for a long time.

Always bargain the leasing price offering by that company. You can take someone with you who is expert in this field for bargaining. A lot of people don’t realize that they can negotiate the price of the leasing during the process. The final negotiated price is known as the capitalized cost. It, in turn, will affect your monthly installments for leasing.

The best leasing deals are generally given by the manufacturer in the form of sub-vented deals. In these kinds of deals, the interest rates are lowered or increase the remaining amount to make the lease more economical. You can contact the dealers directly to know whether any manufacturer is offering such awesome deal.

Go through the terms and conditions of the agreement before taking any decision.

Starting Off Right in Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) MMORPG

It’s often difficult for new players to get up and running with Dungeons and Dragons Online. If you’ve never played this type of MMO before you’ll notice this statement hits home pretty hard. Due to many changes in the game, the free edition of DDO is nothing like the first released several years back. Much like other MMO’s it continues to grow and progress in complexity. Experienced MMORPG’ers will have no problem appreciating the uniqueness that DDO has to offer. Dungeons and Dragons Online sports only PVE elements so if you’re a PVP thrill-seeker you may want to explore other games. Keep this in mind before beginning the game.

You first start the game at the character creation screen. Choosing your race in DDO is particularly crucial, so pay close notice to the in-game explanations for each. Propose a name that will fit the play style you intend to present in the game. While some would say that some races are “better” than others, each has a distinctive function or class that will compliment the choice; there is no ultimate race. Humans are somewhat considered the middle class, they tout a little fleck of everything. Some players opt to make a choice plainly based on how the race looks while others are total stat-mongers. As the game rolls forward, your character will take shape into whatever you can imagine through DDO’s unique class system; keep a clear focus on what the goals for your character are and you won’t go awry. Customizing your character’s looks may take some time; consider how you plan to play the character before designing their look.

You will need to determine where to exhaust your additional stat points. Think about how your stat points will impact the class you intend to play. You will also have points to spend on skills. The points exhausted here will determine the type of character you will be playing. You will also need to appoint the feats that exemplify how you wish to play your character.

After all the customization is finalized you will commence your journey. Welcome to Stormreach Harbor! For Reaper miniatures click here. Take on some quests and discover if the choices made in the character select screen are appropriate for you. If you’re not satisfied with your character, start over immediately. Don’t trick yourself into thinking it will improve… Dungeons and Dragons Online is pretty quick in showing you what it has to offer. DDO’s audio chat characteristic is great when crawling dungeons for the first time or with newly found friends. Even if you don’t own a mic it’s worthwhile to just pay attention to your group mates’ discussions. DDO does have a LFG feature but it’s more prudent to contact players directly instead of waiting idly for a group. The game gives you the option to solo dungeons, my question to you would be why? Reach out to people, make friends and relish the community. Thanks for reading!

Pressure Wash Contractors – Is it Really About the Money?

As with any trade, a contractor entering into the pressure washing industry has their sight on one primary goal. That is to make money and LOTS of it.

This is probably the one common denominator that most pressure wash contractors give as their reason for joining the rank and file as a professional power washing contractor. Obviously there is nothing wrong with making money with your business; this is why you are in business right? Often time a contractors success is measured by prescribed benchmarks passed down from one generation to the next. One of them being how much money do you make? The formula has always been that money equals success. The other is whether or not you are busy? If a contractor is busy, then the old cliche is that they must be successful because their busy. And if a contractor is busy 7 days a week from sun-up to sun-down then obviously they are making great money ~ right?

The Rat Race of Success?

Imagine having a 5 year business plan that yields a surge of growth for your business that everything else in your life is on hold in order to accommodate the abounding growth you experience year after year? The influx of sales calls must be answered within 24 hours preferably. Once answered, then you must schedule the estimates. Do not forget to take the time to proof read your marketing fliers/postcards in between answering all the sales calls and the estimates that you just scheduled. Phone time with your distributor is a must in order to keep the chemicals/soaps stocked. The phone time with your distributor also affords you the opportunity to ask technical questions about the “rattling noise” you hear on your rig when it is in operation. For some of you, if your rig goes down then you are nonoperational at least for the next 24-48 hours at minimum.

Fellow contractors need their time also on the phone with you so they can “bend your ear” for tips and suggestions. Set some time aside at night to keep your companies web presence in the forefront for your customer base and to answer emails from customers that opted to not call you during the day. Training any new employee will take a good chunk out of a work day so plan accordingly. If you are a one-man operation you obviously will need to finesse your washing schedule in order to make time to actually perform the work that was booked from those sales calls mentioned earlier. In the past you were able to make bank deposits every Friday but today you just cannot seem to make it to the bank until after it is closed because you literally have a thousand other priorities going on with the success of your business.

In between this fast operation tempo you may manage to give your significant other a call on the phone to let them know that you will not be able to make it to your sons little league game or your daughters dance recital again as promised. You offer up a sincere and heart felt apology not only to your significant other but more importantly to your child who is obviously upset that you will not be there – again. You had every intention to make it this time when you left for work that morning but as luck would have it a customer frantically called at the last minute saying the stain you applied yesterday was not the right color! Before you hang up with your wife you mention that you will not make it home for dinner either. Has this been your routine lately? Do the demands of your business and the priorities associated with it overshadow the very reason why you are in business of pressure washing in the first place?

What is Your System?

Business growth and the effort that is required to manage that growth can be a pleasant experience as a pressure wash business owner. As your business grows externally i.e. sales, marketing, increase in contracts, you must ensure that you internal business infrastructure i.e. employees, managers, sales team is also growing to compliment this external growth. It is highly recommended that your business plan not only speaks on “systems” but more importantly that you understand the action on your part to place the right people into your business so that the “systems” in writing can turn to “systems” of reality. As business owners, we often overlook the infrastructure portion of our business plan by diverting our attention on only how to get our phone to ring. When this happens we find ourselves running our business in what is commonly known as ‘catch up mode’. This means that no matter what time of the day it is, you are behind schedule or in ‘catch up mode’ because your “systems” still lay dormant. In conjunction with just being behind schedule every day, we also unconsciously run a very high risk of losing out on the joys of spending quality time with our family and loved ones as described in the example above. Does this sound like you?

Who is in Charge?

There is good news and today you are empowered as the owner of your business to stop this cycle of madness and take control of your business instead of letting your business control you. The first step in order to regain control of your business is that you need to arrive to the understanding and belief that constant business growth is not necessarily the only indicator to success. As a pressure washing contractor with a family you owe it to your significant other and children to ensure that the growth of your business does not constantly overshadow the simple things in life that everyone in your household needs and wants.

Who ME??

As business owners, we have the luxury and the ability to ‘scale back’ our time in the field in order to make the time to give our family the attention they deserve. Why? Because you are the owner and the BOSS. That is right; YOU call the shots on the day to day operations and at what the operation tempo of your day will be like. If your ‘systems’ action plan only got as far as it being written on a piece of paper then you run a very high risk of burning yourself out very quickly. Coupled this along with the mental peer pressure from your significant other that you have not spent quality time with your family in the last 4-6 months, it is plausible that one day you may wake up and realize that you do not enjoy what you are doing i.e. pressure washing.

Instead of starting your pressure wash season with only the purpose of making as much money as you can, could it be feasible that you approach your pressure wash season with the mind set that your business and family will sustain a “balance” through out the year? Oh the joy of seeing a young boys face light up when he sees BOTH parents sitting in the bleachers to watch his little league game in the middle of the afternoon; Or the smile from ear-to-ear when a young daughter happily jumps into your arms because you came to pick her up from school. Establishing the right “systems” in your pressure washing business takes time and ultimately some trial and error. It is okay if you do not get it right after several attempts but be mindful and confident that you will get there eventually. Managing the growth of your company may even mean temporarily not growing at all until you able to find the right individuals that posses the skill set your business needs to take it to that next plateau.

Time To Reflect

If you find yourself in the middle of the pressure wash gauntlet today, take a moment and reflect on what is really important in your life on your terms. Ask yourself why you became a pressure washing contractor in the first place? Was it because you and your family wanted the freedom that you could not obtain working for someone else? If so, where is that freedom today? Take inventory on how your time away from the family may be viewed by your significant other and your children today. If making money at all costs is what drives you then congratulations on your success. If you seek that “balance” between pressure washing and family remember that you are empowered to be in control of your days. One of rewards of being a business owner is that you have the ability to keep any schedule that you wish.

I personally know a pressure washing contractor located in Kentucky that has carved out a pretty decent pressure washing business. One of the keys to his success is that he manages his business verses letting his business manage him. It is not uncommon for him to be out riding his Harley in the afternoon or taking his beautiful family to a local restaurant for an early supper on any given day. This is a prime example of how one pressure washing contractor has taking advantage of why he is in business in the first place; that is to enjoy life. I do not know how much money he makes a year but I would guess that he, along with other pressure washing contractors that have mastered this “balance” between work and family, is probably one of the richest guys in the industry and has very little if any to do with the size of his bank account.

Lets Go Out for Dinner

So as your phone continues to ring off the hook and you are attempting to be superman for all your customers all at one time, stop and asked yourself whether or not ‘is it really about all the money?’ If so, continue on your journey and you should be applauded for your sacrifice. If not, I am sure you would be superman, at least for that night, to your family when you show up at the house unannounced to tell them you are taking them out to dinner!

For pressure washing services in Kelowna check out the information below.

NEXT LEVEL Window Cleaning
3739 Casorso Rd
Kelowna, BC
V1W 5e8
Phone: (250) 826-4843

Components Of Website SEO Services

Website search engine optimization (SEO) is at the heart of all your marketing and promotional efforts and services. However, the best SEO efforts can go unfruitful if they are not in sync with technical requirements.

For most small businesses in current times, website SEO is often the first step in promoting their business and client services. For a small or mid-size business, website SEO helps promotional efforts, reach out to target audiences, and save significant amounts of money on promotional efforts.

Website SEO consists of several service components. Technical expertise is needed to implement SEO elements.

Link building: Link building includes appropriate back-linking substantiated by the relevant content and activities like social media marketing and email marketing. All of these have to follow guidelines of the search engine, for example the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Website SEO efforts can be jeopardized by the use of inadequate link building or utilizing incorrect links.

Keyword research: Website SEO efforts also include content that uses the correct keywords to draw target audiences to your services. For SEO to be effective, keywords relevant to your competitors are also taken into account.

On page SEO: Website SEO services often contain on page optimization tool that can help analyze internal links as well as page content to supplement the overall SEO efforts. Many on page SEO tools work together with other tools that help measure keyword density, analyze links, etc. to complement the SEO strategy. Other useful tools include the keyword optimization tool that can reveal the word count in content.

Benefits of hiring professional SEO services for your website

There are immense benefits to hiring a professional expert to conduct the SEO for your online marketing requirements.

Develop a strong online presence: Website SEO experts understand how SEO works, rules set by search engines, and how to work around them to ensure higher visibility for your business services. SEO experts are also clued into SEO updates and changes and can help your website adapt quickly to them before you lose any business.

Connect with potential customers: An SEO expert takes into account your competitors’ websites as well, and designs a strategy for your services, keeping in mind even the competitor’s strategy. This allows you to present your visitors and potential customers with exactly what they would like to see. Your chances of connecting with a potential customer are thus, higher.

Convert visitors into clients: Ultimately, all your marketing and promotional efforts are targeted to getting more clients. Increase in number of clients means increase in revenue. Targeted and well thought-out SEO efforts, including activities such as PPC and link building, can actually get more visitors to your website, and help convert them into consumers of your products and services.