Prepping for next season

It maybe a little early to start getting ready for the Spring but in this business getting ahead of the game is important. In the winter months shooting definitely slows down a little bit which is great to catch up on images and to get ready for the next season. Going through equipment is a great place to start. All those little notes you made about what worked where and when makes it easier to figure out what is needed and what’s ready to be updated.


One of the prime lenses in my bag is the 200-400 VR. It’s the perfect lens for both wildlife work and planes but just like any other piece of equipment it requires maintenance and cleaning every now and again. What better time to do that then when things are slow. It may seem a like a little thing but often times it’s those little things that make all the difference.

vulture strap

Now’s also a good time to try out new products that didn’t work well this past airshow season. One critical piece of gear that you need to be happy with is, the strap. Everyone needs a comfortable, reliable, lightweight yet strong, camera strap. There are hundreds of different ones on the market and it comes down to which one fits your style. For me it’s a combination of the Sunsniper strap and Vulture strap. Both have their uses, Sunsiper for the 200-400 and Vulture for the camera and small lens. It’s my system and it works.


In the end you got to come up with your own system and time that so it fits your shooting schedule. Prep work is essential to get those great shots.

The Vulture Strap

For several months now I have been testing out Vulture Equipment Works, Vulture A2 Strap. This really is one beefy strap! This is a military grade nylon that truly can take a beating. For my aviation work it’s fantastic because I know my camera gear isn’t going anywhere when I’m flying. Featured here is a similar model, this is the “big brother” to the A2, the A4. I posted this shot to show you much is involved with this strap.

vulture strap

Image Courtesy of Vulture Equipment Works

So besides being really wide and really strong it comes with two Carabiners that make for quick attachment and detachment in the camera bag a snap. If your like me and don’t always want a camera strap on, say for instance when working with a critter and the camera strap keeps blowing around making it not only a distraction but also causes vibrations, then having these Carabiners is nice. Now the A4 comes with an additional quick release button.



Images by Sharon Peterson

As you can see the strap is long but adjustable so you can trim it the size you need. When working with planes air to air, it’s great to have that extra length to wrap around my arm for extra security. Now some of you might be wondering about the Carabiners and if they scratch the camera up? Well that was one of my first concerns as well and I can honestly say that I haven’t had a problem! Might be because I’m always really careful and don’t want to pay for repair bills. Now I can say that after talking with Vulture Works, they are working on a way to avoid possible scratches from the Carabiners in a future product.


Keep in mind with the added material it is a little heavier and bulkier than your normal strap, but if you need and want that extra strength then it’s worth it. One big part I haven’t mentioned yet is how comfortable it is. It really is comfortable due to that extra width. It doesn’t cut into the shoulders like other straps do. It also doesn’t slide off my shoulder. Two really big pluses right there! And as you can see, it does a great job.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film, Vulture Works A2 Strap. Portraits shot with Nikon 1 V2 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 1 NIKKOR 10-100mm Lens

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