Point & Chute Photography

| November 18, 2008

The past month has been like living in the Bob Dylan song “Everything is Broken” – broken boats, broken cameras, broken websites – everything is broken.  Luckily there are no broken bones.

The website is back up thanks to a ton of help from Valentin Secades who lives in the skiing hub of the world, Costa Rica.  The camera is back up with special thanks to my Visa card and B&H Photo Video. 

Over the years my photo modus operandi has devolved into a style best described as “Point & Chute.”  I try to find the best small camera I can in the sub $400 range, which is the arbitrary price where I won’t be tempted to leap after it if it swept into a glacial moulin or dropped on the forth pitch of a climb.  For each camera, I sew up small, padded case which can be secured to the shoulder straps of a pack.  The case can be opened with one hand, and I also attach a lanyard to the camera so I can open the case, extract the camera, turn it on and take a photo all one handed. 

The shoulder-strap mounted camera case, circled in red. Always there and ready to go.  High Atlas Mtns, Morocco.

From a skiing perspective,  this is great as it means you don’t have to stop, take off gloves, remove lens caps, etc..  From a photographic perspective, it is obviously not as sophisticated as using a big-gun SLR, but you learn your way around it.  Because it is always ready to go, I try to capture “of the moment” photos,  and for action shots, try to get the person fairly close.  Of course, most importantly, set it to burst mode and shoot lots of photos.

My latest camera is a Canon G9 which I decided on after having two professional photographer friends recommend it and seeing a whack of them being used for climbing and skiing.  Each new camera I get seems to be a big improvement over the last, but this one is a quantum leap better than any other P&C camera I’ve ever owned and I’m looking forward to using it.  Now if it would just snow around here…
Help support StraightChuter.com and get a trim little MountainSmith Cyber II Compact Camera Case from Backcountry.com! Click on the photo below…


Category: Photography

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (2)

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  1. dallen says:

    Great choice, if only because it affirms mine. Apparently, according to the local camera shop, this is a discontinued camera. Don’t know why, because it’s pretty great (except for the RAW mode, which apparently you can’t really do any editing with, still checking this out). Have fun, take some great pics.
    And you know what they say about boats.
    ‘It’s just a hole in the water you throw money into.’

  2. Andrew says:

    After deciding on the G9, I looked around on-line for it and discovered that the G10 was now out, and not only that, it was the same price ($450). But, in reading up on reviews of the G10, it seemed that people didn’t like them quite as much as the G9. I ended up buying a used G9 ($370) with a two year extended warranty ($55) as oftentimes when cameras break, they cost more to repair than to replace.

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