FotoFriday Gear

Here's links to some of our favorite gear from the pages of the FotoFriday Newsletter!
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Clicking on the links listed below will take you directly to the appropriate page - enjoy!

TaoTronics LED Rechargeable Lamp

I already have a Taotronics lamp on my desk and it’s my favorite desk work lamp ever. When I saw this LED Rechargeable Lamp I was intrigued and had to order one. Once again, it was way cooler that I thought possible and it’s also quite a pretty piece - for less than $35. I plugged it in and once it was fully charged we ended up putting it on the dining room table. It is lightweight and has a handle to carry it around with - again to put light wherever you need it. When the weather warms up a bit, I think it will be a nice accessory to bring out onto the deck or porch for some soft, evening light.


The light turns on and adjusts brightness with a touch sensitive top ring. Tap it once to turn it on, touch and hold for it to cycle from bright to minimum and stop at whatever brightness level you like. It’s rated to stay on without charging for 110 hours at minimum brightness, but since it plugs into a standard USB charger you can also plug it in. It provides a soft, warm light (think tungsten bulbs) and would also serve well as a nightlight for a child. I think I’ll have to buy another one as Diane has really taken a liking to it - and I see another present for the kids here as well!

Here's the link for the TaoTronics LED Lamp


LitezAll Magnetic Carabiner Battery Pack and Light

I bought this  when the previous carbines chaser I bought disappeared and came across this one in a search online. I wasn’t expecting much, but I still ordered tow of them since I know that if it was any good, Diane would want one too. It turned out to be so much better than I was expecting - and for $20!

We’ve already used them to charge our cell phones and I’ve stuck it to the refrigerator and stove fan to see how strong the magnets are (very!), but what really surprised me was how bright the light is. It has three modes - High, low and strobing - handy if you are broke down with your car somewhere.

It’s rated at 8 hours with the light on high and 20 hours on low (which is still pretty bright) and the 2200mAh battery will charge a phone fully in 3 hours or so. It’s also handy for charging your digital cameras when shooting time lapse and video.

This is a great tool to have for camping, hiking, biking and car repairs or even to just have as a handy flashlight. I will keep this on my camera bag or backpack at all times. Now I have to buy at least four more as presents for the kids!

Here's the link for the LitezAll Carabiner Magnetic Power Pack/Lamp

LitezAll Carabiner Magnetic light carabi

Amazon Echo Show 5 and 8


OK, I admit that I am addicted to the whole Amazon Echo/Alexa thing! I’m actually embarrassed to say that we have so many of these things in the house, that sometimes the one in the kitchen answers when I ask the living room Dot to turn on the lights. One big wish is for Amazon to offer some more names to activate these devices - at least more than the three currently available (Alexa, Echo and Computer).


That said, I just couldn’t stop myself from ordering the new Echo Show - basically and Echo unit with either a 5.5”, 8” or 10” screen. This means all of my Amazon Prime videos can be show along with Hulu (not Netflix at this point) and also YouTube Videos (which means you can watch my videos on it!) It also acts as a phone, plays music from most streaming service and can also act as an intercom with video. For those of you concerned with security, all of the Echo Shows have a switch on the case to turn off the mic/camera and built-in shutter along with the ability to delete your voice recordings. 

I was originally going to go for the Echo Show 5, which has a 5.5” screen, but for just $20 more at only $79.99, you get bigger speakers and an 8” screen. Frankly for twice the price of the Show 8, I really don’t think the Show 10 is worth it for just a little larger screen size.

Here's the link for the Echo Show 8                     Here's the link for the Echo Show 5


Samsung T5 Portable SSD Drives


I've talked about these drives before, but the prices are coming down and if you don't have one yet, it might just be time! These tiny drives are solid state with no moving parts, so that means they can both take a beating and they are incredibly fast when writing and reading date. I bought my 500GB drive a year or so ago for $149 - no they are $89. The drive is also available in 1and 2GB capacities.


Diane just got a new MacBook Air, so I got her one of these as a stocking stuffer (don't tell her!) If you get one, be sure to get a case for it as it can get lost in your bag. I've included my favorite case below - enjoy!

Here's the link for the Samsung T5 Drives                     Here's the link for my Favorite T5 Case

Andoer Tripod Leveling Base

The perfect add-on for anyone using either a Gimbal Head or Panoramic Head on a standard tripod. No more adjusting legs to get everything level! Just add this piece in between your tripod column top and your tripod head and a single lever allows you to level in most any direction. Make the necessary movement until your tripod head shows level, tighten it up and you're ready to shoot!

Here's the link for the DY-60N Leveling Head  

Power Strip 6" Extension Cords

You've got all these device with power blocks and just a couple take up all the space on your power strip. Add this pack of extensions and get back all of your power strip outlets! They are three-prong and well made.

Here's the link for the 5-pack Extension Cord Set 

Joe's Favorite Folding Travel Bag

I've used this bag for over a year now and it still looks brand new! It folds down to a tiny size for on the way to a trip, and opens up to carry all the extra stuff I bought while traveling - an awesome travel accessory!

Here's the link for the Granite Folding Travel Bags

TENS & EMS Stimulator

What a great device for sore feet, legs & back! The 12 modes and 20 Intensity levels penetrate your muscles and tissue, relieving pain and soreness and release tension!

After just a 20-minute session with the Massage Therapy Concepts TENS & EMS Unit, you’ll feel results almost instantly! Add the slippers for a great electronic foot massage.

Here's the link for the device          Here's a link for the slippers

Amazon Basics Travel Organizers

Our favorite new way to pack for our hotel stays! Diane and I each have our own colors (they are available in around 6 different choices) and we pack a night or two of clothes is one bag along with some basic toiletries. It makes finding what you plan on wearing so much easier. These bags come in sets of four but you can get all one size or combinations of small, medium and large. We've found the medium bags to be the most useful.

Amazon Basic Travel Organizer    

Joe's Favorite Travel White Noise Generator

I've traveled all over with this device over the past few months and find it so valuable in helping me get to sleep. Be it masking street noise or adding some gentle noise to an otherwise completely quiet room, it keeps going all night - in fact I've run it for two nights in a row without recharging.

Marpac Rohm Portable White Noise Machine for Travel

RockDove Slippers

I've always searched for slippers that were both comfortable and utilitarian. I wanted something that was easy to slip on, was cushioned and warm (but not too warm!) and yet something that had soles suitable for running out to fill the bird feeders or get something from the car.

Once I found these RockDove Slippers, my search was over! They fit well, have a gel-cushioned base, have fun colors and have a sole that does double duty by letting you run around outside with them - I'm sold!

My wife tried mine on to get something from the backyard and now she wants a pair - guess that's another order.  Here's the links:

Men's RockDove Slippers    •    Women's RockDove Slippers