For my entire career I've preferred photo waist packs as my primary bags for landscape and climbing photography. Often enough its just not feasible to put all my camera gear on the ground to access it. I used the old Galen Rowell/FotoFlex waist pack for years. It worked like a portable workbench mounted on my hips. When it wore out I used LowePro's Orion AW. I blew out the seams on that and have since been using Think Tank Photo's burly SpeedRacer. These have worked great for shooting but don't support a tripod or allow for all the other stuff I need to take on a day of photographing in poor weather or when teaching workshops in remote places. Photo backpacks are perfectly fine for getting to a location but not very convenient as a bag from which you actually shoot in wild environments. So lately I've been fortunate to work alongside conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá and the amazing designers at Think Tank Photo to help develop an innovative solution. Our result is a ground breaking new photo daypack that I'm really happy with. After several years of work the testing and design is finally complete for our new Rotation180º Professional pack. I’ll post some more photos and a detailed preview of features shortly.
We have put together a new company called MindShift Gear to design this and other innovative photo products for outdoor adventure and conservation photographers. Our primary startup team is Doug Murdoch and Mike Sturm, co-founders of Think Tank Photo and designers with 25 years of experience, conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá, marketing whiz Brian Erwin, and myself. We would be sunk without the help of graphic designer Larry Atil and Doug Bush for customer service. There are a number of other great folks who have supported us in SO many ways and without their patience this would never have happened. Thanks!
Back in October Daniel and I went to New York and unveiled the Rotation180º at the PhotoPlus Expo. It was a big hit and we received great feedback from photographers. On Monday, December 3rd, we launched a month long Kickstarter.com crowd-sourced fund raising campaign to enable us to produce the first run of bags. Its gotten off to an amazing start for the first few days and we have been astounded at the response from the photo community. We reached our minimum funding goal in just thirteen hours and after a couple days have reached more than 200% of our goal. I hope you will take a look and consider helping us make this a reality by pledging to receive one of the first edition packs and sharing the project with your friends.
For more info, Here is an interview Daniel and I did on Geekbeat.tv in New York at the PhotoPlus Expo.