Spider Holster Ambassador

Posted November 21st, 2017 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Spider Holster Gear


I’d like to point you to a piece of gear that makes my photography easier. About six months ago I started using a new strap and holster system for working in the studio made by Spider Holster. In fact, I like their equipment so much that I’ve decided to join the Spider Ambassador team.

The Spider Holster system is a camera holster that uses a mounting plate on the camera that clips into a specially designed hip belt. It is an excellent ergonomic solution that puts all the weight of your camera comfortably on your hips. For my purposes, I use the Spider system in the studio for photographing models, shooting still life (products), or teaching live photography workshops.


The system is made out of stainless steel and hardened aluminum. The holster has a two-position lock that is exceptionally secure. I’ve never had it fail and I move around a lot in the studio! My previous life was working as a mechanical engineer, so I always appreciate the skill required to design and produce a top quality product.


Top 5 Reasons

Here are my top five reasons why I use and recommend the Spider Holster:

1. Works great in studio. It flows with my movement and allows me to stand on step stools or crouch down low to the ground. The fact that the Spider Holster holds the camera low on the hip means that it is totally out of the way.

2. Allows me to keep my hands free to work with the model and the props and the lighting equipment.

3. Rock solid. I have complete trust in the gear and don’t have to use any mental energy fumbling around with the attachment system.

4. Interfaces easily with my tethering equipment. I use Tether Tools gear in my own studio work and when I do live classes with CreativeLive.

5. The Spider Holster works with my standard Arca Swiss plates so I can quickly switch between hand-held and tripod photography.

Since I’m an ambassador, they gave me a discount code to pass onto my readers. Simply use this code when ordering to receive 20% off any purchases from their website – https://spiderholster.com/ .

Discount Code – HAGEN20

Here’s the gear I personally recommend

SpiderPro Single Camera System


TheSpiderPro single camera system.

SpiderPro Dual Camera System


The SpiderPro Dual camera system.

Spider Pro Large Lens Pouch


Spider Holster Large Lens Pouch.

Ambassador Information


Check out more ambassador information at these links:

Spider Ambassadors

Mike’s Ambassador Page

Other Spider Holster shooters I recommend:

David McKay
Sue Bryce
Lindsay Adler
Jared Platt

Nikon D500 Initial Report

Posted May 25th, 2016 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Nikon D500

I’ve been shooting with the Nikon D500 for a couple weeks and have to say that Nikon has truly created a beautiful camera. I’ll write up a more-detailed review in our next newsletter, but so far, I am exceedingly impressed. The things I’m liking are:

1. Autofocus performance is top-notch

2. Frame rate at 10 FPS is addictive

3. High ISO performance is excellent

4. Ergonomics are best in class

5. Rear flip-screen is very useful

6. Image quality is excellent



Baby deer. Nikon D500, 200-400mm f/4

The camera “only” costs about $2,000, so I consider it a true bargain. It fundamentally has all the professional tools of the Nikon D5, packed into the smaller body of the D500. The size of the D500 is almost identical to the FX format Nikon D750 and the ergonomics/handling are excellent. I can guarantee you are going to love this camera for sports, action and wildlife. It is a killer camera.

I just received notice from Adorama that the D500 (and D5) are in stock and ready for sale. Here are my affiliate links:

Nikon D5 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body (CF Version)
$6,496.95 with free shipping

Nikon D5 FX-Format DSLR Camera Body (XQD Version)
$6,496.95 with free shipping

Nikon D500 DX-format DSLR Body
$1,996.95 with free shipping

Nikon D500 DX-format Digital SLR Body with AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR Lens
$3,066.95 with free shipping

Here are a few more photo samples from the D500.

Barred owl

Barred owl. Nikon D500, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC. This image is ISO 2800.

Seattle skyline

Seattle skyline from waterfront ferris wheel. Nikon D500, 14-24mm f/2.8.

Dogwood flower

Dogwood flower. Nikon D500, 200-400mm f/4.

Nikon Lens and Camera Rebates are Back

Posted February 16th, 2015 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink
Nikon rebates

Nikon rebates are back for 2015, including all the current cameras and lots of excellent lenses.

Great news for those of you looking to buy some new camera gear this month. Nikon just announced their popular rebate program is back from now through February 28, 2015. Unlike previous rebate programs, this one includes lens-only rebates and lens + camera bundle rebates. Also, for the first time ever, the Nikon D4s is a part of the Nikon rebate program. While you’re clicking around on the shopping pages, be sure to check out the great prices on the D3300, D5500, D7100, D610, D750, D810, and Df cameras.

I included links to both Adorama and B&H Photo. Pay attention when you buy, as some of the products offer an additional 4% in awards and additional accessories, FREE!

Rebate Links
B&H Photo Camera-Lens Bundles

B&H Photo Lens Only Rebates

Adorama Nikon Rebates

Hurry, these expire 2/28/15.

Take a Camera Everywhere You Go

Posted June 29th, 2010 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

You’ve heard this from me many times before … always bring a camera with you. Always!

Taking a camera with you everywhere you go keeps your mind sharp and always thinking about photography. It keeps you actively engaged in the visual world. More importantly, it keeps you alert to the possibility of creating a great image.

I work hard to make sure I always have a camera with me, whether its a full-frame SLR or a small point and shoot. There are all kinds of opportunities that crop up in life that can only be captured when you have a camera. Sometimes just a pretty photo presents itself. Other times, a business opportunity will crop up. Other times, you can take a simple photo as a favor for other people.

Take a look at the photo examples below. These images weren’t planned and they all happened when I was just “out and about.”

Halo around the sun. Nikon D700, 14-24mm.

Halo around the sun. Nikon D700, 14-24mm.

This image of the halo around the sun was taken earlier this year during a family trip to the Washington Coast. We were on our way home when my wife, kids and I noticed this beautiful halo. I stopped the minivan, grabbed my Nikon D700 and 14-24mm lens, then snapped a couple pics.

Old time motorcycle. Canon G9. Converted in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Old time motorcycle. Canon G9. Converted in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Last week I went to lunch with another local nature photographer up in Paulsbo, Washington. I didn’t have any photo plans, but I decided to take along my Canon G9 point and shoot camera. I found this great motorcycle down by the docks and snapped a pic. Back at my office, I converted the photo to black and white in Photoshop using the Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in.

Panama short term mission group from Harbor Covenant Church. Canon G9.

Panama short term mission group from Harbor Covenant Church. Canon G9.

Two days ago, the high school youth group was preparing to leave for a mission trip to Panama. The team wanted an official send off photo, so I volunteered to snap a few pics for the group. All I had was a point and shoot, but the photo came out great. I shared the photo with everyone and now they have an image that will last forever as a memento of their incredible journey.

Bring you camera with you everywhere you go and you’ll always be ready to capture great image of life.

Nikon D5000

Posted April 15th, 2009 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Nikon just announced a new camera, the Nikon D5000. It is a 12MP camera with 720p HD video and an articulated screen. 

The camera is fundamentally a cross between a D60 and a D90. It shares the same autofocus module and imaging sensor as the D90 in a body about the size of the D60. I think the best innovation here is the articulated screen. I’ve found that when shooting video on the Nikon D90, viewing the screen can be somewhat difficult. Now with an articulated screen, it will be much easier to view the camera when it is down low or up high. 

Pricing for the D5000 will be around $730 – not bad for a 12MP SLR with HD video!


Nikon D5000 SLR



(Image copyright Nikon)

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