Saturday, July 19, 2014

PHOTO: Haitian President Michel Martelly Busts a Move

Haitian President Michel Martelly busts a move as he sings and dances during a town hall meeting with Haitian leaders at North Miami Senior High on Saturday. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

PHOTO: Barkhaus

Andres Monasterios and Natalie Sanchez, of Barkhaus Miami, walk a pack of 29 dogs down NE 5th Avenue on Friday Thursday, July 17, 2014. Every morning they take the dogs in their care on a pack walk. 

Monasterios says, "There are some that don't join in - elderly dogs, bulldogs and some that are not as athletic - wait for us at home. The rest go on the adventure and when we return all the dogs either nap or will continue to play in the yard."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Peak Design Smashes Kickstarter Goal with Slide, Clutch & Anchor Links

Peak Design smashed through their Kickstarter goal of $50,000 in less than 48 hours with their newly designed camera strap called Slide, the hand strap called Clutch and the attachment system called Anchor Links. As of Tuesday, July 8, they have up to 3,645 backers with 38 days to go.

Al Diaz and Cindy Seip using the original Peak Design Leash & Anchor
at Zion National Park in Utah. Photo by Angelika Diaz using 
Al's iPhone. PD does not have a strap for that...
About a year ago I switched to Peak Design’s originally designed camera strap, Leash and Anchor after getting tired of being smacked in the face by loose metal hardware on camera straps I used by other manufacturers. Peak Design’s unique quick-connection system and overall versatility of the strap changed how I carry my camera bodies on daily assignments anywhere, from the NBA Finals, spot news, feature, portrait session or last week’s family vacation at Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. (See more photos at end of review).

The best part of the system, the Anchor, allows for quick removal or attachment and functionality of the Leash, with a variety of ways of attaching or securing a camera body or long telephoto lens. Each Anchor is rated to over 100 lbs (45kgs) of weight and is made from braided Kevlar® cord overmolded with Delrin® thermoplastic.

The length of the Leash is easily adjustable and stays in place after you’ve made the adjustment. It is featherweight and easily configures as a sling strap, neck strap, safety tether, video stabilizer and more.

The original Leash’s smooth webbing glides over your clothing and is very comfortable unless you are carrying a brick of a camera such as the Canon EOS-1D X with a mounted 300mm f/2.8L IS II. Carrying that kind of weight, the strap digs into your shoulder a bit. This has left me wishing for a wider camera strap to distribute the total weight of the gear.

At last, the new wider Slide by Peak Design fulfills that need!


Slide is a camera strap, but one that's different from every other camera strap out there. Slide is more than just a neck strap, sling strap or shoulder strap. Slide is a new kind of camera strap that incorporates everything we love about existing straps, as well as feedback from thousands of photographers worldwide. More than strong enough to hold 
any pro camera/lens/accessory combo.

In a nutshell, Slide is the most thoughtfully designed camera strap ever created.

  • Wearable as a sling strap, shoulder strap or neck strap.
  • Quick connecting with one hand, using the patent-pending Anchor Link™ connection system.
  • Smooth on one side and grippy on the other, and instantly reversible
  • depending on your preference.
  • Comfortable even with the heaviest of pro cameras.
  • Made of tubular seatbelt-style webbing with padding on the inside for less bulk and a clean, classic look.
  • Compatible with ARCA-type tripod heads, so you can place your camera in the tripod without unscrewing anything.
  • Quickly customizable and adjustable. It can attach to multiple places on your camera and quickly cinch to fit your body type or activity.

Cindy Seip likes to change it up by using a wrist strap so she uses the Peak Design Cuff
If you like using a wrist strap like Cindy Seip, seen here using the original Peak Design CuffWell... PD has redesigned that too by introducing Clutch.


Clutch, the only quick-connecting, quick-adjusting camera hand strap ever made, Clutch gives you security when you need it, but also allows instant access to your camera's controls. With materials and hardware inspired by high end climbing gear, Clutch's simple, rugged design can only be described as "dead sexy."


  • Quick connecting with one hand, so you can add or remove it as needed.
  • Quick adjusting, so you can tighten it when you need extra security and loosen it when you need to access your camera's controls.
  • Low profile and unobtrusive compared to other camera hand straps on the market.
  • Made from premium materials and custom hardware inspired by high-end climbing gear.

Cindy also likes the functionality of the Micro Anchor attachments for use with Leash or Cuff. Unlike conventional straps, Cindy can fit her Canon EOS-5D Mark II into her Ikelite underwater camera housing with the Micro Anchor attached without the hassle of removing a conventional strap only to struggle to get it back on the camera when she is on land. With the Micro Anchors attaching the Leash or Cuff is a breeze.

Underwater portraits by Cindy Seip

Loving the camera strap you use now? Don’t like their attachment system? You can fix that. Peak Design has come out with Anchor Links™ Quick Connectors.


Anchor Links are designed to work with or without battery grips, and strong enough to hold any pro camera/lens/accessory combo. Anchor Links are quick connectors that let you take the PD lightning-fast and uber-secure connection system and put it on any standard camera strap. Keep the strap you love, and make it better.

  • Super strong. Each Vectran®-corded Anchor can withstand over 200 lbs. of force, strong enough for any pro rig. Each package includes 4 Anchors and 2 Links.
  • Low-profile, lightweight and unobtrusive. Plus, the Delrin® Anchor disks will never scratch your camera body.
  • Adaptable to any standard camera strap, from your brand new OEM strap to your Dad's vintage leather strap he used in college. Works with straps up to 12mm wide, which is a nearly-universal pro camera strap standard.
  • The same connection system used on all Peak Design straps.

To pre-order the new Peak Design  Slide, Clutch or Anchor Links,  support them on Kickstarter: The gear can be preordered at a significant discount from it's future planned retail price.

If you want to get a hold of other Peak Design products right away, visit Peak Design and order directly from them. If you use my discount code: diaz You'll get 10% off everything at their store.

A few family vacation pictures taken last week while using Peak Design gear at Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah with Cindy, James Bartek, 
Angelika and Al Diaz.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

THINK TANK PHOTO: Test Drive a Shape Shifter Backpack, FREE!

Our friends at Think Tank Photo have announced a special program for June, as well as the release of three new products.  Don’t forget that with our partnership with Think Tank whenever you order $50 or more of gear from them you will receive free gear with your order.

Between now and June 30th you can test drive one of Think Tank’s award-winning Shape Shifter backpacks for free for two weeks.  This revolutionary breakthrough in camera backpack design expands and contracts to fit your equipment.  It carries monopods and tripods in the bottom front pocket, features a contoured harness for men and women with air channel, holds a full assortment of photo gear and a laptop up to 17”, and compresses to 3 inches in depth when gear is removed.
If you wish to test a Shape Shifter for free for two weeks you must place your order by phoning  866-558-4465 ext. 1 and give them my special code number, which is ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­AP-269.  If you don’t wish to keep the Shape Shifter you can return it to Think Tank and you won’t be charged for the backpack. 

The Airport Roller Derby is ideal for travel, weddings and on-location assignments.  It enables you to maneuver nimbly through crowded spaces and to minimize muscle fatigue. This high-capacity carry-on camera bag's weight distribution allows for easily transporting a 15” laptop in its own dedicated pocket, along with two standard DSLRs, a tripod, and multiple lenses and strobes. Its travel-ready security features including a lock & cable and lockable zippers to tether the bag for domestic and international travel.
The My 2nd Brain Briefcase 13 and My 2nd Brain Briefcase 15 improve the workflow by keeping your second brains–your laptops and accessories–organized and your workflow clutter-free. These lightweight, full-featured briefcases include easily identifiable dedicated clear padded pockets designed to hold the accessories most often used by serious Apple users.  Their travel-ready design includes two compressible side pockets for water bottles or a compact umbrella, as well as a pass-through handle that slides over a rolling luggage handle. They come with their own rain cover, providing extra protection against the elements.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

NBA Champs Miami Heat Theme Song: Let's Go Heat

Here is a theme song Miami Heat fans can enjoy as they cheer on the Miami Heat today in Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

The 2012 NBA Basketball Champions The Miami Heat Theme Song.
Song Writer Composer Jim Kirk 
Performed By Jim Kirk & Carlos Valdes
Photos & Editing By Al Diaz / The Miami Herald

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

PHOTOS: "Cubans: The Forgotten Faces" at Books & Books

“Cubans: The Forgotten Faces” is the latest project by photographer Yamila Lomba. It is part of a series that assemble a brief but significant portrayal focused on portraits which capture the attitudes of different generations of Cubans on the island. "I try to show them doing something - or nothing at all - in the streets, parks and other places in and around downtown or the colonial areas of Havana."

"These images also touch the religious theme as part of the Cubans daily life. Cubans dream and hope for something different. This exhibition is about remembering our roots and keeping our ties with our brothers and sisters that are not so far away from us."
Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, Fl  Friday, June 6, 2014 7:00 PM
Copyright ©  2014 Yamila Lomba, All rights