A Season Of Thanks November 28 2014 1 CommentDuring this season of thankfulness, we at Blackstone want to thank all of our customers for supporting us in the past year. It has been a year of many changes for us and has led us on to the path we are on now. It is a path of new products in the works, new expectations for ourselves and hopefully new placement for our products. Thanks to your support, we have been able to travel this path. We hope that you will continue on this path with us and to see where the things may go!
Changes For MetaData Input? November 19 2014
Let's face it. As a Photographer, post processing isn't our favorite part of our job. Metadata entry is probably even worse. However, there is hope!
It's not ready quite yet but Google is working on a new algorithm that will automatically tag photos with coherent sentences describing a photo. Think of how this will alter the workflow process for wedding photographers or anyone entering meta data into hundreds (or thousands) of photos! See the article here! http://www.dpreview.com/
Advice From An Expert October 25 2014
Many of us struggled with this question....Do I want to make photography my living?
We asked those close to us, considered the financial consequences and scoured the internet for different resources and advice. After all of this, we still didn't have many answers, did we?
I ran across this article by Eric Kim this morning that was probably one of the best I read if you are considering making photography a full time job. He shoots from the hip and doesn't sugar coat things. You may not like what he has to say but but it is pretty thought out advice.
Check out his article at http://weeder.org/rLH2H9V
New Website Layout October 23 2014After weeks of work, today we launched our new website! The sleeker new design and easier to navigate tool bars were put into place in preparation for a new product we will be launching in November. Keep your eyes out on us. Exciting things are to come!
Exciting News coming soon! March 30 2014Today in the Blackstone office, we are working very hard to provide you the best products possible. You can look forward to a new bag very soon! This has been a long time coming but it will be worth the wait..
Check out these nice comments from a happy Blackstone customer! January 09 2014
Gift Cards NOW AVAILABLE From Blackstone November 16 2013
Good news, we now offer gift cards!!
Give your family and friends the gift of choice with a Blackstone Gift Card!
Shopping for someone else and just can't find that perfect gift!
Good for any occasion and very EASY to give!
Give a Blackstone gift card today.
Road Trip Gear – Urban Quiver 3.0 by Dan Lum September 29 2013
With all the gear I put together for the road trip, I needed an organized way to lug all that technology with us. Unfortunately, I no longer had my Case Logic camera backpack. That bag served me and all my DSLR gear well. I don’t miss lugging around all that weight on my back though.
With 2 Micro Four Thirds cameras, lenses and accessories, I had a lot of gear to pack with us. Fortunately, I had a random selection of Lowepro camera bags sitting around. We set out on our trip with no less than 2 separate camera bags and a camera sling. It was an unorganized mess. Upon hitting our first photo ops, I realized how ridiculous it was to dig through 3 bags to get to our cameras and lenses.
It was during our first week that a cool and crazy connection happened. I had come across a bag company on Instagram. Blackstone @blackstone_bags (on Instagram) and their Urban Quiver caught my attention. The bag doesn’t fit into the traditional form factors of backpack, messenger bag or sling.
After exchanging some emails with Matt from Blackstone, I expressed interest in testing the Urban Quiver during our road trip. Since we were already on the road, I wasn’t sure how we would make the logistics work.
Here’s where it gets interesting. On the way to Crater Lake, we stopped at a Trader Joe’s just outside Portland. I called up Matt to talk about how to get a hold of the bag. Turns out, he was just 15 minutes from where we were! Crazy, I know. We met, had a great conversation about our trip and I left with the Urban Quiver. Another example of the great connections we made on our trip.
I was so excited, I ‘configured’ the bag at our campsite, after the kids went to sleep. I emptied the 3 separate camera bags of their contents and filled up the urban quiver.
The moveable padded dividers held the gear nicely in their own compartments. There’s also an velcro enclosed pocket for smaller items such as memory cards.
I’m borderline OCD when it comes to my gear and gear bags. That said, I inspected every inch of the bag. The build quality is excellent with great attention to detail, from the stitching to the zipper pulls. The exterior is made of military-grade 1000 denier nylon fabric. And, it’s made in the USA. To me, that means a lot in an age of offshore manufacturing.
There are two zipped pockets that run the length of the bag. The sling strap is well padded and tightens securely. The design of the bag prevents access to the contents when worn. A great security feature when you’re carrying the bag in crowds and urban spaces.
In the Field
In recent years, I’ve been deliberate in reducing the amount of gear and weight I carry while out on a photo walk. Depending on the outing, I’ll only take the equipment I need. For the majority of photo walks, I like to keep my camera in the bag until I’m ready to shoot. That said, I like to use my Case Logic sling, since I can swing it to the front for quick access.
I found that the Urban Quiver doesn’t fit into this usage. Instead, I realized that the bag really excels (for me) when I’m shooting an event or at a location. These are the times that I need to bring a lot of gear and have it all organized. With tripod attached (with optional accessory), everything is slung comfortably on my back.
This was the ‘perfect’ bag for me on the road trip. My wife and I were able to easily access the cameras, lenses and batteries.
The bag ships with 3 internal dividers. Depending on your gear selection, you may opt for for the padded divider pack (2 in a pack).
The bag is sewn with external webbing that allows various accessories to be clipped on. Blackstone’s Tripod Mount accessory is a simple design that clips onto the external webbing and securely holds a tripod with two straps. I use a compact carbon fibre Manfrotto tripod that matches the bags dimensions perfectly.
Lastly, there is a rainfly accessory that covers that bag in inclement weather and conditions. Both tripod mount and rainfly can be stored in one of two pockets at the ends of the bag.
I’m really digging this bag. I’m a bit of a bag whore and have used many but the Urban Quiver hits most of my requirements. It’s a unique bag with many great features and solid build, in a crowded space filled with generic offerings.
I’m just wading into the area of product reviews but really enjoy sharing my experiences with the gear I use. Please forgive the lack of detailed technical information or testing. If you have any questions about the bag that I haven’t covered here, please comment below. If I have more to share about the bag, I’ll update the review.
The Urban Quiver in The Wolverine movie? August 23 2013
Have any of you seen Marvel's "The Wolverine"? If you have you may have noticed a familiar looking quiver. Back when the movie purchased a bag from us we were eager to see how they would use our bag. From the looks of Shingen's quiver we knew there was some Blackstone bags inspiration.
We knew there was something cool happening when the phone rang about a year ago. Someone called and said they needed a bag, and they needed it shipped that day. While it is nice to get a phone call from a customer, rush orders aren't our specialty. We listened and found out that they needed it for a movie, and they needed us to bring it to their headquarters. That got our attention so we drove it down and delivered the goods.
After about two months they told us that the movie was Wolverine, but unfortunately they weren't going to be using the Urban Quiver in the movie. When Chris Pugh asked on our facebook page if the Urban Quiver was featured in The Wolverine we had to check it out.
Shingin's quiver was definitely Urban Quiver inspired. Pretty thrilling to see our design influence on the movie industry.
Everyone knows that we make professional camera bags that are built to last a lifetime. We have been growing a lot as a company and we realized something. We want to know more about you. We want to see how you use #blackstonebags in your daily life.
That's why we have become very intentional about social media in the last month. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and most importantly Instagram. Instagram is the social connector for photographers and starting today if a photo you tag with #blackstonebags is featured on our Instagram you will receive a 10% discount on our professional camera bags.
so follow us @blackstone_bags, we'll see you there!
Urban Quiver 3.0 color choices May 06 2013
The new camera bag colors have been very popular. Let us know if you would like to see more colors in the future.
Urban Quiver 3.0 March 05 2013
The Urban Quiver 3.0 is now available - A professional camera bag made for use as a day excursion pack. When designing this modern bag, we opted to create something different, that didn't look like a typical, bulky (nerdy) camera bag. For starters, the tubular shape holds camera gear more efficiently, taking into consideration the fact that camera gear is long and shaped like our design. Second, the chance of theft is lowered because we didn't design this to look like a camera bag, and the main compartment is unable to be accessed while you're wearing the bag. This is a great feature to have when standing in large crowds, riding public transportation or for those times when you don't want to look like a tourist.
Urban Quiver 3.0 November 28 2012We have finalized some minor design changes and will be releasing the New and Improved Urban Quiver 3.0 in the very near future. Thank you for your patience!
New Website May 08 2012
We are very happy to introduce to you our new and greatly improved website! It's much easier to navigate, better fits the theme of our company, and best of all it's all set-up to start receiving new bags as we come out with them in the future. Take a look around and let us know what you think!
On a separate note, we've also joined Pinterest! For those of you on Pinterest, we'd love to see what you're posting, and also invite you to check out some of our cool tags. You'll find the link to our Pinterest account on the bottom-right of our website, right next to Facebook and Twitter.
Stay tuned for more great things to come!
Tripod Mounts have Arrived... January 09 2012
Blackstone Bags is pleased to announce the launch of our new tripod mounts. After several months of intense testing and design we have finalized the product and are very happy to say "Are now available". This product was designed for those who need to carry some additional hardware on their excursions. The tripod mounts will give you the flexibility to carry multiple tripods or whatever else you may want to attach utilizing the 20" straps.
Needless to say, we are very happy with this product and hope that you will be as well. This will most certainly be a great addition to your urban quiver!! To get more information please click here.
Thanks for your continued support!!
Store Update August 24 2011
Just under four months ago, we launched Blackstone Bags with the assumption that we would sell a few bags here and there over time, but we quickly realized that wasn't going to be the case. Overnight, we were instantly picked up by bloggers, magazines and everyone in between, creating such a demand for our Urban Quiver, that we fell weeks behind in production. That was a very hectic time for us, as we were woefully under prepared, but we're proud to announce that for the first time in our history we're actually shipping orders the same day they're received!
Although we expect to be out of stock again within the next few days, we'll keep working as quickly as possible to get our bags shipped out to you. We absolutely want to thank all of our first customers for their patience as we worked out the kinks to produce the bag faster!
On another note, some Urban Quiver owners have suggested that we start selling additional internal dividers. Advice: taken. You can now purchase additional dividers, by clicking here.
Thanks for your continued support!
We're live! April 26 2011
This is our second full day as a new business, so please bear with us while we get this blog going. This is the place to go for news and info on the Urban Quiver and all of our future bags. Thanks for checking us out!