Having the right accessories in your car changes your whole driving experience, which is why I am dedicating a whole post just to a phone car mount. I’ve seen many variations of universal phone mounts and brackets, some are universal and some are device specific. There are different mounting methods such as suction cups, vent mounts, dash mounts, and custom fits.
I admit, the first couple of years in my photography business, I would report an extremely rough estimate of how many miles I’ve accumulated for tax reporting. An estimate basically means zero to the tax man, so I hope he isn’t reading my blog. I absolutely hate logging anything manually on paper, so I searched for many iPhone apps that allowed me to track my mileage, which worked for about a month because I would always forget to run the app after my trip, not to mention I still have to plug in the data.
I finally discovered a simple device that does pretty much all the work for you. I’ve been using the GiSTEQ GPS TripBook for 4 months now, and thought it was good enough to highly recommend it. The TripBook is a dongle that you plug into your car through a USB car charger. I recommend getting any sort of dual USB charger so you can charge another USB device while using the TripBook.
Music is an essential requirement for my photo shoots. It sets the mood and removes any awkward silcences while I wrangle more ideas out of my brain. One of the most important equipment in my studio was a quality sound system. Not some desktop stereo system, but a Harman Kardon 7.1 channel receiver and JBL floor speakers and sub. It was a party at every shoot.
Music is also just as important for on-location shoots, which is why I’ve always had a portable iPod player. My previous device was a Altec Lansing inMotion iM9. While it still sounds great, there was no option for batteries and was not iPhone compatible. The speakers would buzz from the iPhone’s signal and the phone was too big to fit in the embedded dock. I was able to deal with this for some time, either using my older generation iPod or just switching my iPhone to airplane mode and playing music from the iPod app, but eventually I discovered the wonderful world of internet streamed music through Pandora on the iPhone. This would of course be impossible on an speaker system that would buzz from internet use on a phone, thus I had to look for an upgrade.
After some brief searching and playing with display models in store, I decided to try the Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere 2. The immediate advantages over my older iM9 were obvious. The Pure-Fi had a 10-hour rechargable battery, smaller size, larger speaker drivers, remote control, and of course full iPhone compatibility. The Pure-Fi is half the height of the iM9 while being a bit longer, but it still fits perfectly in my lighting travel case, and they both come with their own travel case.
I’ve used the Pure-Fi at two photo shoots so far and am very happy with it. I won’t bother testing how loud the speakers will go, because it’s loud enough for me where I won’t have to scream at the model, and I don’t hear any distortion. The remote works perfectly navigating the iPhone’s iPod app, and I can also stream internet radio from Pandora now! This relieves me of having to find the right music for the model’s taste, as she can request any artist and I can play it instantly. No longer will I be ridiculed for only playing Britney Spears or Kylie Minogue to get girls to strip naked, nor be limited to only locations with an AC outlet.
As you can see in the photo, the Pure-Fi still sounds great even when it’s been covered by a thong, and with a remote control, having the buttons covered up won’t slow me down. I approve this device to be on Tony Yang’s recommended equipment list.