Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5 Small Things that Can Ruin Your Day

Camera? Set. Lens? Set. You remember all the advice I've given you, you are ready to apply all the things you've learned through hard work. Today is the day you'll be taking photos at your friend's party. You really want this to work. You're a bit nervous, but also excited. You are well prepared, you believe. Or, you might be getting ready to go for a long day in the forest, hoping to catch some wildlife. Everything is set, and you are ready for action.

Well, almost! Here are 5 small, almost insignificant things, that can ruin your day. And not all are even directly photography-related! So, watch out.

1. AA batteries for the flash
Camera batteries are good at showing you how much charge you've got left. Especially upper-level cameras has accurate percentages, that show you exactly what to expect (although extra batteries are always a good idea). But things get critical with AA batteries for your external flash. The reason? It can be notoriously difficult to estimate how long they've got left. The flash turns on, it might even recharge once or twice, then caput! Nada! Always carry fresh AA batteries for your flash.

It's getting dark, it's freezing, and you're alone in the forest without a cell phone. Whoops!

2. Rain cover
Whether for you (umbrella? raincoat?) or for your gear, you can't fail to take this into consideration. Unless you take photos in Arizona or Sahara, rain can always be a possibility. In certain parts of the world, you can count in Murphy's law to take care of that for you: Leave the house in a sunny morning with clear skies to go and take photos, and by the time you'll reach the location, it will be pouring down. If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

3. Communication
In modern English, we call that a mobile phone. This especially applies in case you're far away from populated areas. Emergencies can happen, you never know what might come your way. Even if you're with a car, even if you're still not very far from home, you must be able to call someone in case something happens. Photography-related example: I was with the bike once, and decided to take nothing but my camera. No keys, no phone, no wallet. And lo and behold, flat tire in the middle of the forest path. Guess how fun it was to draw a camera and the bike for 5 miles

4. Heat/Bright sunlight
Murphy's Law, version 2: If you leave the house while it's cloudy and/or rainy, it will become sunny while you're taking photos outdoors. You'll feel tired and dizzy without hat, sunglasses, and if it's summer, sun-protection. Find some space in your backpack for those items. Extra tip: Watch out for sunglasses with colored lenses. If you're inexperienced, they can fool your eye in judging color casts.

5. Equipment drop
Last but not least. There are few things that can kill your mood more efficiently than dropping and breaking your equipment - especially when you're in an important assignment. Always wear the camera strap around your neck/shoulder, in a way that will keep it secure. When swapping lenses, do it over your bag or an other soft, padded surface - just in case. Don't keep lenses or flashes in open pockets of a jacket. They will fall out! (Murphy's Law section 4, paragraph B)

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