Five Things Every Photographer . . .

Tips from a guy who has made more mistakes in photography over the last 20 years than most would like to admit.  

What every photographer knows from experience, yet never remembers in that moment

here is what happens when you combine auto focus and front lens fog . . . that brown smudge is a lion, just an fyi

here is what happens when you combine auto focus and front lens fog . . . that brown smudge is a lion, just an fyi

1)  It doesn't matter how good your gear is, all images turn out the same if there is fog on the front lens.  All of them.  IF you are wondering how they can all turn out the same, they all turn out wrong.  See sample to right  

2)  Taking a camera from a warm environment to a cool one, or a cool one to a warm one, quickly and without care, is the fastest way to fog up a piece of front glass.  It doesn't happen all the time, only when you absolutely wish that it didn't.  Always remember, if you check, it won't have been necessary, if you don't check, you are going to wish you had.  Refer to #1 if there are questions of what fog will do

3)  Camera gear can be heavy, and fragile, and often breaks if it is dropped from a point higher than a foot or two off the ground.  And camera's tend to get slick when they get wet.  Either have a good grasp on the gear, or have a good strap on it.  I would rather photograph with a foggy lens than a broken camera.  You can wipe off some moisture, you can't easily fix a shattered lens.  Treat your gear with care, but you can't baby it either. Your gear is going to get banged up, trashed and occasionally stuff is going to break.  If it doesn't your probably not doing it right.  The problem, is that when it does, you weren't careful enough.  Six of one I guess.  

a photo moments after my flash quit working.  Luckily I was able to get it back online, and the image was salvageable, however not ideal

a photo moments after my flash quit working.  Luckily I was able to get it back online, and the image was salvageable, however not ideal

4)  More attachments you have, the more "things" on your camera, the heavier and more awkward it becomes to hold and handle.  There can become so many moving pieces buttons, and contraptions that these can become almost too much to bear.  All of these things are useless if they are lying on the floor in more pieces than they were attached to the camera in.  Refer to #3 for reference to what happens when a camera is dropped.  

I once dropped my canon 1Dx, with a GPS unit, remote flash, 600mm lens, monopod, with a wimberly head and attached flash. We were photographing elephants on the Chobe River, and were soaked to the bone. I had the camera up and as I moved positions it slipped from my hands. When it hit the ground I saw pieces of that camera fly in every direction, and every accessory shattered, yet I picked my camera up, lens still in perfect shape, and continued to work. I got a image hours later, with busted gear, that was recognized internationally in 2014
Taken just hour after I dropped an entire camera full of gear onto the bottom of the boat.  No additional gear, just a lens and a camera.  

Taken just hour after I dropped an entire camera full of gear onto the bottom of the boat.  No additional gear, just a lens and a camera.  

And this brings us to #5 . . . .

5)  Never forget that it is just gear.  They are tools.  They are not the end all and they don't dictate what kind of photographer you are, or what you are limited to doing.  Stuff happens and gear is going to break.  It will shatter into a thousand pieces, or perhaps it will just fizzle and quit working.  Learn to deal with it.  Learn to work with what you have.  Learn that the thing between your ears is where the image is produced, and the thing you hold in your hands is how you share it with the world.  When something breaks, or quits, just take deep breath, relax, and get back to work.  And if for some reason you can't get back to work, it just means its time for a drink.

Sometimes, this is all that there is left to do for the day . . . .

Sometimes, this is all that there is left to do for the day . . . .


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