Tuesday Tricks


Jason Moore has his bi-monthly Photographic Compostion posted today, so be sure to stop over there and see the others (I am sure they were more creative than the one I came up with at the last minute yesterday…)

Rather than record a tip or trick for this Tuesday, I thought I’d share a few ideas and suggestions I’ve picked up from various magazines, forums, and photo communities for managing and handling your gear in the field.  These things have become almost second nature to me now and I can’t tell you how helpful these tips and tricks have become in helping me keep everything organized.  So without further ado, here’s my Tuesday tricks:

  1. Pack a large plastic ziploc or other sealable bag in with your camera gear.  When it’s windy or there’s lots of dust around, you can change your lenses from inside these bags to minimize dust.  Additionally, it serves as an additional layer of protection should mother nature decide to dump a deluge of water on you with little warning.  (I keep several sandwich bags in my pack for protecting things like CF cards, wide angle lenses, TC’s and other items.
  2. If you must change lenses in the field, keep the body of the camera pointed down so as to prevent dust from falling into the opening (dust won’t wall up…).
  3. Keep a notepad and pen in your pack, in case you find a location that you want to remember, meet someone and want an email or phone number, or to get an address to send prints or perhaps a resume to!  On the same note, having some business cards and model releases handy for handing out and in case you have a willing model…
  4. Turn your CF cards around backwards when full, so you always know which ones are used versus unused.
  5. Buy a car converter for AC to DC.  This way you can charge your batteries while en route to a shoot.  They’re only like $20 at Wal-Mart or Radio Shack and can add a certain peace of mind that you are going into your shoot with as much of a charge on your portables as you can get.  (Just make sure you add the battery chargers to your packing list…)
  6. Speaking of packing lists – make one!  This can help ensure you leave with everything you brought to a shoot.  I’ve blogged about this before, but it’s been a while, so bears mentioning again.
  7. Pack a micro fiber cloth for wiping off lenses in a pinch.  (Better a microfiber cloth than your shirt!)  These can be begged off any eyeglasses store (try Wal-Mart, they are pretty liberal with handing these things out..)
  8. Need a better way to store your gear at home?  Try shoe boxes.  You can get them for a buck a piece from a dolalr store – makes a great way to compartmentalize short lenses from long lenses, accessories, flash equipment, battery chargers, CD media, gray cards, lens cloths, etc.  A few labels from a Dymo label maker and everything is neat, and easy to find in your bedroom closet!
  9. Dress in layers – weather can change, especially if you are shooting at sunrise or sunet.  It can change from cool to warm or warm to cool very quickly and having a layer to take off (or put on) can extend your shoot time before you start getting uncomfortably warm (or cold).
  10. Take a bottle of water and a granola bar in your pack!  You’d be surprised how quickly you can dehydrate and how hungry you can get while shooting.  I’ve been on shoots where there is so much creativity and so many shooting opportunities, I can often forget to eat or drink.  When things finally end you can be very hungry and or dehydrated where even a bottle of water or a granola bar (or both) can give you the needed boost until you can get to Starbucks or the house for more healthy refreshments!

So, that’s my ten tips/tricks for the day.  Got any of your own to share?  Sound off in the comments – I’d love to hear what others have to say about shooting preparations.  In the meantime, happy shooting, watch those apertures and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow for the Week 13 episode of “What’s This?”

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3 comments for “Tuesday Tricks

  1. October 1, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Nice post – I second that suggestion about the plastic bags – I usually keep a few gallon-sized ziplocs with me. Also, hadn’t thought to try the car converter – great tip! It will help on those days I’m flying out the door to meet a model or shoot a wedding and running around like a spastic freak because I forgot to charge my batteries.

  2. October 2, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Great tips…I follow quite a large number of those myself already but I learned some new ones. Thanks Jason 🙂

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