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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Toad Blog

My blogs about anything related to photography, and equipment, with a focus on non-technical enjoyment of photography. I like to publish these for the pure pleasure it brings. My equipment, and techniques shared here with a mix of landscape, macro, birds, flowers and all articles written by the person who uses the equipment - TrueToad.

The Toad Blog

TrueToad / Monday, May 23, 2016 / Categories: 7 Things

7 Things Photographers Should Carry

The Essentials

Wired or Wireless Remote:

The built in cameras self-timers are ok but not the best for getting the job done,. A remote release allows you to trigger your camera's release when you want, without physically touching the camera shutter which can induce those ugly  vibrations = blur. Some cable releases will allow you to stand off a short distance – which is fine in most cases + they normally operate using the power from your camera. Newer cameras offer support for wireless remote releases with a longer range, and often front and rear IR receivers, meaning you can trigger the shutter from behind or in front of the lens. I always carry a small wireless remote that operates on a short range frequency up to about 30 feet and as long as you can see the camera it will normally work.  The only downside to this is the transmitter (hand controller) operates on batteries. Now days, the newest cameras have built in WiFi and Bluetooth – so get the app already!!  This one is my personal favorite.

Cleaning Cloth:

You know how many times I smudged my filter or needed to wipe some grime off my equipment out in the field, a bunch. It happens and can be frustrating, so stuff a three pack in your bag for those occasions. You will not even know you have it until you need it! Remember using your shirt tail is not all that cool.

Plastic Bags:

This is something you learn the hard way – you will eventually get caught in a down pour. I don’t know what kind of equipment you are carrying but having a few plastic bags to shove your gear into for protection is a big life saver. I was out with my Nikon DSLR on a Tripod with a full macro set up ( lens, SU-800, flash) and was carrying this on my shoulder between shots, but I only had my small bag and all this gear would not fit – guess what, It started to rain cats and dogs.  Luckily I had a folded garbage bag with me and I simply slipped the bag over the gear and waited it out.  Nothing damaged, and I continued my hike, a bit damp but my gear was saved.

Spare Battery:

I drove 45 miles to capture a sun rise one morning only to discover once on site my battery was just about out of life.  I don’t know how it happened, but I overlooked the one thing we all fear – being away from a power source and our batteries are drained.  That morning I was out of luck and managed to only get a few shots by keeping the camera turned off until the perfect moment – three shots that was it. I now keep two spares charged and ready to go just don’t forget to rotate your batteries for longer life.

Tripod

I hear some people say you don’t need a stinking  tripod, you can just crank up the ISO. Look, your right, not every occasion is appropriate for a tripod but if you’re a nature / landscape photographer go get yourself a good quality light tripod.  Your images will love you for it.  I got my first pro level tripod a few years ago after using those cheap ones for years. Now I have a leveler and pano head to go with it, its light and rock solid.  Wow – wide sweeping landscapes and a little Photoshop you get one heck of a photo. You will rarely see me out with my camera and not have my tripod in tow.

Filters:

I will just leave this at filters, whether you carry UV, Polarizing, or SkyFilter – You get protection, and normally increased contrast and reduced glare.  I warn you don’t buy the no name $9.00 ones.  Get the best your money can buy,  I have used B+W, Hoya with very good results and makes the images look fantastic.

Memory Card:

I only had this happen one time, and had no spare CF Card with me.  I was out shooting when I got this message on my Nikon DSLR saying the last image was not saved.  I kept shooting, and kept getting warnings.  I opened the camera drawer and reseated the CF card, but still kept getting the warnings.  The card had went bad and I had no spare, not even a cheapo.  I was out of luck.  Like having a car without gas, not much use.  I now carry one spare.

For Special Situations

Small Flash:

If you like to do flower, light macro / close ups or even informal portraiture a small flash can make the difference between good and fantastic and a little fill can go a long way to add some depth to your images and fill in the shadow areas.  I love using my flash on a small hand wand, this allows me to move the flash anywhere I need it then remote fire using the wireless remote we talked about. This is normally possible for those cameras having a small built in flash that can be configured as the master.

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