Keep your head above the water and learn the easy way to avoid the dangers photographers must face.
The ever growing sport of photography has enjoyed exponential growth in the past few years. With new advances in technologies come more features and ease of use. However, even with upgrades to the photographer’s arsenal, classic dangers from the days of old persist to pose a threat.
While these pitfalls of photography may seem obvious, commonsense, or even trivial, they are dangerous nonetheless. Identifying these pitfalls ahead of time and understanding how to deal with them is the only surefire way to save a plucky photographer headaches and money.
The beach is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and have a good time. However, for the photographer, the threat of water, ocean mist, and sand is all too real. In the worst case scenario, a poorly timed change of lenses during a sudden gust of wind may result in sand getting into the camera body. Any photographer who has experienced sand grinding inside a lens has learned their lesson quickly. Salt water wrecks havoc on unprotected camera equipment and can cause corrosion. Leaning in low and close to the tide can also result in a soaked camera if the photographer is not careful!
If equipment does get wet, remove the lens and gently clean and dry the camera body and lens using proper cleaning equipment once in a suitable environment. Filters should be removed and cleaned along the threading. If changing lenses is necessary, keep your back to the wind and point the camera body downwards to prevent a sandy disaster.
The neck strap is one of the most iconic features of the photographer and his or her equipment. It allows the photographer free use of both hands while their camera hangs securely from their neck. However, cameras tend to swing wherever they please and will often find themselves bumping and nicking surfaces that a camera should never meet. A jolt in just the right place can completely ruin the alignment of a perfect good lens.
To avoid mishaps with the swinging camera, photographers should look into a few accessories that are easy on the wallet and help make life overall just more enjoyable. With a comfortable, easy to use waist belt, photographers can keep cameras close to their body, and still call upon the camera for use with ease and speed. This allows photographers to climb, dive, and barrel roll without fear of their camera thumping into a rock or unsuspecting bystander.
For those not interested in the waist belt, and looking for a more adventuresome look, a shoulder-harness may be worth considering. Many shoulder-harnesses are able to hold two cameras. With the camera hanging lower, it is less likely to swing around and have an accident, and it remains easy and quick to access. Combine this accessory with the Stedi-Stock to feel like you’ve just walked out of your favorite action gun-slinging movie.
While photography requires one to be quick, decisive, and gutsy, there comes a time when the question must be asked, “is the risk worth the picture?” Often times, the environment poses an unexpected challenge, and something as innocent as rain can ruin a day’s shooting. Getting expensive camera equipment soaking wet for a few more shots isn’t worth the heartache down the road.
To remedy this, camera rain covers work wonders. There are a number of different designs ranging from dodgy to brilliant, but in the end, the idea remains on sturdy ground. Rain covers allow photographers to keep shooting valuable photos while protecting his or her equipment from the watery elements.
One of the less debilitating, but no less frustrating dangers to contend during a day’s shooting is the loss of a lens cap. Nothing disarms a photographer quite like knowing that a lens has absolutely no protection while it is most vulnerable to incurring damage. Lens caps can easily find their way into sewers, streambeds, rivers, or off the side of a cliff on a popular tourist lookout, well beyond the reach of protective railing.
Without a lens cap to protect a lens, the risk of incurring scratches during storage and transportation becomes all too real, and weighs heavily on the photographer’s mind. Solve this issue completely by planning ahead and always carrying spare lens caps in your equipment carry bag. Generic replacement lens caps for various sizes can be found for mere dollars.
A danger for which there is no protective tools against is including strangers’ children in photographs. If a photographer even considers pointing a camera at someone’s child, that photographer should first ask permission from that child’s parent. This simple step can help prevent an angry parent and perhaps broken camera equipment.
Staring down the jaws of photography can be an intimidating experience, but with the right knowledge in hand, mountains become anthills. With the latest tools and equipment available, photographers of the modern age can overcome the simple, yet momentous difficulties that have challenged the ancestors of the past. With such clever revelations in technology and equipment, we are left with only one question; what will they think of next?
For more tips, techniques, and hands on time with cool camera gear, check out the upcoming The Digital Show Expo in Melbourne, VIC!