Friday, September 2, 2011

Are You Ready?

Can you feel it? Wake up an extra hour early & walk outside & take in a deep breath of fresh air. No, Fall is not here yet but the anticipation of cooler days & turning leaves is in the air. Now is the time to get your camera ready. Start by wiping down your camera & charging up the batteries. Now, on to the memory card. Chances are there are a lot of old photos on there that should not be. Save the old images to your computer & back them up to at least one other location. Best practice is to have them stored to three locations. One location should be off site of your home such as your office or at a relatives. In case of a fire or flood you will still have a backup of your files stored safely at another location. After you have successfully backed up your photos you need to erase all of the images on the card. The last step is to "format" your card. This will "clean" the card & help prevent corruption issues as the camera writes to the card. You will need to format your card each time you delete all of the old photos on your card. If for some reason you deleted the photos on your card without saving them do not panic! Do NOT continue to take pictures using that card. Take the card out of the camera & go online to the manufacturers website. Most major brands will have protocols listed that will allow you to recover your lost images.

Take the time now to prepare so you don't miss those colorful shots that are just around the corner. And remember, the best camera is the one you have with you!



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Service Reminder

The dog days of Summer often create challenges for Nature and Wildlife Photographers. The heat and humidity that we battle also affects the critters that we like to photograph. Add in the factor of being in a drought and we are already in an uphill battle. Rather than go out shooting in 100 degree temperatures, many photographers set the camera bag aside and opt for an afternoon indoors. While this may seem like a missed opportunity, there is something that we should be doing but rarely do. Photographers often talk about feeling guilty for not getting the camera out, but how often do you hear someone talk about feeling guilty for not getting the camera in? Cars are part of who we are and cars are mechanical. They require service and a little TLC to ensure they keep up with our hectic lifestyles. Most drivers would admit to feeling guilty at some point for running late on getting the car serviced. Well, it turns out that cameras and lenses are like cars. The big difference is that we as photographers do most of the maintainence on our camera gear. We blow off the front lens element, use high tech kits to clean our sensors, and wipe our camera gear down after a day in the field and that it usually where it ends UNTIL we have a problem. Most camera manufacturers recommend that cameras should be sent in for factory service once a year. Thanks to the quality of the camera gear that is being produced today we do not have to do this but it does not mean that we should not do it. We spend thousands of dollars on the newest body or the fastest lens but rarely spend the $300-400 dollars to have it serviced. Professional photographers are lucky because most of the major camera manufacturers have Pro Service booths at big ticket events where they can get on the spot service and repair. Most photographers do not have this luxury and have to spend quite a bit of time and money to send their gear off for service. Using the excuse that it takes too long is no longer valid. Camera manufacturers know that after spending thousands on camera gear the last thing a photographer wants to do is to go without a camera. The turn around time on service and repair reflects this and usually the camera is back on its way in days.

One of the first things you should do after getting new photography gear is to go online and read up on the manufacturers website about recommended service and the time and money involved. Then plan ahead so you can take advantage of using the lull in your shooting to keep your gear in top order.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nature Photography In The City?

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you look at a Nature/Wildlife photograph? If you are like me it goes something like this, "Wow, I wish I could go THERE to get a picture like that". In fact, I would dare to say that many a great photograph are never taken because we are "here" rather than "THERE'.

What makes "THERE" so special? A particular flower, stream, or exotic animal? Okay. Yes, that does make "THERE" special BUT more often than not it boils down to this:

We are here and okay but if we were there would would be better off. This goes not only for photography, but with all things in life. If we only had that job, that house, or that vacation trip to Africa then everything would be alright. It is part of the human psyche for us to want to be somewhere else. Why? Because the grass is greener on the other side, right?

So my challenge to you is to reverse your thinking about photography. Here is a little trick that you can use to help you get out and find new subject matter:

*Go to your local Chamber of Commerce or tourism board and ask them for a visitors information packet. You may think that you already know everything about your area but you may be suprised. There is almost always something in every community that draws visitors from out of town and chances are that these visitors are taking pictures of something.

Remember that someone else's "out there" is your back door!