Get more lens time 02: Plan for the unexpected

January 09, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Many 'tips' sites and articles preach preparedness: using sun tracker apps to check the light, researching suitable photographic locations and angles, checking the weather etc...It makes a lot of difference!

All well and good.  I use weather apps; the Photographers Ephemeris and Photopills, Google Earth to check how the land lies, and the internet for ideas.  All very useful.

But...

You know by now that I can't have my own transport, (them blumming knees of mine), so I have to rely on others.  This includes piggy-backing family outings with photo opportunities.  All well and good, but often the plan for the trip is a floating target!  That's a feature of the culture of my Turkish relatives being a little less planned than my own anglo-saxon heritage.  There's nothing wrong with it, no one cultures is more right (or wrong than another), it's just different!  Sure I grumble every now and a again (time keeping, unplanned extra stops etc), things are more laid back, I wish I could be.  I am English and therefore happier when following a plan, (without deviation). Difference keeps us all interested!

"Where are we going today, love?"

"Just Ocaklar for lunch."

Ocaklar, by the coast hmmm this weather, that location, no, no need for the tripod and filters.

...

"We're just going on to..."

"Aaaarrrgggghhhhh, rocks, sea, misty long exposure chance but no tripod...or filters."

A typical conversation that happens at least three or four times a summer.  Very different locations and opportunities...add in different weather and light...

Two shots below: almost the same location, one with interesting light and filters to make a long exposure, the other, without...kit can make a difference to the images you get.

It's impractical to take all kit everywhere, all the time.  So the tips then are these:

1:  At least take your camera with you whenever you can.  A comfy camera strap is a worthwhile investment.  I use the Black Rapid RS7 which sadly I think they have stopped selling...so they must have something better now (I guess)

2: Have a good all-rounder lens attached that can do most things to an acceptable level

3: Always keep an eye on local weather and sun times.  In this age of phone apps, it only takes a minute to know the general local conditions

4: Without being a bull about it, try to scope out what possibilities of other plans may occur.  Remember your photography is secondary to the day's plan.  Any opportunity is a gift after all.  Don't push it!

5: At least have your polarizer on when you leave.  I find I can take it and the lens cap off together and keep it in my pocket wrapped in a lens cloth if it isn't needed.  Remember the polarizer doesn't just work on blue skies, but also any reflected light on water, bring out the colour of leaves etc.  The polarizer is one of the only things that cannot, or is very difficult, to replicate in post processing

6: Think laterally.  Ok, so no tripod, but is there a stable vantage point that you can rest your camera on? Make sure it is stable and safe though!

7: And very important.  Make notes!  If you're in a good location without the right gear.  Write it in your photography ideas list.  Then, when you are nearby again, try to visit with the kit

Ever missed a shot because you didn't have the gear?  Write a comment and share your experience! 

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.


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