Ever been exasperated by your photography equipment? You forgot to charge your battery, or you can’t find your tripod, or maybe you just don’t know how to use it? Check out these hacks for reducing your exasperation.
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Far From Home and Exasperated with Myself
“Oh no!” I moaned.
“What?” Pedro asked. “Are you hurt?”
“No. I just realized I left my camera battery charger at home.”
“Don’t you have a spare battery?”
“Yes,” I said, my voice filled with disgust, “but it’s dead, too.”
“Wow. And we came all the way to New Mexico just so you could take pictures.”
“I’m so exasperated right now!” I fumed. “I thought I had the battery charger in this camera bag, but I must have left it in the other one.”
“You have more than one camera bag?”
“Umm. I might have three of them.” I shrugged. “I guess we’ll have to drive up to Albuquerque this afternoon and see if I can get a spare charger or battery at Best Buy. We could go to your favorite Cuban restaurant for dinner.”
“Sure,” he said, always the good sport. “I don’t mind. Maybe we could find a place to hike, too.”
And so my day of birding and photographing turned into a five-hour round trip to Albuquerque. We had fun, but I felt so exasperated with myself for forgetting my battery charger…again.
Exasperated with Myself or My Equipment?
In this incident, I felt frustration with myself. But often times, I feel exasperated with my equipment. Either I forget where I put it, don’t know how to use it properly, or wonder why I purchased it in the first place.
I suffer from perfectionism when it comes to all things artistic, and I always ideas in my head of what equipment I’ll need to carry out my vision. All too often, I envision things I don’t really need.
Sometimes, I purchase something and never take the time to learn how to use it properly. It ends up sitting in my closet taunting me. For example, I purchased a nice flash on eBay about eight years ago so I could photograph my niece’s wedding. I carry it around, but don’t have any idea of its full capabilities because I’ve never taken the time to learn.
Two years ago, I purchased a really nice 50mm lens so I could take better photos of my daughter’s wedding. I didn’t buy it enough ahead of time to really check it out, and when I looked at my photos after the wedding, I felt exasperated. The photos were tack-sharp, but I struggled to crop the photos into standard formats because I’d never shot with a 50mm lens before.
Hacks for Decreasing Your Exasperation and Increasing Your Enjoyment
Hopefully, these hacks will help you avoid exasperation and help you manage your equipment and resources with less exasperation and more enjoyment.
Get to know your equipment.
Take time to read the manual and look online for tutorial videos. Many camera manufacturers and professional photographers now offer free video tutorials on YouTube. Taking the time to learn about your camera ahead of time will help prevent exasperation in the field.
Keep your camera bag packed and ready to go.
I carry these essentials in my main camera bag.
- My camera body.
- Three different lenses (telephoto, macro, and wide-angle)
- A CHARGED spare battery.
- A battery charger.
- Lens cleaning tools (air bulb, soft brush, synthetic cloth, lens cleaner).
- Plastic bags and rubber bands (in case I get caught out in the rain I can cover my camera and lens).
- Bear spray.
- Snacks and water.
- My flash (my DSLR doesn’t have a built-in flash).
- The camera manual.
- Spare SD cards.
- My binoculars (because when I’m out shooting photos, I’m usually birding, too).
Keep all your equipment in a central location.
I keep all of my equipment in the closet in my office. I have hooks for my camera bags, and shelf space for my extra lenses, cameras, tripods, studio lights, and other equipment. If I keep it all in one central location, I don’t waste time trying to find something when I need it.
You’ll also avoid disasters such as hauling your tripod in your luggage to Alaska so you can shoot photos of the Northern Lights and discovering a small, but necessary part got left behind. Not that this has ever happened to me.
Always return your camera to your favorite setting when you finish using it.
I learned this lesson the hard way. After using my wireless remote to take photos of the moon, I forgot to reset my camera to continuous shooting mode. The next time I grabbed my camera to take a photo of something (a rare bird), I missed the shot because I’d left my camera on timer mode. Birds don’t often hang around while exasperated photographers figure out their equipment.
No matter what kind of camera you have, spend thirty minutes today centralizing your equipment and making sure it’s ready to use. If you don’t have a good camera bag, consider investing in one. The best ones have moveable padding so you can adjust the interior to fit your equipment and needs.
I’ve tried everything from backpacks, to bags with a messenger strap, to a sling pack. One of my photographer friends uses a hip belt that he attaches his different lenses to. I haven’t found the perfect solution for me yet, but I have one for hiking and another that carries more gear. Both of them have an all-weather covering in case it starts to rain. I use my camera sling bag when I photograph weddings.
Make a list of things that exasperated you the last time you used your equipment and decide how you can fix the problem.
The best solution for exasperation is knowledge, practice, and time.Hacks to help you keep your camera equipment ready to go. #photographer #blogger #write28days Click To Tweet