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Posts Tagged ‘photo gear’

Here’s a short list of things to do now that you’ve got your dream camera:

  • Get a set of NiMh batteries…and a spare. Look for the new batteries that are labeled low discharge. This variety will keep a charge longer. On average, they lose only 1-2% of their charge per month. They’re worth the extra bucks.
  • Buy a carrying case. Don’t look to break the bank for a case. Your local Wal-Mart or Target carries a variety of cheap cases. Find one that will hold your camera, batteries, cards and, if needed, extra lenses. A case will protect your bag from dust, rain and prying eyes. Shy away from the ones with camera company logos emblazoned on them because they scream “steal me” to thieves.
  • Toss the memory card that came with the camera (for point and shoots, it’s usually 32MB or so…totally worthless) and invest in a 4GB card. Memory card prices are at a record low, take advantage of it now.
  • Read the manual! I can never say it enough. I know many are poorly written but slog through it a dozen pages at a time till you’ve read it all. It’ll be time well spent.
  • Get out there and practice. While practice won’t necessarily make you perfect, it will make you better. Take advantage of the instant feedback digital imaging provides to make a lot of photos and experiment with all the settings on your camera. Find which ones work best for you and get familiar with your “little friend.”  Delete the bad ones after you download them, never in the field. Remember, shoot in haste, delete at leisure.

One final tip. Find a friend with a similar passion for photography. It’s a great way to stay motivated as you learn to use your new camera. It’ll also give you a buddy to attend photo walks with!

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Believe it or not, there’s a right and a wrong way to carry your camera. A ridiculously high percentage of shooters carry at least one of their cameras across a shoulder. This exposes the camera to a greater risk of getting dinged and abused by door frames, corners and any other object you might brush up against.

You can cut this risk substantially by learning to carry your camera correctly.

All it takes is orienting the camera so that the lens points inward toward your body, not away from it. The photo below illustrates this concept nicely. Carrying my cameras in this way has saved me countless dollars in lens repairs and bent hoods. Sure, it’s still possible to ding your camera. But, as you can see, your elbow and/or shoulder will take a hit before your precious DSLR.

The price for this knowledge? Tell a friend about this blog!

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God, this sounds like a topic for a sex column…it isn’t. I recently completed a photo trek through West Virginia and used my new Kirk ball head (mentioned earlier here). I’ve gotta say it was the best experience I’ve ever had with three legs (hmmm, maybe this is a sex column…). Anyway, setting up the ‘pod whenever I found a shot was truly effortless. The ball head adjusted quickly and small adjustments could be made with a degree of precision I’ve never experienced before. Who’da thunk it? I’m an old photojournalist not used to using a tripod for my daily assignments. Not any more. The tripod just became an integral piece of gear for all my shoots. 

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