Why oh why do I forget my cardinal rules for photography for here and anywhere???
When I am helping someone get into nature photography, I give several simple rules to abide by. And after they have ignored them a couple of times and experienced the consequences, they understand.
And yet I still screw up every so often, as happened several times lately. My rules are:
1) Never, ever leave home without your camera if you can. True lugging a big Nikon with a huge lens may not be practical in all situations. BUT, if you are going out in your car there is no excuse!
2) Always take the lenses that you anticipate needing and a couple others. This can boil down to a 70-200mm, a macro/landscape and a long lens. You won’t always need them all, but you are bound to regret the one you left behind. This again is only practical if you have a vehicle, lift weights or have a Sherpa.
3) And always have your camera set to the settings most likely to be needed. For instance, I always have my camera set for wildlife; wide open with an ISO that is fairly fast for most lighting. I can always change the settings for a macro or landscape shot as needed -flowers and mountains don’t wander off. But having to set up the camera on the fly for a grizzly heading up river or an eagle taking off is a recipe for failure.
Once, recently, I was out and didn’t have the right lens for the major shots that came my way. Here are the results.
These shots were of a light phenomenon called sun halo. Someone came to get me, knowing I always have my camera. Would have been nice if I had had a wide angle lens!
Thankfully, my go to lens was perfect for this spider shot on my boat engine!
A few nights later, I had the right camera equipment (same lens), but hadn’t bothered to check my settings as I headed out looking for black bears. True, I didn’t believe I would see one… Well, here are the results. You may laugh but I could have cried!!
And for the times I didn’t have my camera at all…well I have seen osprey catching fish, bears playing in the water, otters playing… You get the picture (or not, sigh). These I call my Kodak moments. Special memories without a record.
So, let’s repeat those rules one more time. Let’s get those mergansers running across the water with the camera, with the right lens, at the right setting!!
Until next time…