The Importance of Preparation
This was not what I wanted to write about today, but current events dictated that I address this as I was the victim of my own poor preparation.
Growing up, I was not a team sports player. I always enjoyed extreme sports such as rock climbing, kayaking and scuba diving. I learned in each of those that safety was extremely important. Part of safety is being prepared and making sure you have everything you need to help facilitate your survival. Now you are asking how this translates to just the photography aspect; right?
I am glad you asked, but not much, except for the attitude of preparedness. Whenever you plan to take go on a shoot, set out all the items you think you will need in advance. Go through them and make sure they are in working order, charged and if need be replace / recharge.
It is the worst feeling to need something and it is not there. However, what is even worse is to finish with a project, only to find out you did not get it at all, just because you forgot to prepare.
Last night, I planned to shoot a time lapse of the night sky at my house. I was prepared. I had the camera, the settings I wanted to use, research done on settings for the intervalometer, checked the weather to make sure it was not going to rain and it would be sort of clear. Just in case, I had the rain cover for the camera. At about 10:00 PM I went to set up.
I put the camera on the tripod, focused the lens, set the intervalometer and it was off to the races. I set the camera to take a 15 second exposure with one second between exposures. This would give me about 1400 images. At least that was the plan. I waited a few minutes to make sure everything was working fine then went back into the house for some sleep.
I got up at 4:30 AM as giddy as a school child the first day of the year. I couldn’t wait to see what I got. When I made it to the camera, I noticed that it was off. Not a problem, I expected the camera to run out of battery, possibly. I went back inside and began checking the photos. I immediately noticed there was a problem.
I had a 32 GB SD card and there was 30 GB free. So, a card which should hold over 1400 photos was only about 6% full. I opened the folders and found that I only got about an hour worth of time-lapse. I began thinking back over my preparations. I realized I violated a rule of being prepared; check gear prior to expedition.
Just because you are only taking photos at home, don’t forget to check everything. This includes the things you can’t see such as battery percentage. On the other hand, I am glad this happened at home and not out in the field. That is why you should practice on a small scale before taking on an actual shoot.
As this is being posted at midnight EDT, the camera should be about three hours into the re-shoot of last nights hiccup.
Today’s Photo: The Tunnel
I have driven by this road hundreds of times. It was not until the other day when I stopped at the gas station at the corner that I noticed there was a tunnel under the railroad tracks here. I thought it was such a cozy looking area that I had to extend my stay a few minutes to capture some shots.
Here is a photo of another beautiful view I have passed by hundreds of times: The White Road. While you are at it, check out last Wednesday’s Daily Photo.
I’ve left the house many times without a battery, a memory card or both. Once I got to our roof deck without a lens. So yeah, it sounds pretty remdial, but that mental checklist is key. BTW, I did the same thing shooting a timelapse in San Francisco. The battery died after about 6 frames…