Think about this: What minor tool do you use regulary, that if you forgot, it would impact your image taking?
It was a beautiful clear evening and the super perigee Moon was coming up on Saturday June 22, 2013. Checking a few of my favorite shooting spots, The Photographer’s Ephemeris said the Moon should be rising above Mt. Shuksan in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. So, I loaded up my gear into the car, kissed my wife on the forehead, and drove to Picture Lake at the Mount Baker Ski Area.
But the one simple tool I forgot: A small roll of gaffer’s tape. I usually keep a roll in my camera bag, but earlier I had taken it out to tape up a backdrop to some poles. It last forever. I bought my trio of black, white, and gray, from Glazer’s Camera for about $12
For some reason, I took it out of my camera bag the day before and forgot to put it back in. I did not realize I forgot it until I arrived at my destination and began setting up for the shoot.
What I usually do is simple. After setting my camera up, I focus the lens, turn off the autofocus, and tape the focus ring. However, without tape, this was a futile effort.
Taping the Lens:
As Picture Lake was still frozen from the winter, I set my camera up on my tripod nearest I could to a melted portion of the lake. After spending about 15 or 20 minutes shooting, I wanted to get my camera lower to the water to get more of Mt. Shuksan reflected in the melted portion of the lake.
So I took the tripod and flipped the center pole. Then I put the tripod back where it was and adjusted the composition. I used video mode to do this. However, I unknowingly bumped the focus ring and for the next 20 frames, the mountain was out and the freezing water was in focus.
After taking a few shots, I checked the images. They looked good and the composition was better as you can see more of the mountain in the water. However, I did not zoom in to check the focus. Always zoom in to check the focus of your photos. It never hurts.
As the Moon began to rise over the ridge on the right side of the mountain, I continued taking photographs.
Out of Focus
After the Moon was fully over the ridge, I pulled the rig out of the water and began checking the images. It was not until then that I noticed the images were not in focus. Not a lot I can do but continue to shoot.
But, I was able to salvage one frame from this: The alpenglow on Mount Shuksan before the super perigee Moon rose over the ridge.
The One Salvaged Image:
After getting home, I downloaded and was hoping the images were not as bad as I thought. The were.
One simple piece of tape most likely would’ve prevented the mishap. But, I got one good shot at least.
So back to the original question: What one little thing do you use on a regular basis that if you forgot, it would impact your photography?
Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.
Paul “pablo” Conrad
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