Tuesday, August 4, 2009
When It Goes Wrong
Hit By Lightning • Hydrate! • Bad Rocky Mountain High • Sooooo Cold • Lost Going To The Devils Postpile• Bugs In The Amazon • All Images Lost...The Woman Who Was Eaten Alive In The Amazon
No, it wasn’t cannibals. It was swarms of tiny, biting, black flies. And she wore shorts, although she was warned to wear long pants. Even now, when I’ve traveled all over the world leading photo workshops in the field, I pay attention to the advice about clothing, insect repellant, sunscreen, footwear and prevailing temperatures that are offered by experts in the region or colleagues who have recently been there. But these dangers aren’t limited to exotic locations. The possibilities of scorpions in the desert, snakes in the foothills, mosquitoes in wetlands and bears in the mountains all require advance precautions. That means wearing boots to protect from bites, even on a hot day. Carry repellant with DEET and/or head netting and light gloves when entering areas with mosquitoes and biting flies. In bear country, it makes sense to carry a canister of pepper spray and to make a lot of noise as you move about in dense cover. Bears don’t like surprises (neither do I).
...The Photographer Who Went To Dinner And Lost It All
This one is about keeping your equipment and images safe. It happened in the film days, but could happen just as easily today with CF cards and laptop computers. A well-known professional photographer spent months on a major project photographing the Southwest. On his way home, he stopped for dinner in San Francisco. His vehicle was parked on the street near the restaurant, but not in sight. In the short time he was gone, thieves broke into the vehicle and removed all of the photographer’s cameras and the valuable exposed film from the entire shoot. The film was much more valuable than the equipment, and despite the large rewards that were offered, it was never recovered. In the course of a meal, he lost months of work.
How do you prevent a similar catastrophe? Park where you can see your vehicle. Insure your camera equipment with group coverage available through an organization such as NANPA, the North American Nature Photography Association, or ASMP, the American Society of Media Photographers. Keep the computer and cards on your person when you leave the vehicle. A device I’ve used for years is a pager alarm. If someone breaks into your vehicle, you’re notified immediately if you’re within a mile. But don’t just run back, defenseless. Bring your bear spray!
For information about upcoming seminars and digital-imaging workshops, visit www.georgelepp.com.
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