(Part 2 of a two-part Post. Part 2 deals with the Gear side of things, whereas, Part 1 deals with Technique.)
11. Gear Check List
Have a gear check list. Carefully check all your gear to ensure you do not leave something behind. Have everything packed, and ready-to-go, in the car, before you go to bed.
12. Clean Your Lenses and Filters
Make sure to gently clean your lenses and filters with a blower and a micro-fiber cloth suitable for lenses and filters. I do not use any liquids or anything else. Always cap your lenses when not in use.
13. Use a Tripod
Use a tripod to help obtain the sharpest images possible. Camera shake can ruin an otherwise fantastic shot. If you are serious about photography, do not take the lazy way out.
14. Use Smaller Capacity Memory Cards
Use 4 – 4GB cards instead of one 16GB card. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. If the one large card fails, you will have lost all of your images.
15. Filters & Step-Up Rings
If you have lenses with different diameter screw mounts, instead of purchasing a different size filter to accommodate each different lens diameter, purchase a step-up ring for each lens that will fit one filter size. For instance, if you have a lens with a 67mm screw mount and another with 72mm screw mount, you can purchase a 67-77 step-up ring and a 72-77mm step-up ring. Then, you can purchase just one filter to fit both lenses. Buying the two step-up rings is far less expensive than purchasing 2 filters.
16. Use a Cable or Remote Shutter-Release or Timer
Pressing the shutter release button with your finger can introduce camera vibration, thereby resulting in a less than perfectly sharp image. Using a cable or remote shutter release, with your camera mounted on a sturdy tripod, will help ensure sharp images.
17. Buy the Best Lens You Can Afford
If you buy a $5,000.00 camera and a $500.00 lens, you could get fairly decent results. However, if you spend $500.00 on the camera and pair it with a $5,000.00 lens, it is virtually assured you will obtain far superior results. Buy the best lens you can afford!
18. Polarizer Filter
A polarizer filter is an indispensable tool that should be in every nature photographer’s bag. It cuts down on glare and reflections from water, glass and metal. It turns a light blue sky darker, which, in turn, makes puffy clouds stand out even more. For best results, you want the sun at 90 degrees to either your right or left. Be wary of using a polarizer on a wide-angle lens. Doing so can result in an image in which part of the sky is a considerably lighter shade of blue than the rest of the sky.
19. Proper Clothing / Footwear
Always check the weather forecast for the location in which you will be shooting. I often shoot in the Rocky Mountains. It can be 70 degrees where I live, in the Denver, CO area, and, at that same moment, 35 degrees and very windy at 14,000 feet. Consider whether you need to bring a winter coat, hat, gloves, etc. Also, remember the hiking boots!
20. Food / Drink
Remember to pack food & drink, especially if you plan on being in a remote location for any length of time. It’s extremely difficult to concentrate on capturing some great images when you’re hungry and thirsty.
*** Please Comment with your Landscape and Nature Photography Tips
Till next time!……..Tom