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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Have your camera at the ready

I posted this photo today because as I sit here sweltering in the middle of a Cairns summer it reminds me that in a couple of weeks I'm going to be freezing my bum off in Japan!

I'm headed off to photograph the snow festival in Sapporo before heading to Osaka and Tokyo and it's going to be really, really cold.

But that isn't the topic of today's post. Today is all about carrying your camera with you and making sure you're ready to take a photo at the drop of a hat.

I was walking to the bus stop near my father-in-law's place, heading in to town to photograph the city when I came across this scene. Now maybe if you live in a cold place this doesn't seem so amazing to you but it really surprised me.

I just figured the snow ploughs would fill up at a depot or something, not next to the average joe filling up his sedan. Anyway he was just about full when I rushed over and managed to snap one shot before he put the pump away.

I conveniently had my camera hanging from my neck, as I often do when walking around. Even though my destination was half an hour away on the train I still had my camera out just in case. And in this case it paid off. Japan is a really safe country so there's no worry about theft - my biggest worry was slipping over on the icy footpaths and smashing my camera!

If you're somewhere where you don't exactly want to advertise the fact that you've got an expensive camera you can always carry it under your jacket, or in an easily accessible bag. When I am photographing on the street I often use my Lowepro Off Trail 2 and carry one camera body, a 10-22mm wide angle, a 28-70mm and a 70-200mm zoom, as well as a flash and a couple of polarising filters.

Just remember that when you have your camera in a backpack that will take you at least a couple of minutes to get the bag off, unzip it and then get your camera out - well that lucky shot has almost certainly gone. As the scouts say - be prepared!


gary said...

In the California Sierra Nevada, CalTrans (California Department of Transportation) does indeed fuel their snow plows (see http://www.path.berkeley.edu/PATH/Research/snowplow/snowplow_files/snowplow3.jpg) at special depots

Paul Dymond said...

Well there you go. Maybe this guy ran out of fuel before he could get back to the depot! Or maybe he had a discount card for the local. :)

Nice pic of the snow plough too Gary. Looks like a rough job in very tough weather.