I have a shower curtain liner in my camera bag. Do you? You should! It is one of the extras that I use the most frequently. If the ground is wet or muddy or sandy, I can spread the lightweight liner out in a few seconds and kneel or lie down without messing my camera or my clothes up.
It also comes in handy if it starts to precipitate and I need to cover my equipment quickly. I can also hide under it and change lenses in windy conditions, especially when there is blowing sand or mist. Protecting the inside of your camera is vital for keeping spots off your sensor.
As I’ve mentioned before, perspective is important in photography. A few weeks ago, we had a heavy dew and thick fog one morning. I noticed an elaborate spiderweb in the yard. I was feeling lazy and tried to take pictures of it from a stooped position with my telephoto lens.
While pretty, I knew I wasn’t capturing the fog too. I finally went and got my shower curtain liner, changed to my micro lens and took more photos while lying flat on my stomach. The resulting shot was worth the extra effort, in my opinion.
(On a side note, I always keep another liner in the linen closet to protect the floor and bedding if anyone comes down with a stomach bug. Trust me, it saves a ton of laundry!!)
Another handy, inexpensive addition to my camera bag is a 99¢ spray bottle with water in it.
It’s small enough to fit in an outside camera bag pocket, which means I don’t have worry about it leaking on my equipment. It comes in super handy if during a photoshoot the morning dew starts to evaporate or doesn’t exist to begin with. I’ve used it on everything from flowers to grapes to fruit.
Let me know if you carry anything unusual in your camera bag and why!
“A camera” has been on my Christmas list numerous times over the years. I’ve snapped away with 110, 126 and 35mm film point-and-shoot cameras at various points in my life. Taking a photography class in high school introduced me to the world of SLR cameras and learning to actually capture something halfway close to “art.” My interest was further enhanced by working for several years in a camera store where I ran the photo printing lab.
After I was married, I discovered a website that not only let you post reviews of recipes you tried but also photos. My passion for food photography was ignited! Thankfully, by now, we were entering the digital photography era which meant it didn’t cost anything to take a dozen photos of a plate of muffins. My family quickly got used to me spending the first few minutes of dinner taking pictures of my plate if I tried a new recipe.
I later volunteered to teach a photography class in my kids’ home schooling co-op. I found you really learn a subject by having to teach it, especially when you force yourself to do the assignments along with the students.
In 2015, I accepted a friend’s challenge to take part in Project 365. It requires you to take at least one creative photo a day. It was a lot of fun and pretty easy…at first. Then as the days piled up, it became a little harder to find things to take photos of in a new, interesting way around the house or in the yard. However, it pushed me to learn how to use more features and settings on my camera, to look at ordinary objects from a different angle and even become more sensitive to how the changing light can affect the outcome of a photo.
As 2015 came to a close, I stumbled across a website that lets you sell your photos on commission. A lot of site require you to purchase a membership to join, which means you could pay a couple hundred dollars and never make any money selling. I decided to give Twenty20 a shot. The commission is small, but it is fun to make some spending money off of a hobby. I submit a mixture of photos that I take because I want to and ones the website suggest as being popular right now. I have shocked at what sells sometimes. This photo below has sold probably more copies than any other I’ve submitted! But, I guess shopping is one of America’s greatest past times.
Images with some type of human element in them sell the best. Unfortunately, since I’m home alone most days, it isn’t always easy to include a person in my pictures. One of the skills I’m working on improving is using my self timer and tripod to take shots of myself. It can be challenging, frustrating and very rewarding. That is one topic I hope to cover more in a future post.