Equipment Safety with Landscape Photography
Have you ever lost all of your camera gear? I’ve dropped a few things – and it’s not a good feeling when you smash a lens or camera, or even worse – lose it all in the water.
Watch this video for a quick tip on how to keep your gear safe.
Highlights of this video:
0:34 – Location and setup
0:40 – Gear safety tip
Don’t be sorry!
You’ve invested a lot of money into your photography equipment. What should you do to make sure it stays safe when you are out in the wilderness shooting?
See how the footing of my tripod is at the very edge of the pathway? That’s something you should avoid. If you find yourself in an area like this and you don’t have a choice, make sure you are right there holding on to your tripod making sure that it doesn’t fall off when somebody walks pass you or you bump your tripod by mistake.
Again, always remember to…
- Never let go of your tripod
- Make sure the legs aren’t right on the edge
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What do you think? Leave me a comment below.
Brent, yes it has, my sister had come from Texas to visit and on her “Bucket List” was to go up in a hot air balloon, in which I have a friend who owns and flies them, so I got her a flight! on the next day we went to the Grand Canyon to get pictures and take another item off her Bucket list, it was winter the temp outside was 17 degrees F win blowing I set up my tripod with sand bags and set the exposure for the photo, set the timer,……………..with 20 seconds to get over to stand next to her with the Grand Canyon and the snow in the background…………..as I stepped next to her a gust of wind came up and my camera and lens and tripod started to tip over I ran to catch it but was just a few inches away from catching it…………..it fell into the Grand Canyon…………….about 400 feet straight down needless to say it was a total loss.
Unbelievable Jeff – not your day. B
Found out the hard way. Was doing a time lapse in Iceland. It was windy but I had a “sturdy” tripod so I walked away to eat a sandwich. Somehow the wind hit it just right and over it went!!
For sure Brent, sooner or later we all have a tripod get away from us. Here’s my favorite story by none other than the great Joe McNally:
Cold weather and wind can really limit your lighting options, that’s for sure. You can’t put up massive lights in the wind, and the cold makes you and everyone, including your subjects, potentially uncomfortable. In adverse weather, it’s best to keep it simple. I learned this in truly epic fashion when I shot legendary dancer Gregory Hines on a pier in the New York harbor.
I foolishly set up a 12′ silk on a frame, with stands and sandbags, in what was an almost nonexistent wind. Had my 12′ Gitzo tripod, and a ladder next to it. Thankfully, there was no camera on the tripod.
Because, the next thing I heard after I turned my back on the rig (yet another bad idea) was Michael, a big Irish bloke who used to help me around New York, shout, “Oy!” I turned to see him let go of the seriously out of control silk and frame as it literally walked, propelled by a sudden gust, corner over corner, off the dock and into the Hudson River, taking the ladder and the tripod with it. I remember standing at the edge of the dock, watching my gear bubble it’s way downward into the Hudson murk, looking at Michael and saying, “I guess I’m going handheld.” I was back to basics. Get it done, quick and dirty, in the wind. I got a celeb on a dock for about 45 minutes. Breathe, Joe, breathe.
(here’s the link with the actual picture Joe took after the “incident”)
Wind is another reason to keep hands on your tripod. We have a friend who let go for just a minute to speak to his wife when a gust of wind came up and his tripod, high end Canon camera, and 500mm lens went crashing down on a huge rock. He had damage to his camera and lens. Bonnie
Yes – wind can do it too. Great tip. Bent
Thanks for the reminder and tip. I had a tripod fall on a boardwalk once and that was enough for me…..had to send the lens in for repair. It has made me more aware of the tripod at all times!
Hi Brent. Good advice about hanging onto the tripod. I recently had a problem getting my tripod to stay put on a very small area (top of a concrete bridge post) The legs kept splaying. I tried a mad idea – tied the legs just below one of the leg joints (so that the string would not ride up) and hey presto! job done. Wish I’d used less secure knots though. Took forever to undo them…
Great tip Brian. B
I was shooting on a day trip to the Isle of Arran (West Coast of Scotland) with my new, three day old mega-expensive manfrotto tripod. I set up for a scene, took the shot, just like hundreds of times before and a mile up the road I realised I wasn’t carrying my tripod.
I went back, but too late, it had gone. 🙁
So I bought a really cheap replacement, which I still have three years later!
Man that is bad luck! Brent
Yes, sooner or later we all make that mistake with a sinking feeling as we hurry back in an attempt to recover or beloved tripod. A year ago I left mine for a few minutes out on Pier 39 in San Francisco while among hundreds watching a firework show. Luck was with me and the $1,000 Gitzo and $400 Really Right Stuff head was right where I left it – not a lesson I will ever forget! Sorry you didn’t have happy ending 🙁
This one was great because I almost experienced this recently. I was also in New Zealand at Muriwai bay and a huge wave came in from nowhere and my tripod got washed up shore. Luckily I was holding my camera as I was waiting for the sun to get into position and didn’t lose anything. Cheers Brent!
Wow, thats lucky Ben. Yeah I’ve heard some horror stories too! Brent