Jud Dagnall Photography Blog

Photography, technology and occasional rants!

Redundant equipment for photographers

Posted on December 23rd, 2004 in , , by jud || No Comment

One of the things that I stress to people who want to invest their time (and perhaps money) on photography trips is the importance of redundant equipment. Two years ago, I discovered first hand how devasting this can be. I had 5 days off, and had planned a trip to Mono Lake. Getting there during the winter took almost 2 days, since I drove up through Reno and then down 395 (I’ll be trying a new route this Christmas, along HW 88). I arrived just as night was falling, jumped out of my car, ran through the deep snow and snapped a few test pictures. The next morning, I got up nearly 3 hours before daybreak. It was nearly an hour hike through thigh-deep snow in the dark to get to the edge of the lake, where I settled in to await the sunrise. About 15 minutes later, my camera died. I should say, my ONLY camera died. Completely. Banging and cursing didn’t help. Power cycling. New batteries. Fervent prayers. Incantations. Sacrifices of small snow creatures. All to no avail.

At least I got to enjoy a spectacularsunrise.

And since I had no camera, the rest of the “photography trip” was shot, and I left for home that afternoon. Fortunately, one of my test shots turned out ok, and so the trip wasn’t a complete photographic disaster.

Now, with the purchase of the 20D, I finally have 2 cameras that I am happy using. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend buying two new cameras to get started (unless of course you have the budget). That’s why I got the Canon G6 last month, as a smaller, cheaper backup camera. (However, as I noted, I am upgrading already!)

Because my cameras are DSLRs, I have a variety of lenses that I can use. In fact, becuase I have a mix of prime lenses and zooms, plus a teleconverter, in a pinch I could get very close to the same focal coverage losing any one lens.

I have 3 memory cards (2 x 1GB, and 1 256). Again, I can lose 1 without any problem.

I keep my images on a laptop, and on a portable hardrive (mindstor by minds@work, now out of business). One dropped/crashed piece of equipment, and I’m still ok.

I have 4 batteries and 2 chargers (car and wall)

There is no single point of failure (except the photographer!), and so if I’m going to spend a fair amount of money on a 4-7 day photography trip, I can be sure that
it isn’t my equipment that stops me.

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