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nutritional snacks
toilet paper
led lights
backpack
compass
More Nature Photography Tips-things To Have
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More Nature Photography Tips - Other items to have

Nearly everyone I’ve known, including me, who has gone out into ‘nature’ to take photos has made the same mistake, they don’t take some of the essentials that are needed. And, I’m not talking about camera gear. Ever forget toilet paper! So allow me to give some ideas on what to take with you in addition to the camera equipment you would normally have.

These Nature Photography Tips are for When or if you are at the point in your nature photography that you want to get the really great photos where you need to get up early at times, sometimes walk in the dark or half-light, maybe wade through a pond or stream, consider setting up a ‘blind’ and, not get lost.

You want, of course, to have with you any medication you need when you may be away from home or your campsite for longer than the interval between medications.

Water and nutritional snacks need to be a part of your planning. Keep hydrated!

OK! Now that we have talked about the basics, let’s get to the specifics.

a. Lights: At times we need to see better than by ‘the dawn’s early light’. Because you don’t want to scare away what you are planning to get a picture of, get one of the small multi-LED lights that you can put into a backpack. With a light early in the morning, keep in mind that the creatures out there are not only looking for food and water but also what might be trying to eat them. So be frugal with your use of light – you may frighten the photographic ‘prey’. Also, some of the LED headlamps are very good handsfree work & hiking in the dark.

b. Notepad & Pens: Even though with nearly every digital camera your data is just attached to the img file, itd still a very good idea to have something with you so you can record info about a specific location or how to get to a specific spot.

c. Compass: Alright, so you never get lost. But what about knowing just where the sun comes up or goes down so you position yourself for the best scene to capture. And, maybe help those who are out there LOST so they can find their way home. Don't need to spend lots; just be sure it is reliable. I still have 2 old military compasses that are still acurate.

d. Memory: Unless you have both a LARGE memory and easy access to a place to download your images taken that day, you need a 2nd memory to carry with you. Imagine being in a area that is prolific with highly photographic material and you need to rapidly choose which images you are going to delete to photo the new material.

e. Batteries-Fully Charged Spares: Yes, I had that happen while working with a video camera and was really embarrased when the person who knew what happened was my wife. Anyway, you don't need nature photography tips to know you need spares of anything that will die just as you need or plan to use it.

f. Alarm Clock: Don't trust yourself to 'just wake up' at the right time. Sometimes that pre-dawn light provides exactly what is needed for many specific shots. Also, many wildlife subjects checkout the local watering hole at first-light. There are several types of small folding digital battery operated clocks out there. You may want 2 just as a precation. Maybe one battery and one windup.

g. Garbage bag - ZipLock - Shower cap: The object here is to keep your camera equipment dry. Most of the time the garbage bag or shower cap will do the job. Just be careful to cover what you need to without gaps. While in Panama in parts of the jungle I found the WET was so much that ZipLock bags (QT & Gallon size) where the only thing that really worked. Of course, I couldn't take photos when it got that wet. Keep in mind that a little water in the wrong place can be very expensive to repair.

h. Insect repellant/Mosquito net: Nothing is any more miserable than being anywhere that is infested with mosquitoes of any other type of flying pests. As I recall sprays or creams containing DET are the best for repellants. For mosquitos it may do just as well to have a hat and net that fits over it to keep the net, and the mosquitoes, away from your skin. Of course, don't get any spray on your camera equipment.

i. Hip Waders or water proof hi-top boots: Getting to a great location can be hampered or become miserable if you need to wade through water of 2 feet of more or slip around in 3-6" of mud to get there. Really consider where you are going and what your feet need - they don't like being miserable.

j. Repair Kit: Examine each part of your equipment. EVERY piece of equipment! No matter what nut, screw, hex, bolt, clamp; it may come loose. Have in your kit a tool to tighten or replace. Check to see if in some cases you may need 2 tools - one to hold the other side. If you drop something and crack or break it; SuperGlue or DuctTape may be your best friend at that moment.

k, Clothing: Important nature photography tips cover keeping warm and dry as two of the most important elements of being out in nature and enjoying it. This is what works for me. When I don't expect very cold weather I use a light windbreaker that sheds water. Packs away easily! Pants that shed water and dry fast. A rain hat of some type that easily stows or rolls up that keeps my head from being cold and wet. When I expect heavier rain and/or cold I do layering: undershirt of some type, long or short sleeve. Depending on the area you are in a light to heavy long sleeve shirt. Then something like my 2nd hand, one size to large, London Fog, hip length, water proof jacket. Why oversized? Well, depending on the weather you may want to put your waterproof windbreaker on under the waterproof jacket to keep your upper body much warmer. And, of course, this could also be one of the times you would use your waders.

l. Emergency markers: Two very bright colored durable strips of material 8-12' x 2-3' to use in the event you need rescueing. Tell a sporting goods or outdoor shop what you want and they will direct to just what you need. When needed make a huge plus sign on the ground in, of course, a spot easily seen from the air.

Among the nature photography tips is one that some call "the Secret". It is simply to be where the photographic opportunities are! Then be there again and again and again. Experience is what you need. Do it - make mistakes - rinse - do it again - rinse - succeed!


Street Talk

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