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I have a new article published today on Photofocus, titled “Keeping your photography equipment safe around sand and salt water”. Here’s a sneakpeek… ” …” Check out the rest of the article at this link: Keeping your photography equipment safe

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Nature is extraordinarily complex and beautiful, it is easy to forget in our modern world just how powerful its forces are.  But, being a nature photographer presents constant, humbling reminders of this fact! A large part of what drives me is wanting to experience every facet of nature, then create and share images of these forces at work.  In doing so I am often going into potentially dangerous situations for me and my gear.  

In my part of the world, wildfires are a necessity to the health of our ecosystems. But, they are, to put it bluntly, scary as @#$%!  Dangerous, fast, and unpredictable, shooting them requires gear and techniques that let you react quickly to the situation to keep yourself out of harm’s way, and out-of-the-way of the responder’s managing the scene.  Here is how I capture images and video of one of nature’s most beautifully dangerous forces, wildfire.

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Go out into the great outdoors. Find a place that animals like to hang out when people aren’t around. Set up your camera to automatically a photo of them when they do show up. Leave it there. Come back tomorrow and see if you got any shots. Repeat it all over again until you get the shots you need. Welcome to Remote Camera Traps!

In previous articles I’ve shared the different ways I’ve used Platypods in my photography. Possibly one of the best uses I have found is in helping set up a successful remote camera trap. The Platypod adds flexibility to the placement of your camera and lighting equipment that can make your trapping endeavors much more likely to pay off with great images.

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A lightweight travel tripod is a handy piece of equipment for every photographer to have in their gear collection.  There are times where larger, heavier, “workhorse” tripods are not the right tool for the job, or places where they are too cumbersome to transport and use.  On the lookout for a new one, a few months ago I got my hands on the Oben CT-3451 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod and  BE-113T Ball Head.  

After unpacking it my first thought was “Wow this thing is light, I’m going to break it.”  But, half a year later with pretty constant use, it shows few signs of wear and tear.  In that time, it has been used for landscape, travel, and macro photography, in various locations and conditions.

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Most photographers will tell you that a good tripod is one of the most important equipment investments you can make for your photography.  But, just owning one isn’t enough to give you better pictures.  You have to have the right one to fit your photography, as well as know how to use it properly.  

For as much time as we spend discussing and dissecting our settings, we often don’t think about the physical mechanics of how we take pictures.  Over the years of running photo workshops and pursuing my own photos, I have seen many mistakes and mishaps with tripods, some resulting in pretty serious damage to pricey gear.  These are some of the most common I’ve encountered (or accidentally committed), so you can avoid not only the pain of a missed shot, but worse, a toppled tripod and a crashed camera.  

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