Photography equipment nightmare you wish it did not happen

There are many bad photography situations a photographer he/she would not even wish to encounter in a photo shoot. The simplest error or an indirect mistake can be a photographer’s worst nightmare! Or even losing a client. Believe me on that. With more than 10 years of professional photography experience in Singapore and various Asia countries, i compile a list of faults for you to take note.

Memory card images deleted
This happened only once, a decade ago, I accidentally “killed” all my travel images. I wondered how did the freak “accident” even happen. But it happened! Panic button pressed, called friends for help. Manage to get a free software and recovered 80% images. Imagine this happen in a client’s assignment, disastrous!

Do not fidget your “delete all” or “format” in your camera. Safest way is to switch off your camera when not in used. Purchased software to recover the images, but I think it is expensive and hardly use it. Store your memory card in a proper camera bag/CF card pouch. Do not leave it in the pocket or anywhere else.

Camera battery low power
Is a common problem for all electronic equipment. Especially with newer cameras that are equipped with better technology. The drainage of the battery power tends to be higher if the LCD screen is frequently use to review the images or filming a video. One time I was struggling with the battery power for only a 2hr photo shoot, using the same battery from a previous shoot. Without checking the battery power durability, it suddenly decrease below 20% when i checked! I was forced not to review my pictures, shoot less but quality pictures.

Use original battery instead of 3rd party battery, it does make a different. Also, prepare lots of spare batteries if is going to be a long day. It won’t kill your back to have some back up.

AA batteries out of power in flash light
Using previous set of batteries that were used in the last shoot. Resulting insufficient power to pull off the entire shoot. But it was never a problem for me. Because… read advice.

Use a fresh set of batteries for each event. Buy a battery tester to check the remaining voltage in the battery.

Tripod topple down
This is seriously no joke, with a camera mounted on the tripod is always considered a risk to me. I once did a private shoot for a client inside a 5 star hotel. The client booked a really expensive suite just for the event. I had a few assistants with me to assist. I placed my tripod properly with camera mounted. Briefed my assistant and client to be careful. During the break in the mist of the event, for the first time in my life I tripped onto my own tripod, I only can witnessed my 13 years old tripod toppled down, together with my camera. Luckily it landed on the carpet. God bless!! The only damage was my very expensive lens thread had a slight dent! Months later the camera was in trouble and I had to send it for repair before getting a new camera.

Ensure the tripod is stabilized before mounting the camera.
Make sure the tripod is able to handle the weight of your camera and lens. Especially heavy lenses like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8. Always double check! Do not trip onto your tripod legs!

Plenty of dust in sensor
Common problem every DSLR camera users will face. Dust can easily fly into the sensor when changing lenses, especially in outdoor condition. The dust in the sensor will offer you an ugly black dot, or if you are unlucky, many blacks dots appear the image. It is annoying and requires substantial amount of time to clean it up in Photoshop or Lightroom.

While changing your lenses, have your camera face down or against the wind. Invest in a good blower to blow off the dust trapped in sensor. Use the sensor cleaning option in your camera. Whatever works.

Camera error
Am using a Canon 5D series camera, I fear to see the word ERROR in my camera panel. They are a series of error codes when the camera is not working. I will start to sweat even in the coldest air con room, is really not a funny matter when client pay you and, you try not to screw it up. Reputation at stake!

Remove the battery and CF card then reinstall, or even remove the lens and gently clean the electrical contacts on the camera and lenses, pray it work. Worst case scenario head to the service center to get it repair. For professional, bring along a spare DSLR or a decent compact camera to back up. Stop complaining is heavy!

I hope my write up help you guys, precaution need to be taken in order to minimise unexpected situation to happen. Is always good to have plan B than no plan in order to enjoy photography.

Do share with me your thoughts about this, if you have other better solution than what I had offered, or even situation you come across and wish to share please let me know. I will be more than happy to share in my next blog.


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