Nature Photography Tips Tricks and Techniques

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Tips for Taking Your Camera Afield -
Part 1 (Hiking)

Now that the weather is better, we will be spending more time outside than before. That means carrying your camera around so that you can create photos to remember your journeys by. Most cameras are pretty rugged, but some general precautions need to be taken to protect the camera and ensure your comfort in carrying it.

Many people with smaller, lighter cameras, will carry them on a strap around their necks. I personally find this uncomfortable, but if it appeals to you, find a camera strap that is wide and shock-absorbing. Manufacturers such as Op-Tech and Tamrac make very comfortable straps that will fit the bill here. If the side-to-side swaying of the camera bothers you, there are strap systems that have a neck and a chest strap to reduce camera motion when you are moving.

If you are carrying you camera in a pack, be sure that your equipment is padded and protected from other items in the pack that may cause damage. Several manufacturers are making packs specifically designed to carry cameras afield. These packs have built-in divider systems to organize and protect your gear. If you are using a standard pack, wrap your equipment in commercially available padded wraps, pieces of foam, or in extra pieces of clothing.

No matter which way you decide to carry your equipment, remember to pack protection from wind and rain. Zip-lock style bags (the heavy duty "freezer" types are best) work very well. Coated nylon "stuff sacks" are good, but may not be totally waterproof. If you are looking for the ultimate in protection, especially from rain, invest in a "dry bag" like those used by paddlers. These bags are very rugged and totally waterproof.

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