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Importance of Double Checking Your Equipment

This past weekend I wanted to document a 12 hour mountain bike race that I was participating in. It is always a struggle for me to choose between photographing events and participating in the actual event so for this event I wanted to do a time lapse of the event, I though that this would be a good way to do both.

In my last post I mentioned that I was getting a new camera since my surf housing leaked. Well, I picked the new camera up from the shop a few days before the event and since it was exactly like my old camera I just took it out of the box and put it in my camera bag. I did charge the batteries and got all of my other gear organized lenses, gorilla pod, intervalometer, and flash.  I even had extra batteries and extra tripod plates with me.

When I got to the race I unpacked my bike stuff and all of my camera gear and set it up across from my friend’s team site where they would be hanging out between their laps and where my extra food was set up. I even put a chair over the camera to ensure that no one accidentally knocked it over and set the intervalometer to take a shot every 5 min for the whole 12 hours and then I was going to import them into quicktime and add some music to make a cool video of the event. As it got darker I asked my friend as I passed the site to put my flash on the camera to get some night shots and the next time around is when I knew something was wrong since the flash was not firing on a regular basis. Moonride Time Lapse

Since I did not check my camera out after pulling it out of the box, I had not reset the default settings on the camera to match my old camera which meant that I had not turned off the power saving setting. So even though I had it all set up correctly, in the end I only got 4 shots, two when I first set it up and two when my friend put on my flash. Here is one of the shots with the flash. The streaks of lights are bike riders with their lights on riding past.

At least I learned my lesson on a personal project and not on a paying shoot. So next time you get any new equipment make sure that you go through all the settings on any new equipment BEFORE you get on location.

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