Hoping for Another Day

“What Not to Do” when going out on a hike to shoot a charming stream.

This past week I was out hiking with a friend and was introduced to a lesser known babbling brook. Perfectly scenic and lots of photo opportunities, I planned on returning in short order with the big camera gear and work on some slow exposures.

Have two lenses – landscape and telephoto? Check
Have DSLR with charged battery & clean memory card? Check
Have Lee Big Stopper with Nisi filter mount? Check
Have back up round filters? Check
Have Gorillapod Tripod? Check
Know where I’m going? Absolutely.

Arriving to the stream, I slowly began working my way up. First checking for the proper exposure, I pull out the camera with the Lee Big Stopper filter. Wanting to go beyond a 30 second exposure, a remote switch is necessary to shoot in bulb mode.

First mistake – Ah…remote switch? DANG ! It’s in the car. Ok, we can scramble, have back up filters in the bag and installed the .6 Neutral Density Filter on.

Find my first composition and begin working the scene.

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Looking good ! Now off to the next spot. I walk along the stream to the next small rapid section. Oops..movement in the rocks catches my eye. SNAKE !! Eeh gads ! Looks like a Copper head – can we say poisonous? Seems I scared it more than it scares me and tucks deeper into the rock crevice. Of course the snake happens to be right near where I want to take my next image. I set up the camera and while it’s taking it’s 30 long seconds, I grab my hiking poles and hit them against each other. Yelling at the snake to stay hidden.

Doing that a few times, I move on because I do not want to be snake bit.

The next scene is beautiful and I know there is more to come. Now comes the problem of this lovely, portable Gorillapod. I’m finding it to be quite unreliable as the beauty of it is that the three legs are completely flexible. The bad part of it is…all three legs are completely flexible.

Setting my camera just inside the stream to get a water’s perspective, I set the camera on a 10-second delay. Wanting to grab some leaves and throw them in for effect, I step away for just a moment and SPLASH ! Camera, and lens right into the water. Pulling it out in seconds, the whole kit was drenched. Wiping away the water with my shirt (note..next time carry towel in bag) I think I saved the day.

Spoke too soon. The filter has jammed onto the lens. The lens electronics has been zapped. Luckily, my brand new Canon 5D Mark IV survived the swim and seems just fine.

Oh well.. the sun was coming out from behind the clouds anyway. So I packed up and went home. I do hope to return again soon to continue up the stream.

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