Don’t Leave Home Without It…your battery charger that is.

I am in Fort Bragg, California tonight.  Even though I could have driven here in one day from Grants Pass, Oregon, I opted to stay in Eureka last night  and drive the rest of the way today.  One reason I did it that way is because there is a stretch of highway (Highway 1) that is almost 25 miles of the most convoluted road I think I’ve ever been on.  The average speed on Highway 1 is 20 miles an hour.  It would have been terrible driving that in the dark.

The other reason is because I am a photographer.  It takes me twice as long as before to get any where since I picked up my camera a few years ago. When I’m on a trip like this I take an average of 125 pictures a day.  I can’t help myself.  I have to capture every beautiful thing I see and I see a lot  of  beautiful things.  On a side note here: I only do that when I am traveling alone.  No one, other than another photographer would put up with that kind of behavior!

But today I only took 50 pictures. Oh, the pain! I left my battery charger at home. One of my batteries died the first day. That’s when I reaized that my charger was not in its usual place.  I tried to get a replacement charger in Eureka but they didn’t have any at their one photo store.  Then I stopped in a place called Garberville (interesting little town).  They didn’t have any either.  I was desperate!  My second battery was dying and I still had miles to go…

On a positive note, it only took me about 20 minutes to edit my 50 photos tonight so that gave me plenty of time to write this post. And I found a store here in Fort Bragg that had a charger. I’m so HAPPY! (Thanks Fiddles & Cameras!)

So, today I made a check list for myself.  It will remain in my camera bag so this kind of thing will not happen again.

1)  Extra Batteries (at least 2, preferably 3 or more.  I used to have 3 which worked well for me but one of them went bad a few days ago) and I went through 2 batteries in a day and 1/2. When you’re on the road, that simply will not work.

2)  Battery Charger Always!!

3)  Back-up Camera I dropped my camera one day right before an important event. Fortunately I had an extra camera with me.  Be sure you are as familiar with your back up as you are with the one you use every day.  It’s really embarrassing when you try to use your back up and you don’t know how to use it well.  It happened to me and it sucked!!

4)  Two lenses  I have 2 lenses that I use the most; my 24-105mm and my 70-200mm. A wide angle lens is on my wish list. But if you don’t have a lot of space take the two lenses that you use the most.

5)  Extra SD Memory Cards  I have four 32G memory cards.  I rarely need more than one unless I’m taking video.  But ya never know what could happen.  Have a least two if they are that big and if they are smaller have two for sure and maybe three.

6)  Tripod I never leave home without it. I may not always use it but when I want it I’m glad I brought it.

7) Business Cards. If you have a photography business, pass our your business card to everyone. Too many times I have not had a business card to give someone who asked for one.  You are leaving money on the table by doing that.

Of course there are things you can add to your list but, for me these are the things I can’t live without.

As I write this blog, both my batteries have been charged, my photos have been backed up, and I am ready to shoot Fort Bragg!