Thursday, 12 June 2014

When your camera stops working

'What can I do???? I'm shooting tomorrow morning' she pleaded.

A couple of months back I received this urgent call from an Australian photo-journalist on assignment in Italy. Her task was a story on a well-known Italian shoe designer. The day before the interview she took her camera into the rain and the zoom lens jammed! Well, that was a big surprise ..... not.

My answer

'Beg, borrow or steal a camera. Just get a camera.'


This is probably more embarrassing - for me at least. 
Looking over the Southern Ocean near Denmark a willowy, wind blown young girl walked across my path. She was waiting for her surfer boyfriend down below in the surf. She was happy to pose while I took  a few shots.

Girl on the Beach, Denmark WA - on 'borrowed' camera

Just one shot and my camera shut down. Flat battery. Bugger and embarrassment. I am constantly reminding students they should never, ever, ever get a flat battery. 

With no spare, I called out to one of my students nearby who came to the rescue. I simply picked up his camera, inserted my memory card and continued shooting with hardly the miss of a heartbeat. If you're motivated you'll always find a way.

Tip: If you're in the middle of nowhere and your camera stops working or starts behaving badly, be your own camera technician and try this:

  1. Press 'Reset', 'Reset all' or 'Clear all settings' on your camera
  2. Remove battery, leave 30 seconds, replace.
  3. Use your mobile phone
  4. Say three Hail Mary's
Travel tip: Don't insult the mother crocodile until you have crossed the river and other travel photography tips in UWA Workshops.

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