It was in the last month of the year 2013 that I look a definite step into relishing and understanding my inclination towards Photography and as the months rolled by, I realised that there was much more than interest or hobby out here. Photography soon became one of the most treasured activities of my life. I invested time and effort in addition to financial amounts in understanding various facets of photography, browsed and read many publications and viewpoints.
One of the aspects which I realised was highly important was the care of the photographic equipment, it did not matter if one has only one or multiple, the dedication and intent in maintaining them was of paramount importance.
This article would be dealing with the various critical aspects in managing the photographic gear and my thoughts on them. The same could be divided into three-main categories
The photographic equipment consists of components like the camera body, lenses , various filters , memory cards , batteries etc these cannot be stored in a book rack or cupboard . Yes, they can be stored in the camera bags that are available and that will ensure that dust or grime does not affect the components however one critical fatality which will effect is fungus/moisture. The effect of this on camera bodies, lenses is particularly damaging and in most cases irreversible not to mention the loss of quality/performance of the equipment, the repair cost too is highly expensive with no guarantee on the performance.
To obviate this, what needs to be done is to keep the components in a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are the easiest and safest way to prevent fungal growth. Most of the dehumidifier cabinets use thermoelectric cooling technology to reduce the relative humidity of the air inside them. Dehumidifiers are extremely effective and can fulfil the roles assigned to them efficiently.
Note : read here for dehumidifiers
Cleaning is a very important activity that I follow whenever I use my gear. Other than periodical servicing of the lenses and camera bodies at the authorised centre , I follow a regime of cleaning each component that I have used immediately after the requirement is completed. There are a whole lot of accessories that are available and needed to do the cleaning activity.
Because I take care of my equipment in this aspect it has not let me down till date for the past four years. The following items are a permanent fixture in my cleaning kit
Blower. one of the most important accessory, I use it to blow puffs of air directly onto a particular part to remove any dust/foreign particle that would have attached itself while I was using the equipment outdoors.
Lens pen. I use this for cleaning the lens area, there is a small soft cleaning tip on one end and a retractable brush on the other. The cleaning tip is perfect for removing any smudge marks on the lens in addition to dust particles.
Pre moistened lens wipes Another “Must Have”, these are specifically built for the lens area , filters etc an consist of lens cleaning solution which has been sprayed on the wipes and which quickly evaporate from the lens. I use the Zeiss brand ones and consider them a life saver when I am undertaking my routine cleaning and always carry a few in my camera bag
Microfibre cleaning cloth. A useful product which I use to buff the lenses after using the wipes , and sometimes use them for cleaning my camera body , lens cap , etc. Very handy indeed. Just do not use the same cloth across everything. The lens should have their dedicated cloth.
Transportation of the camera equipment is also an important activity. One needs to be very clear about how the gear is carried be it for a city shoot or a mountain trek. The equipment is fragile delicate and needs careful handling. Handling equipment properly will ensure that they will outlast their anticipated lifetime and offer yeoman service to you .
Camera backpacks Finding the right camera pack is essential and I have spent many hours and time over the years trying to perfect the art of carrying my gear while on an outdoor trek or a urban shoot , the search is still on because am still not very satisfied with what I use but then it is a start and I will eventually find the perfect choice.
The ones which I use are all from reputed manufacturers and offer the protection that I need, just that the various gear that I carry needs a specific type of camera pack. The key points to consider is that each component Is stored in its own sub compartment, the pack is waterproof and is capable to withstand wear- tear and shock thereby protecting the precious components inside.
Note : Read here for backpacks
Neoprene Stretchy Wrap. This is a very handy item which I use to wrap my camera body in when travelling and packing it in luggage. The wrap is designed to enclose the camera snugly and thereby offers a certain degree of protection from bumps and bangs if at all they happen while luggage is in transit
So this is the end of the article and how I take care of my gear; for me and I am sure for each one of you too the gear represents a lot in terms of emotional connect as well as financial worth , hence taking care of them is equally important activity while compared to using them . These may seem a lot but believe me each aspect mentioned above is having a role to play. So that’s it from my side, do let me know what other procedures you follow so that I too gain from this interaction.