Saturday, August 8, 2009

Q-TIPS & TID BITS: Is my lens sweating?

I've been following quite a few blogs of some other fantastic photographers, you know the "big names" of the industry and I noticed that they throw in these little advice blogs to help other aspiring photographers out.  So I thought "hmmm... why can't I do that?"  Now I know I'm not this huge name photographer and definitely not the most well known.  But I've learned, there is no reason why I can't bring something to the table too, right!?!  So I've decided to start a little segment called "Q-TIPS & TID BITS."  Now I'm sure you are thinking "Q-TIP...?  What are you going to do, explain how to clean my ears?"  "NOOO!"  I thought it could stand for "Qustions-Tips & Tid Bits."  As I learn new things about photography from others or from my own experiences, I felt the need to give back.  I've been helped by so many other photographers and appreciate their advice, so why not help others out with what I learn along the way?  Even the best photographers are not exempt in learning from what the little guy has to say.  So here goes; debut of "Q-TIPS & TID BITS!"  

You know you are having a really good work out when your clothes are glimmering when they hit the sun!  "Well I got news for you, the fitness fairy did NOT "bedazzle" your clothes as a reward for hitting the 5 mile marker on the treadmill... sorry"  That shimmer you see on your clothes is actually crystalized salt from sweat leaving your body.  "What does this have to do with photography Steve?"  Hang on I'm getting to it!  I recently was invited to shoot a wedding while I was in Hawaii (my previous post) and I learned something that day!

Although the beach provides a spectacular scenery and wonderful amounts of serenity and beauty for a photographer and a wedding, the salty ocean water is a killer to your lens glass!  Like that rigorous work out, the salt from the spray of the ocean latches on to your lens like the salt latches on to your clothes, so watch out!  We are all familiar with dust spots, and how annoying they are to clean off or have to edit out during post-production.  Well salt water spray is like that but 10x worse!  Not only does it leave little spots, but begins to form a blue haze to the picture.

(Ouch!  See how the blue haze and salt spots can kill a good image?)
TIP:  Next time you have the opportunity to shoot a wedding on the beach of an ocean, make sure you are constantly checking your lens and when you begin to see it sweating (little spots on the glass, or a blue haze through your window) wipe it off with your lens rag and give it a dry breath, this will help dissipate the salt.  Just like you wipe the sweat off your brow when you're panting through mile 4.6 and blow down your shirt... do the same for your lens.  Also, when you're not shooting keep your lens pointed away from the water to reduce the amount of salt that can possibly hit your lens.  Or if you have a lens hood, lightly stuff your rag into the hood while your waiting to capture that next beautiful moment or while walking down the beach to the next batch of sand or rocks.  Happy shooting everyone, and use a "Q-TIP" to clean those ears. ;)  

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