TIP 1 – WALLET WITH DEDICATED SD CARD SLOTS
I have been using this really cool wallet that has dedicated SD card slots inside. The special design allow storage up to two SD cards, but I only carry one spare 64GB (95Mb/s) card, which serves as a back up in case I forgot to bring any other cards. This will not happen for commercial jobs of course (which I checked the items on my bags like a hundred times before leaving the house) but for casual outings and also my personal shutter therapy sessions, I go minimalist, carrying one camera and one lens, and as I quickly run out of the door, sometimes the SD card may be left behind unintentionally. It has happened before of course, to me and to my friends. Nothing can be more frustrating as we are so pumped up for a shoot or a session with fellow photogs and arriving on location early, powering the camera on, to find out the SD card is missing!
It is not about how much we prevent ourselves from forgetting to bring an SD card, we are humans, and it will happen even to the best of us. I learned this from my high school guidance and counselling teacher – she said: “it is not about what we do to avoid forgetting, but how we prepare ourselves in the event that we forget”. There should be a contingency plan in place, hence having a spare SD card in the wallet which I carry with me everywhere I go to every day, is a reliable fail safe. As a bonus, if your friend forgets an SD card, you can loan him, and you can impress some photographers with this neat trick! Pulling out an SD card from your wallet. It also gives a strong impression that you are always prepared and you are serious about what you are doing in photography.
TIP 2- CHAIR SOCKS FOR BATTERY STORAGE
This is a weird one, but I found that it worked like a charm. I bought chair/table leg covers, in the form of fabric tiny socks to store my batteries. I carry MANY batteries out for a shoot. And the mini socks I bought from Daiso costs RM5.90 or two pairs. Why use the socks? First and obvious reason, to prevent scratching when the batteries got out of place into the bag in contact with other items, eg camera body or lenses. The fabric provided soft padding and prevent these scratches from happening. Reason number two is more functional – to identify which batteries have been used up! So when I am replacing a battery after it is depleted, I will store the empty battery unit into a “reversed” mini sock. The reversed mini-sock clearly indicated the status of the used battery, so that when I am replacing the battery next, I won’t mistakenly slot the used battery into the camera. This is a practical solution for heavy, all day extensive shoots that require changes of multiple batteries. Such a simple, yet colorful and elegant solution to battery management in the camera bag. And trust me, those tiny little colorful socks are conversation starters!
TIP 3 – CARRY A MACRO CONVERTER
I understand that not everyone will go deep into macro photography, hence the suggestion of spending unnecessary budget to purchase a dedicated macro lens is out of the question. However, that does not mean that we cannot do close up shooting, or pseudo-macro photography from time to time without digging deep into the wallet. A good solution is to get a macro converter – low in cost, good compromise between convenience and quality and it gets the job done. I have the Raynox DCR-250 which I bought for about RM300, and it is so small it fits anywhere in the bag, and there is no excuse to leave this behind. When the opportunity presents itself, the option to shoot macro is there.