We all want to come home from vacation with breathtaking pictures that fully capture all of the beautiful things we saw along the way, but getting the shot of that gorgeous beach sunset could mean getting sand in the crevices of your $1,000 digital camera. With such a huge investment at stake, you can’t afford to take any risks. Whether you’re traversing a 600-foot peak or kayaking through the canyons, you’ll need these four tips to keep your camera equipment safe.
1. Get camera insurance
No matter how hard you try to protect your equipment, something can always go wrong. It might seem excessive to spend money insuring a standard electronic device, but good digital cameras don’t come cheap. Sure, compared to a house or a car, the cost of your camera is small, but you’d still get that unpleasant, punched-in-the-gut feeling if you were to lose it completely.
2. Know when to bring your DSLR
One of the best ways to protect your camera is to avoid bringing it into threatening environments whenever possible. For example, do you really need the highest definition and highest quality photos for just a day with the family at a national park? When it comes to basic shots for not-so-special outings, a smaller digital camera or even just your smartphone camera can suffice when recording memories.
3. Use common sense
As the saying goes, common sense isn’t exactly common. Everyone gets caught up in the moment sometimes, and I’m sure any photographer willing to shovel out hundreds of dollars for a good camera is also pretty passionate about getting a good shot. However, you might want to think twice before rushing out into the ocean to get a close-up of that surfer coming dangerously close to a shark fin. Avoid wet environments, and keep a protective covering on your camera at all times. Put your lens cap on every time you’re not using your device. Please, don’t take your digital camera white water rafting.
4. Pack smart
Taking your camera along for an extended trip can get a little tricky, because you need the right luggage to keep your camera safe. Be sure to include plenty of padding while packing your camera, using foam sheets, bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Avoid overpacking your camera equipment in one enclosed space, but you should make sure to bring along your charger, lens wipes, and cleaning wipes wherever you go. Disassemble your camera each time you use it, and look for convenient, compartmentalized bags designed especially for cameras.
Photography is an accessible hobby, but don’t let that accessibility lead you to mistreating your equipment. Getting the right shot is a skill you will develop over time, but you don’t get a second chance to save your camera from disaster. Avoid making stupid mistakes when using your camera, and remember to keep your enthusiasm in check. Being responsible about caring for your device not only protects your investment for the future, it ensures higher quality photos right now.