Monday, March 14, 2011
How To Keep Working When Your Gear Quits—03/14/11
Continue shooting even when everything goes wrong
5. Use your head. Really, the most effective way to rescue a faltering and failing photo shoot is to think your way out of it. In the example I mentioned—you know, the shoot that I tested the patience of even my saintly subject—the problem I was encountering was a faulty key light that only fired on occasion. And of course, Murphy’s Law dictated that it worked fine on test shots and failed 100% of the times when it counted. I decided instantly it was the transmitter, and went straight to the tethered cord connection as a replacement. Then that didn’t work and instead of stopping and using my head, which would have made me realize it’s obviously not the transmitter or the connection but it’s the light itself that’s failing, I panicked and froze and assumed the worst had happened. I was struck dumb and motionless, and it wasn’t until I was ready to give up that I figured out I needed to switch out the main light and get the shoot back on track. Which I did, just in time. If you can keep your wits when everything on a shoot is going wrong, you’re bound to get great shots anyway. Even if you don’t make it look very easy along the way, as long as you get the shot that’s all that really matters.
One more thing. When your gear does fail you, make note of it and pull it out of rotation until it’s repaired or replaced. The only thing worse than a failing piece of equipment is a piece that you knew was failing from your previous shoot that you didn’t take the time to deal with.
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