On-Site Lights – On-Site Camera

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When was the last time you took the furniture that you would need to a hotel for a night’s stay – the bed, the chair, the bedside table…the bathtub, the wardrobe, and the TV…? Never, right? The reason you go to the hotel is the stay the night and the hotel supplies the furnishings to make it possible.

And when was the last time you went to a professional photographic studio to do a shoot and took the backdrop, the floor, and the lighting strobes in with you? You expected them to be there and all you supplied was the subject and the camera – right?

Well, why did you supply the camera? Why didn’t the studio just point you to their tethered Nikoncanonsonyhasselblad and show you where the card slot was? Then all you would have needed was the card.

Okay, you say that your camera outfit is unique to you…which is only the case if you have decided upon something really exotic like an 828 folding Kodak or a Seitz Roundshot. Good luck with that, by the way. Should make a helluva seller for the baked bean trade.

Well, it ain’t unique. All Nikon cameras can behave like all Nikon cameras of the same type and so can all Canon, Sony, etc. Set the menu the same and it all comes out alike. Indeed, if you are a shoot-first-and-whack-the-sliders-later sort of photographer all you need to do is put the thing in RAW and don’t bother to set anything at all.The studio people can set it up for you before you arrive and all you have to do is waltz in like Austin Powers and throw the camera over your shoulder when you are done with it.

Or a sensible third alternative. Keep one camera dedicated to studio work IN the studio. Set it as carefully as ever you want and make it so that every image can be instantly downloaded to the finished product without a flaw – if you can. But make arrangements to actually keep the device and the lenses you need there on site. It means you need not travel with a pantechnicon of gear each time you shift from the field to the studio. The work you save not having to pack, unpack, reset, reclean, and haul the damned stuff around more than makes up for the cost of stationing the camera at the site.

A Canon of Emplacement, if you will…

PS: Be sensible. Store only what you could afford to lose to accident or other unscrupulous studio users. Insure it. Lock it away in a dedicated space that only you have a key for. Amortize the cost through your invoices.

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