Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter Photo Shoot Mishaps (Updated Mar. 4)

It is a great experience shooting outdoor during snowy winter time. Other than frozen fingers and toes, some other unexpected things have happened to us. From the 3 recent outings, 2 of them we ended up bringing broken/damaged equipments back.

The list:
- Old tripod leg lock broke;
- Nikon SB900 flash's flash-tube exploded;
- I dropped my camera to the concrete floor (ouch!) and (fortunately only) broke the lens hood.

Well, the tripod is pretty old. Other than the tubes, it is mostly made of plastic. I guess it is not made for winter weather.

For the flash, I do not believe it could be that fragile. I mean, it is an equipment designed to withstand most weather conditions. And it was not too cold that day (around -5 C). I brought it to Nikon's repair center today. And the technician said faulty flashes are not uncommon. When I need to purchase a flash in the future, I know what to do when the salesman suggests me to buy extended warranty.

About the broken hood, it was just plain stupid of me to detach the camera from the camera stabilizer without holding onto the camera. I guess I have not had enough sleep for a while. Good thing is that I only damaged the $30 lens hood instead of the $1400 lens or the $1200 camera. We now come up with an idea of how to prevent the same mistake from happening again - we will connect a "safety chain" between the stabilizer and the camera. So if we ever accidentally drop the camera again, the chain will most likely save it from hitting the ground.

Lessons learned for winter shooting:
Only bring the most necessary equipments; always pay attention to what we are doing; buy externed warranty for flashes as they really can break. Plus, we need to consider adding winter photo shoot surcharge.

*Updated 2011 March 4th*
I just picked up the repaired flash back from Nikon. It only took them a day to fix it - which is good. They fixed it by replacing the flash tube and updating the firmware.
An interesting bit: before I left their repair center, I tried the repaired flash out. And I found that there is a white dot marked at the back side of the battery door. I asked the guy there about it. And he said that the dot is to indicate that they have done some modification to the flash. It will prevent the same problem from happening again. What I understand from our conversation is that, only certain older SB900 will require this modification. I guess this is a physical bug fix for the earlier batches.

Cheers, Gary.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Gary & Elsa,

    A great big thank you to the two of you for supporting my crazy ideas and going the extra miles to have this fantastic shooting for Ranky & I.

    I must say that we are very fortunate to have great friends like you and your talents put towards our shots were fantastic!!!

    I'm so sorry to learn about your winter shooting experience was a bit of a pain (If time can rewind, I swear I would dive under your camera to save it from smashing against the ground, but I guess my reflex wasn't as quick as it happened. =_="), but I hope that this may open up other shooting season opportunities for your business. Our friends really loved the teaser and is excited to see more of your great work.

    Looking forward to the finish product! ^_^

    Best Regards,
    Sabina & Ranky