This is page 2 of 4. "Camera Accessories" begins here.

*A way to keep all your camera accessories dry.

in case you run into the storm that the weatherman said was not coming your way! I always carry a plastic grocery bag. Worst case scenario is you quickly put everything in there and head for shelter. It will help a lot!

I even head out in rainy weather using two of them. I put my camera on my wrist, slip it inside the two bags, and I can shoot with only the end of my lens sticking out. That keeps the rest of the camera dry. When I want to shoot, I want to shoot!

There are actual rain covers available. Rain covers for your camera range from simple drawstring bags for about $20 to very elaborate, costly setups for several hundred dollars. Some even have a clear hood for a flash unit.

Or, you can follow my lead and do it for free! It’s funny, normally I get pretty involved with fun things like this, but for what ever reason I have no interest in a custom fitted weather protection device for my camera. Go figure.

*Cleaning kit. Many people overlook carrying a method of keeping lenses, cameras, and camera accessories clean. You will always get dirt or smudges on the lens as well as grit on your camera. To me it's no fun at all to view a gorgeous photo only to discover there is dirt or a smudge on it that makes it unusable.

When you change out lenses there is a good chance dust will settle inside your camera during the process. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. One thing they will tell you is never, ever touch the image sensor inside the camera. Blow it clean with a tool designed for that purpose. But don’t touch it.

I merely carry a micro fiber cloth for the purpose of external cleaning. First I blow off any dirt I can. Then I breathe on the lens and wipe in circle. That always seems to do a good job for me.

I used to use cleaner and an intricate cleaning method, but I never got the lenses very clean. They would always streak. I started doing it this way and it has worked well for me, for several years.

The most important thing is to use a micro fiber cleaning cloth that is designed for cleaning lens glass. If you use cotton, paper towel or other cloths you can scratch the coating on your lens. Not good!

Second most important thing is to keep that cleaning cloth clean. Don’t use a greasy cloth because you’ll never get your lenses clean. Don’t use the same one that you use on your eye glasses. That has body oils on it which will only streak your camera lens.

For cleaning the micro fiber cloth, I find it best to hand wash it in warm water with dish soap, then rinse it very well and let it air dry. Rinse and squeeze, rinse and squeeze, rinse and squeeze. Do it a bunch of times until you can’t see any soap coming out of the cloth. The soap will also streak your lens. Or you can just throw it in the wash.

Cleaning the inside of my camera I save for when I am at home. If I get a piece of noticeable dirt inside while I’m in the field, well that has never happened to me, but knowing me, I will try to remove it by blowing on it or something. Don’t do that. Do as I say, not as I would do!

See the red arrow in the picture below? It's pointing to the mirror. The mirror raises up like this, when you are taking a picture, exposing your image sensor. The image sensor is tantamount to the "film" surface in a film camera.

It is very, very sensitive; which is why you should never see this sight. That is why I have a picture of it here; in order to satisfy your curiosity. Now you don't have to risk your own camera to see what I am talking about.

Once again, with the mirror locked in the up position, your image sensor is exposed. It's the blue rectangular part you see at the center of the opening. It is very sensitive. Just exposing it to direct sunlight when it is open like this can ruin it. Not to mention getting dirt on it, or a sneeze! That can't be good.

Follow me here. I see a young mom, she just got herself a beautiful, brand new camera. She's all excited because, from closely following my site, she knows all about the inside of her camera.

Now, baby on one arm, camera in her other hand, she carefully removes the lens and sets it down. She proceeds to raise the mirror and show her best friend of ever the image sensor. Suddenly, Ah, ah, ah, Plbbt. Baby on arm sneezes a mouth full of cheerios into the camera! Yuk! Now what?

So - - - don't touch it, don't mess with it, don't even open it up unless you know what you're doing or you don't like your camera. Have a technician do it. Thank you.

Optional camera accessories.

*An eye piece adaptor, with an eye cup, is something good for shooting in bright sunlight. It forms around your eye to help keep glare to a minimum.

This way you can better see what you are shooting as you look through the eyepiece. It also prevents light from entering the back of your camera which can affect your exposure.

*Tripod Once I saw a woman balance her camera on top of a tripod. It fell. No need to describe the mess!!! Needless to say, she wasn’t happy.

She had a nice tripod. For some unknown reason she decided to balance her camera on top of it rather than connect it. Maybe the mount was faulty. Never the less, the outcome was the same and it was not pretty! Make sure you use your equipment in the right manner.

For taking pictures of landscapes and other things where a slow shutter speed is necessary, it sometimes becomes a good idea to have a tripod available. I like to hand hold my camera but there are times a tripod is necessary.

*If you have and use a flash unit a tripod becomes less necessary. Flash is another thing I prefer to not use. However, when it becomes necessary it makes the difference between getting the shot and wasting space on your memory card.

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