Gadget are fun . . . and sometimes helpful

How many of us are gadget nuts, I wonder. Is being a gadget nut part of a photographer’s DNA?

I don’t know the answer to either question except as applied to myself. I’m definitely a gadget nut. That said, I’m also working hard to keep nuttiness under control. (Is there a 12-point plan for us?) I’m striving for control because I recognize both the cost (that’s become more important since I opened the door to my gallery) and the fact that gadgets don’t often assure any better images will result.

Still, I have a few gadgets in my camera bag that I often find useful. Well, if not always in my bag, at least in the truck. Some are very commonplace, such as the remote shutter release that I carry in my vest pocket. It definitely a better “tool” than the old cable release, especially after you recognize that you can often use it from behind the camera by merely bouncing it off the barrel of your lens.

However, since it typically comes with your camera (I think it came with mine) it might be stretching a point to term it a gadget. So, let’s look at some bone fide gadgets.

My umbrella holder has to qualify. With it, I can almost laugh at inclement weather. Neither snow nor rain can stop me now. Well, at least not if it is falling straight down. The umbrella isn’t much help when the wind is blowing for a couple reason….the camera can still get soaked and the vibration caused when the umbrella catches the wind will ruin images in all but the fastest shutter speeds.

Another gadget I carry everywhere is pretty innocuous. Gaffer’s tape. This black tape sticks to almost anything but is easily removable and doesn’t leave any of that sticky residue other tapes leave behind. I use it to hold filters in place when I need them at odd angles or when I need more than my Cokin filtere holder will allow me.

Small, 2-3″ lengths are taped inside my filter case, so that I don’t have to carry the whole roll with me everywhere, yet it’s handy when I need it.

How about a putty knife. Don’t we all have one in our camera bag? It comes in hand when you don’t have the room to set up your tripod or you don’t have your tripod with you. Make sure you have one with a hole in the handle so you can run a 1/4″ bolt through it to you base.

There are a log of other useful gadgets of course and I’ll get to some of them in the coming weeks and months. If you have a favorite, let me know and we’ll share it.