Are you photographer?
Do you want some of best scenic nature photography in the US?
Go west to the desert this summer!
You might however want to read this article and learn some tips on taking care of your camera and yourself in the desert climes. Photography in a dry climate isn’t like shooting pictures of squirrels in the park. Here are 19 tips to help you do it right.
1. One of the first things you need for taking pictures in places like Arizona or outside Las Vegas is a good pair of shoes, though many prefer boots, as there are snakes and other creatures that bite and sting out there. Make sure whichever you choose is good quality and above all else make sure they fit properly and don’t chafe your feet.
2. Make sure your camera bag seals tightly as there will be a lot more dirt and grit in the air at times. Before you leave, you may also want to have your camera professionally cleaned at a reputable camera store. At the same time, get yourself a good camera cleaning kit to take with you and clean your camera every day.
3. Your lens covers or bags should close and seal tightly. Cover your lens with either a flat or a filter. It is easier to replace a scratched flat or filter that have to replace say a Nicor 300 mm lens that got abraded by blowing sand.
4. Ziploc bags work well to keep dust out. Carry many.
5. Carry fixed length lens instead of zoom lens as the action of zooming in and out invites grit and sand that can scratch the barrel.
6. Bring two ice chests if you use film, one for drinks for you and one for your film.
7. You need to keep hydrated in the desert and your film needs a constant cool temps as well. You will want to carry at least 4 liters of water per day. It sounds like overkill, it’s not. You may even find it’s not enough depending on how strenuous the terrain is where you are shooting. Make sure you know where local sources of water are and mark your maps accordingly. Drinking cola or alcohol is not a good idea in the desert.
8. Yes, carry a compass and maps along with your GPS unit. You don’t want to be surprised by failure in the middle of nowhere. Murphy loves the desert and tech often fails the farther it gets from from the store where you bought it.
9. A good first aid kit is a must and check with the locals about any venomous critters or other dangerous wildlife and carry a snakebite kit.
10. A space blanket is a good thing to have as well not only for you but for your camera as well. When not using the camera wrap it in the blanket with the reflective side out.
11. Get yourself a good hat. One with a built in sun-shield and UV protection is ideal. Face and mouth covering is a good addition as well. A ball cap and a buff is viable solution.
12. Heavy duty sun tan lotion or sun block to prevent dry skin for use on your face and exposed skin. Click here to see a site that helps to deal with many skin conditions.
13. A good moisturized cream for evening.
14. A good knife is always your best friend.
15. Likewise a good flashlight is right up there with the knife.
16. Cell phones along with portable radios also a good idea. Cell service could fails just when you need it.
17. Chewing gum helps keep your mouth moist. Small pebbles are an old Indian trick but not as good tasting.
18. Lip balm to keep your lips moist also and stops the skin from cracking.
19. Most important! Always let someone know where you are going to be. Don’t change plans at the last minute and go elsewhere. If you get into trouble, time is a factor and wild goose chases may have tragic results
These tips do not include any of the camping gear, food, or clothing you will want to take with you. Let your judgment err on the side of safety, durability, and comfort. Taking pictures in the desert and out west will provide you with an experience you will never forget. If you follow these tips it will also be free of any complications or surprises.