We all know how much photography and filmmaking equipment cost and how important it is to protect them. Yet,
some of us I still fail to follow this simple and basic rule. I am a documentary filmmaker which means that I am often shooting outdoors, run and gun situations with a tiny crew (alone or with one or two other crew members). So I usually try to travel light.
I was recently on a documentary shoot for 6 days. I followed a sailing team during the most important competition of the year. This project was really last minute and I didn’t really have time to plan my days of shooting so I had to take a bit more gear than I usually do. I was on the beach or close to one everyday, often under the rain with over $6000 worth of gear. How did my equipment survive? I’m asking you!
For us, independent filmmakers and photographers, it is even more important to make sure that on outdoor shooting like this, we have the necessary tools to keep our gear safe. We don’t have the luxury to loose/break/drown any piece of materiel.
Well, guess what? Until this morning, I was sure that I had lost my AVX transmitter from my Sennheiser ME2 lavalier set after a longer-than-necessary stay under a heavy rain (hurricane type).
Most of my gear but my camera (I ain’t crazy) was slightly humid. One piece of equipment got completely drowned at the bottom of my backpack: my Sennheiser ME2 lavalier set and especially the transmitter. Back home, I used a little trick old like the world that very surprisingly to me WORKED! I simply covered the transmitter with rice and let it there for a couple of days After two hours, in despair, I tested it. It didn’t work. So i opened it hoping to unlock some the electronics guru in me. Didn’t work. I had no clue what I was doing so I just closed it back and plunged it in rice. I decided to be patient and let it there for a while. 2 days later, it was still not working so I just let go and hated myself for a week until today when out of the blue and without any hope of seeing it turn on, I tried it and it turned on like old times asking me to recharge its batteries to which I obey immediately.
I cannot tell you how relieved I am right now.
This was obviously a recovery mission and I don’t think we should reach such extreme so I listed a few things that could help you keep your gear safe. Some I use, other I’m planning to.
- pelican case
- serious bag
- waterproof bag
- rain coat
- rain protection for camera
- zipper bags
- plastic bags
- cleaning kit
So, always make sure you’re ready for the fight and bring the necessary equipment with you. You never know when the weather conditions can change especially if like me you’re somewhere in the Caribbean.
And you? how do you protect your gear when shouting outdoors?
I hope that you liked this post and will do more like this in the future. I am currently working on a short guide on documentary filmmaking for beginners on a budget, would it be something that you would like to see in the future?