with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

The Waiting Arounds

Rush around to sit and wait before things are perfect for photography.Does this sound familiar? You rush around, pack, throw everything in the vehicle, race to the ideal photographic locale and nothing happens. It’s either raining, too sunny, too cloudy when you want sunny, too dark, crowded or just plain inaccessible. No matter how hard and how well you plan your photographic adventures, there will be those times when you will just be waiting around for the photo opportunity. Make the "waiting around" times work for you by filling in these gaps with productive activities.

Take time to catch up on your journal.Plan Ahead
During the waiting arounds we plan ahead. We wander around an area looking for photo opportunities and locations to come back to and photograph when the light is right. And we are always thinking about the next trip. We carry maps and guidebooks with us, research materials and a notebook to make notes about the trip. If the wait is long enough, you will often find us in the visitor center, local bookstores and libraries researching the area or our next trip.

Cleaning Time
Those of you who really use your equipment often need to take time to do the little cleaning things that help keep it out of the repair shop and improve the quality of your images. Pull out all your lenses and carefully clean the front elements, check for moisture inside, and take off the rear lens cap. With a camel hair brush and a cotton tipped swap, clean the connections where the lens connects electronically or manually to the camera. Be careful not to get any fibers inside the lens.

Every couple months we pull everything out and clean and reorganize, photo by Lorelle VanFossenReorganization Yourself
During waiting around periods, take time to reorganize your camera bag and pack. You may find a few things you’d forgotten you were carrying, and you may rediscover some lost things. Take time to empty the whole bag or pack and tip it upside down to get all the crumbs and dirt that seem to collect in the bottom. This is an ideal time to give some thought to reorganizing how the lenses and accessories are stored. Then take a few moments to reorganize the car. Re-pack and clean up the cooler and food stuffs, pull together dirty laundry, clean cooking utensils, empty the trash, and try to find everything in the car again. A clean vehicle and camera pack makes the process of finding what you need fast and easy.
During the long waits, pull out guide books and magazines to review how they use photography and think about future trips.R&R
Travel is exhausting. The hours are weird, the sleep often limited, the food erratic, the equipment too heavy, and the photographic opportunities overwhelming. Sometimes the mind just screams to shut down the overloaded senses. Without balancing the process with some rest and relaxation, we become stressed, anxious and fixated on the burn out rather than the possibilities. Read a book. Just close your eyes and listen to the music on the radio or tape. Just drive somewhere aimlessly. Take a walk. Read a book. Do something other than concentrate on photography or traveling. Your mind and soul need a break from the pressures. No matter what anyone thinks when they envy what you do, remember that this is very exhausting work. Spoil yourself once in a while with a good rest and recharge.
Take a Walk
Don’t bring your camera gear. Just bring yourself, or maybe an umbrella. Just walk. Have a destination in mind or not. Just walk. Walk alone or with a friend, just move your legs. You’d be really surprised at how much your head will clear and your energy will return if you just move your legs. You have to wait around anyway, so why not move around while waiting. It will leave you energized and ready for when the moment comes.

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