when traveling around the country (and the world), every shoot presents its own set of challenges. anywhere from logistical issues, unpredictable weather to missing luggage. you name it, we’ve experienced it first hand. one shoot that sticks out to me was Diti and Anand’s wedding last year. Paul and i had flown into Aruba for a wedding celebration that spanned 4 days and involved flamingo watching, feeding wild iguanas and catching a breathtaking sunset cruise.
what we weren’t ready for though was the thick island humidity that engulfed us as soon as we got off the plane. what this means is that our lenses kept fogging up and the lens housings were constantly wet from condensation. imagine waking up at 5 in the morning to catch a sunrise time-lapse only to have your first hour’s footage be completely ruined by water and haze on the lenses. because every room in the resort was well air conditioned, our lenses got soaked as soon as we brought them into the hot and humid outdoors.
our solution to this problem was simple enough: cracking open the patio door of my room overnight and allowing the lenses to acclimate to the extreme difference in temperatures. an incredibly simple solution but an unexpected challenge nonetheless.
it wouldn’t have been that bad if it weren’t for another issue. because this was an island, sand was getting into everything; the base joints of our monopods, the slider and even into our lenses. there’s nothing like the sound of gears grinding when you’re trying to rack focus a lens. fortunately, we had packed both an air blower and wd-40 so we quickly got into the habit of cleaning our gear each night after shooting. wd-40, or any other kind of simple lubricant, is perfect for loosening dirt and sand off the monopod and slider parts. a manual air blower allowed us to get sand off our lenses without having to wipe it with a cloth and potentially scratching the glass.
while we may be tough on our gear, i can definitely say that tools such as the cinevate atlas30 slider and manfrotto monopod are extremely durable when used correctly. despite the condensation, being rained on and exposed to sand, we came back from the shoot with all our tools and lenses intact and perfectly functional.
lesson learned. always pack a set of simple accessories that will save your life when shooting at a beach:
- small can of wd-40
- extra lens cloths
- rocket air blower
- sensor cleaners
by being prepared, we were able to deal with a potentially bad situation early on and allowing us to focus primarily on shooting and the story.