Don’t Run Your Digital Camera Out of Gas

Written by stuestler on November 18th, 2010

It may be hard to believe, but at every class and workshop I’ve taught, someone has gotten part way through and realized “oh no, my battery is dying”.

Way back in “the day”, with the right camera, you could get by without a battery, just using the camera’s mechanical functions. Not any more. Digital photography is all about electricity, and without that little power source, nothing is going to happen.

Whether you use your camera regularly or leave it sitting in a drawer for months, the battery will drain. You may be more likely to have a freshly charged battery if you do shoot often, since you’ll likely remember to charge it after the first time your camera goes dead in the middle of a photo outing.

Since only a very few cameras now still use the simple old “AA” batteries, you need to recharge your camera battery with the charger that came with it. With most of the newer batteries, it’s OK to charge it even if it isn’t fully drained, so it’s a good idea to charge your battery the night before your shoot.

Of course the best solution is to get a second, back-up battery. That way, when the first one is done for the day, you just replace it on the spot and keep shooting.

Just remember to recharge the exhausted battery when you get home. And it’s a good idea to keep rotating your batteries through the camera even if you don’t use one up on the day’s shooting. That way you’ll be sure to have the second battery fully charged and ready each time.

And finally, when you’re traveling remember to pack your charger! I do, because I’ll never forget the trip to New Orleans when I arrived and discovered that the charger I had laid out and ready to pack never made it into my bags! I couldn’t find a store anywhere in the whole “Big Easy” that sold the charger for my batteries. My shooting on that trip became VERY selective.

It’s an easy thing to overlook, and if you remember just as you’re going out the door that you forgot to charge your battery, it’s too late. To help make sure that everyone who participates in Premier Photo Tours and The Photo Mentor classes and workshops has the best experience possible, I’ve created a pre-workshop planning checklist that you receive as part of your registration. That way everyone has enough energy for a great time.

If you’d like a copy of the checklist, shoot me an email at stu@thephotomentor.com and I’ll be happy to send it to you.

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