Where is your photography gear when you drive?
When driving to where I plan to photograph, my gear is carried in my car's trunk. I don't want my gear to be visible. When I reach the location, I first observe the conditions to decide if I am going to shoot or not. Sometimes my gear does not even come out of my car's trunk and I don't shoot. Perhaps the crowds are too large or the scene has changed due to logs that washed in, or the weather did not pan out, etc. But if I am in a game park or a place like Yellowstone where you expect to find wildlife at a moment's notice I need to be prepared. I get my gear out, put the right lens on, insert a fresh battery, and format the memory cards. Then the camera stays with me, within arm's reach. You just never know what may happen and I want to be ready.
My wife and I were nearing an exit gate of Yellowstone when I got a glimpse of this fox. I parked the car and got out quickly. Even though the fox did not seem to notice me, it disappeared within seconds into the vegetation. I managed to get just a hand full of shots. It may not be a great image, but this is the first fox that I have ever seen in the wild (in the USA).
Had the camera not been right with me, within arm's reach, I would not have had this shot. Even if my camera was on the back seat of the car I would have missed this image. It all happened in mere seconds. We need to be ready when there is a likelihood that something might happen or show up. Ready does not only mean that your gear is with you but that it is ready too. If, for example, you are driving on safari in Africa, change your battery for a fresh one when the current battery reaches 20 or 15%. You don't want lions to appear a while later when your battery is drained. The same goes for your memory card. Don't wait until it is full to replace. Replace it a good while before it is full so that you are never left in the lurch when something goes down. It is important that your spare batteries and memory cards are also with you in the car. In most places on safari you cannot get out of your car (unless you are inside a gated camp). When a kill goes down is not the time to run out of battery or memory card space with your replacements comfortable in the trunk you can't get to.
When we are in an environment where we can expect things to happen, carry what you need (with spares) right with you in the car.
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