The Complete Picture

The information web-blog for Steven Draper Photography

Let’s all go to the Beach…

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Hello Everyone.


“Grand Designs at Sandbanks!”

18months ago I bought a tripod, it’s one of the most critical photography purchases I’ve made. And at about $1500 for the base, ball head, clamp, and attachments, it needed to be right. I could take the family on holiday for this, or add another useful lens to my camera bag!!!

When connecting a camera to a tripod it’s helpful to put the Centre of Gravity over the ball head. With a longer lens a common solution is to use a special connector called a lens collar foot. If you clicked on the link you’ll see this is not a cheap item, I had one and used it time and time again. Note had one.

During a cold day earlier in the year it somehow managed to sneak out of my snug camera bag and drop onto the snow at “Sandbanks,” a popular location in Prince Edward County. Next day I realized it was missing, but several inches of fresh snow made my searching the area a fruitless task, the only thing I was going to find was frostbite on my fingers and toes if I kept going much longer. It was lost, its future at the mercy of whoever might find the beautifully crafted, black powder coated aluminium thingy-bob with the words, Really Right Stuff proudly etched onto it!

“Lets Go to the Beach!!”

Three months later and life without my other foot was causing stability problems! I’d been out early in the morning trying to use my lens combo mounted to the tripod using the camera plate, (the foot that comes with the lens does not fit the clamp!!) It was a pain, and the results showed. I’d just have to order a replacement during the week, however frustrating that task may be. But first, “Let’s go to the beach” I said, my wife suspecting that my true motive was a final search. I mean, it hadn’t turned up on ebay just yet so it might still be there.

Blue Distractions

“Blue Distractions”

Lake Ontario had finally defrosted and instead of that north pole ambience, things had a more Caribbean feel, except I could build sandcastles with my son without getting hassled into buying Bob Marley T-Shirts or warm bottles of coke by locals who seem insistent on you being their best friend, unless you fail to have enough dollars in you pocket.

After a while I took a walk. I’d reviewed my images from that snowy day to memorize my route…. But no luck, well what could I genuinely expect. Many photographers have entered the “left it there club” just check out the forums! But few have returned months later and been able to exit it! Better think about some wise words for an entry, how much would the shipping be, should I add a D3 L plate to the order.

My eye caught something on the rocks and I turned, looked down at my camera to change a setting and noticed some rubbish squashed into the grass. Small and black, covered in the mud from someones boot, worth a look I guess. My fingers touched the cool, powder coated surface and as it unstuck from the compacted soil the weight felt familiar, no way, really, no way, but as I wiped the mud from it I could only shake my head in disbelief, my stability issue was over….

Found in the grass.

“I could not believe it!!!!!”

And you know, it is as good as new, no marks, rust or scratches, know wonder the manufacturer calls themselves “Really Right Stuff”

So the moral of this story…..

1. Pack your camera bag carefully so things don’t accidentally fall out, and keep it zipped up unless your exchanging gear.

2. Whatever you are looking for, keep searching, it’s out there somewhere.

Keep it Stable, Keep it Tight, Don’t loose you foot!



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