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Category Archives: Lessons Learned

Did you know that there’s a stolen photography equipment registry? Apparently, it happens often enough that there’s a list of stolen cameras and other gear. So I’m not being overly cautious when I tell you that it happens all the time and you need to be vigilant. I’ll simply tell you what works for me. While some of these suggestions may sound like I’m being paranoid, I’ll just say that in 27 years of taking pictures, I do what’s on this list and have never had any equipment stolen. If only I could apply these easy suggestions to other things I own. (or used to own)

  • Keep your equipment with you at all times. – If you follow just this one suggestion, you don’t have the worry about most of the others. It only takes a second for your equipment to sprout legs and walk away. Just keeping it in your sight is not good enough. Anytime you are doing location shooting, keep your equipment on your body. Always put lenses and accessories back in your bag. If you must leave your camera momentarily (to stage the shoot or move props) have an assistant watch it closely.
  • Never put equipment in checked luggage – This should go without saying, but you simply won’t see it again. I’m not saying that baggage handlers are dishonest, but I certainly don’t want to give them the opportunity. All they need to do is x-ray your bag, keep it from getting on the airplane, and they can rummage through it at their leisure. Keep your equipment with you as carry-on baggage. If you have too much for carry-on, consider using Fedex or UPS with insurance to deliver it to your destination.

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Paradise does have its dark side and I’m afraid I discovered much of it in the last few days. Seems like everyone here is out to get the tourist’s money one way or another. Don’t get me wrong. Not everyone is bad and I have run into many very nice people whose heart is in the right place.

I drove from Kuta to Ubud on Tuesday. I guess I wrote about my driving adventure in an earlier post and I’ll just say that the driving is getting much easier. I don’t think I’ll complain as much about Seattle traffic after driving here. Anyway, yesterday I go back to my hotel in Ubud and the guy at the front desk asks me if I could pay him that evening since I was planning on leaving early. I go get my credit card and he tells me he doesn’t take them. I tell him that the man working the previous evening told me they did accept credit cards. I ended up having to pay in cash, but it pissed me off so much that I packed up and moved to another hotel. I told him that what he did wasn’t right because I probably wouldn’t have stayed there if I had to use cash. Being on a budget I thought I’d splurge just a little and get a $20 room instead of the usual $7 room but only if I could put in on the plastic. Read More »

Well I’m in Jakarta now visiting with my friend, Don, whom I met in my climbing class. Don is a great guy to know in a country like Indonesia where probably 80% of its residents are below the poverty level and unemployment is high. Don’s mom has a very nice place just south of town and it’s like staying at some five-star resort with big rooms, A/C, swimming pool, and a beautiful garden. She’s got a lot of people working in her employ taking care of the house, cooking, cleaning, etc. This is one of the few down days that I have and I’m truly enjoying being spoiled in this manner. The only drawback is that every morning at 5 a.m. there is a mosque just behind their house that starts calling people to prayer over a loudspeaker. Since Don and his family are Catholic in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, they tend to ignore it. It’s hard for me to ignore since my window faces the loudspeaker.Indonesia_sm99
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Well, that day has finally arrived and I’ll be heading off to the Far East tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. PST. I’m both excited and a little apprehensive about my journey. All the reading I’ve done and conversations I’ve had, worries me just a little. If I think too much about the tropical diseases (and me the mosquito magnet), political unrest in Indonesia, terrorist attacks along the Nepali border, and whether I’m bringing too much stuff, I get a little nervous about leaving the comforts of home. But these risks are just part of the adventure, and part of the journey. Read More »

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