My wife and I just returned from a trip to the Outer Banks – our first trip there since 2010. In addition to unplugging and relaxing, I expected to take a lot of pictures similar to the one above from 2010. I had packed 17 rolls of film of various types, but at least half of it was Kodak color films including Portra and Ektar. I also ordered a 28mm wide angle lens for what I hoped would be awesome beach and lighthouse pictures.
We awoke at 5am Sunday morning to capture the sunrise. I took two rolls of film, just in case there were a lot of inspiring moments. Just as the sun cleared the horizon I composed a beautiful shot of my wife gazing at the warm glow of an Atlantic sunrise, and I pressed the shutter to secure what I’m sure would be a great photo – one that would be a favorite for years to come. But something strange happened. The camera clicked, but the viewfinder stayed black. What the? What just happened to my camera? It seems the shutter stuck open. And it stayed open – for the rest of the trip. 7 days on the beach and I’ll have about 10 pictures of the trip!
I think it was the battery, but I didn’t have a spare and couldn’t find a spare. I could have spent $30-$40 or more getting one shipped quickly, but I decided it wasn’t worth it. We spent the week on the beach together reading and enjoying the serenity that the sound of crashing waves gives you while napping in the sand.
So I learned the hard way why they recommend to always have a spare battery in your camera bag. But what if it’s not the battery? Well, that’s why people have back-up cameras, and take one with them on important or meaningful occasions. So in addition to extra batteries being ordered, I’m also auditioning some new cameras before my next trip to Italy. If I decide the AE-1 Program is “the” camera for me, I’ll get a second as a back-up. But for now I plan on picking up 2 or 3 other 35mm SLR’s this week to try out.
Once I pick a favorite camera, I’ll work on having a backup and extra batteries. This might also be good for having two types of film loaded simultaneously – like one color and one B&W, or one indoor and one outdoor, based on the situation.
Moral of the story – have a plan B, especially with antique photography equipment. Lesson learned – corrective action plan being executed.