Your Fancy Camera

a camera in snow action!
A Somewhat Fancy Camera in Action

a camera in snow action!
A Somewhat Fancy Camera in Action
Do you own a serious camera? If so, do you use it when you ski or engaging in outdoor sports? Or, are you afraid to bring it along skiing in the event something happens to it and it gets broken? How about hiking or going into the deep woods?

In the past I have had this fear, I would go off tramping into a nearby bog and leave my camera behind. Why I might drop it into the water, I might scratch the lens, I might do something to it. It took a number of missed photographs to realize that all that money spent on that equipment is going to waste sitting in the cabin, or the car, or at home. That camera needs to be with me for me to get any value out of it.

Tabo-An Dried Fish Market in Cebu City Philippines
Tabo-An Dried Fish Market in Cebu City Philippines
Recently, I traveled to the Philippines. One of the dangers in the Philippines in addition to water, a beating (to the camera), dropping, etc. is theft. This time, I had the camera but often times I would leave all of me stashed away. We went to a market called Tabo-An and like most markets in the Philippines there are pick-pockets working the crowd, and of course in the Philippines I am a Mark. By “Mark” I mean that I am viewed as a target for robbery, there is no getting around that, I am not going to blend in I am conspicuous in size, skin, hair, and eyes.

So we arrived at Tabo-an and I exited the car along with my wife and her family and she started to insist I stay behind in the car and wait. I was not keen on doing so as I wanted to check the place out first hand and take some photographs and video. Yes, I started to get hit up by panhandlers and I kept a good hold on my camera when it was not in use and kept scanning around. It was fine, no problems. Long ago a friend advised me in such situations to be aware but go out there an be confident. That is what I did and got the photograph you see above. If I would have stayed in car and quaked I would not have gotten that photograph. I’m glad I went (even the smell did not deter me).

At the Top of Mainit Springs Waterfalls
At the Top of Mainit Springs Waterfalls, Cebu Philippines
Another time I put the camera and myself at risk was on our day trip to Mainit Springs in Southern Cebu..

This trip put my camera into the most danger it was on during the trip, but I was careful with it and by the time this photograph was taken it was barely able to focus, notice the reduced contrast of the photograph, that was because the lens was misted over, my nephew was working the camera and the auto-focus stopped working due to the mist on the lens. He did not know how to turn the auto-focus off and this is the only picture we have of me at the top of the waterfalls (or at least as high up as we could go). We had to climb up some rock stairways, crawl through narrow passages, and wade through pools of varying depth. They were not very deep, but the bottoms of the pools were rock covered so one had to take care with their steps. The camera could have easily been dunked into the water or bashed against the rock walls, but we were careful and forged ahead. Also, on an excursion like that, one can easily hurt themselves. We all came out of this trip just fine.

Candles at the  Basilica Del Sto Niño Cebu
Candles at the Basilica Del Sto Niño Cebu
The only place on Cebu I noticed attempts at pick-pocketry were in Cebu City just outside of the Basilica Del Sto Niño Cebu. A group of young girls and a young boy were panhandling us (and a young mother) and the young mother received some money from my group, but not the young boy. That young boy then started to explore my brother-in-law’s pockets. He did not do so very deftly as my brother-in-law and everyone else around caught onto it and the boy was chased off (he did not go too far away, just far enough away to make any threats of retaliation meaningless) and we just kept our eyes on him. Fact is, we were at risk and we managed it and kept the event from paying off. Again, had I stayed in the car (safe for sure) I would not have been able to capture the beautiful image of the candles.

In order to accomplish anyone you must put yourself and your things at risk. Want to cure diseases? You must put yourself at risk of catching that disease, want to put an end to crime? You must put yourself at risk of being struck down by criminals. Want to change the world, you put yourself at risk of being damaged by those who want the world to stay the same (and that equation can be flipped around).

Be not afraid!

Good Stuff!

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