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Click And Run Photography Adventures

What Is Click And Run Photography

Click and run photography, at least to me, is when you go out via any mode of transportation with a camera and photograph anything and everything you happen to come across. This is my favorite type of photography, because you never know what you will see to shoot.

Required Equipment For Click And Run Photography

I always keep a backpack stocked and ready to go with impromptu gear that hopefully will cover any shooting situation I get myself into at any time. I will generally store the backpack in my car for quick, anytime access.

Backpack

The backpack must be comfortable enough to hike several miles and have enough storage space for all your gear. I like lots of pockets on my backpack to help separate my gear. My backpack has rubberized shoulder straps that are stretchable to help ease the load of all my gear. I also require a waist strap on my backpack to help ease the burden during long hikes.

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Tripod

Normally on click and run photography trips I carry my camera attached to a carbon fiber tripod. With this setup I can quickly set up and shoot, then get moving to the next subject. On longer walks I will sling the tripod over my shoulder for an easier carry. Make darn sure your camera is securely fastened to your tripod, and your lens is locked if you are shooting a zoom lens or your trip will be over as soon as your camera hits the deck. (LINK to a great tripod article by TTS).

Neck Strap

There are times a tripod is cumbersome or just plain not allowed. For example in heavy crowds, museums, churches, or other places that tripods are not allowed I keep a rubberized, stretchable neck strap in my backpack. However, when ever possible, use a tripod. Your photos will be much better.

Lenses

Personally, I use the 28-300mm Nikon lens for click and run photography adventures. Most major manufacturers have a similar size lens. This lens gives me a wide variety of shooting options. (LINK to a great TTS article about the 28-300mm lens).

When weight is not going to be an issue, I will also carry the Nikon, 105mm macro lens. The 28-300mm lens with extender tubes will do a decent job of macro shots, but for crystal clear, macro shots the 105mm is incredible.

Additional lens equipment may include extender tubes for macro shots or range extenders for longer shots. I also carry a variable, neutral density filter mostly for water or monochrome shots, a selection of graduated filters, and a circular polarized filter.

Be sure to carry a small lens cleaning kit. You never know when you might need to clean your lens or filters.

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Camera

Any DSLR camera body will work for click and run photography trips. One thing to keep in mind is the security of the area you are going to shoot. When I am in a dicey area I will leave my Nikon D810 in the car or hotel and pull out my old D7000. That way if I get mugged, I will not lose an expensive camera body. Cameras are easy targets and easy to sell for thieves.

Flash

I always carry a Yongnuo manual flash. It is cheap and easy to use. There have been many times during click and run shoots that just a bit more light came in handy.

Additional Equipment

I always carry a small water bottle. I use it mainly to create water droplets on flowers, but a lot of potential subjects can be enhanced by a quick spray of water.

Mainly for flowers, but a stout folder filled with various colors of construction paper can be very useful. The folder not only keeps the construction paper safe, but can also provide a wind break for macro shoots. The construction paper can be used for a color specific background that matches the color of your subject.

Always carry a couple of plastic garbage bags in your backpack. These bags can be used to cover your camera gear during a rainstorm, carry interesting objects for a setup shot, or just in case you ate a gas station burrito an hour before the shoot. (LINK to a great TTS article about the importance of plastic bags). 

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I always carry a pair of knee pads on all photo adventures. Especially in macro photography, a photographer always seems to be on their knees. It is nice to keep you slacks clean and knee pads will increase your comfort level for those hard to reach subjects. (LINK to a great TTS article about knee pads).

Be sure to carry a water bottle and snack in your backpack. You should always stay well hydrated and snack will perk you up and keep you in the field longer for more chances to capture great shots.

Sample Click And Run Shoot

This is just a sample of a click and run photo shoot. There are an unlimited amount of ways this type of shoot can go, but here is an example of my most common type of click and run photo shoot.

Backpack filled with all my gear is loaded in the car. I grab my camera already attached to my tripod, a travel mug of coffee and head out the door just before daybreak. Don’t forget to eat, because a grumbly belly will ruin a click and run photo shoot at just the wrong time.

I jump in the car and head down the road with my head on a swivel for anything cool to shoot as the sun breaks over the horizon. As I drive by a river, I notice there is a lot of fog that would make for some incredible, foggy sunrise, river photos. I strap on a variable, neutral density filter to slow the shutter speed and start clicking. As the fog burns off and the sun begins to climb over the horizon it is time to move on.  But, before I start walking I take the neutral density filter off my lens and reset my camera back to neutral. (LINK to a great TTS article about setting your camera back to neutral).

As I am walking back to the car I notice a beautiful, purple flower. The morning light is still decent. Time for macro flower shots and quickly change to my 105 mm macro lens. I strap on my knee pads and mist the flower down with the small, spray bottle.   I use a piece of yellow construction paper as the background. After shooting the beautiful flower in every possible angle it is time to head for the car.

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With my camera set up for macro shots, I am very limited to what I can shoot on the walk back to the car. I make sure to change the macro lens back to my more useful 28 -300 mm lens, set the camera to neutral, and stow my knee pads in my backpack.

On the walk back to the back to the car a gorgeous butterfly lands on a tree. Quickly, before the butterfly starts to fly again I start clicking like a madman. I leave my tripod attached to the camera, but release the camera to swivel freely. Ideally I would take the camera off the tripod, but time is a factor and start shooting with the camera still attached to the tripod. After my heart rate slows down, I tighten the necessary screws to secure the camera firmly on the tripod.

By now the sun is up and casting a nasty light. However I notice in a nearby field an old, rusty truck. The light is not ideal, but I figure the old truck may look better with a touch of photo shopping anyway, so capturing the image is the goal, not nailing the light.

Finally I make my way back to my car. In roughly three hours and two miles of walking I have managed to shoot a foggy, river scene, flower, butterfly, and old truck. All four subjects required a different setup and photography technique. Plus I still have the whole day ahead of me to find more interesting subjects.

Summary

Click and run photography can offer a variety of subjects to photograph, get you off the couch, and exploring new and exciting places. So get your gear organized and head out for an exciting click and run photography adventure.

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