When I am on the hunt for a cool shot I am always thinking about how I can present a look that hasn’t been captured one trillion times! Generally speaking any standing view is what we are used to seeing. For example, how many bloody looking down at a flower shots have you seen? Looking down at flowers is how we normally view them. So if I am going to make a flower shot interesting I have to get creative and present a new perspective. Getting low provides such a perspective. We normally don’t look at flowers from below. So to get below a flower we have to get on our knees. Trust me the ground under a flower is not going to me marshmallowy soft. Nope, its going to be rocky, wet, and/or muddy almost guaranteed.
The shot above has the lovely elements of muddy, wet, rocks. I walked away from this shot soaking wet below the knees with salt water! Could this have been avoided? Sure if I would have managed to bring my nice knee pads that were safely dry back in my car!
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I normally always have both knee pads and a foam pad in my car just for these occasions. I also normally forget the knee pads and foam pad in my car. Why? Mainly because I am an idiot and either forget my pads until I am too far from the car to return for them or I talk myself out of bringing them because I don’t think I will need them.
The photo above was taken with the rare aid of knee pads! The rocks were super rough and I would still have scars if I had forgotten my knee pads on this beautiful morning on the Oregon coast!
Why do I carry both knee pads and a foam pad? Because knee pads are required when a person has to split their legs to get a solid base. I use construction type knee pads. Any type will do. I use the foam pad when I can keep me legs together and when weight is an issue. The foam pad, normally used by gardeners, is both cheap and light weight. I normally clip the foam pad to my belt using a climbing clamp.
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The photo above is a perfect example for using a foam knee pad. It was quite a hike along the beach near Cairns Australia to find this dead palm. The beach was wet, but level and a photographer could easily keep their knees together to make the shot! But of course I didn’t have my foam pad and got wet sandy legs!
So in my humble opinion knee pads are a photographers’s best friend! Plus my knee pads last a lifetime, because they are always safe and dry back in the car!