a gizmo, a photograph was lost; for want of a
photograph, an assignment was ruined; and for want of
an assignment, your reputation as a photographer was
destroyed. No, we are not really concerned with gizmos
here. What we are concerned with is your equipment.
Do you have everything you need when you get to your
assignment and does it work? Nearly all photographic
equipment has one or more critical components-the
failure or loss of which may put a vital piece of gear out
of operation. With cameras, one of these items is the
battery, because it may power both the meter and the
shutter. Check the battery before you leave the lab, and
ALWAYS carry a spare. You have a super deluxe
all-powerful electronic flash unit that can light up the
entire hangar deck in the wink of an eye. Or can it? Did
you check it out and was it working before you left the
work center? Did you remember the power cord and an
extra sync cord? Speaking of synchronization, did your
make sure the flash was in sync with the camera shutter?
Or was the shutter even working? What about the
camera lens-is it clean, does it focus correctly? The
diaphragm-is it working?
In the studio, a minor failure usually only causes
embarrassment and gives the impression of un-
professionalism. You can usually get a spare camera,
lights, and tripod into service. But when you are out on
location, you are limited in what you can take with you;
therefore, it is important that ALL your equipment be
thoroughly tested and operating correctly BEFORE you
leave the work center.
If you have been issued your "own" equipment, put
your name on it. Of course, you should not put your
name on it permanently. Use stick-on labels. Having
your name on your equipment does not keep anyone
from stealing it; it is only there to let other people in the
workcenter know it is "yours" and they best keep their
hands off.
Navy photo equipment must be marked
permanently with both a serial number and "U.S. Navy
Property." If the manufacturer did not include a serial
number on the equipment, a local serial number is
assigned, using the unit identification code (UIC) under
which the equipment is assigned, plus a dash and a two
or three-digit number that identifies the specific piece of
equipment; for example, if you receive a new light meter
without a manufacturer's serial number, your work
center UIC is 62093, and you have 76 other pieces of
equipment assigned local serial numbers, then the serial
number for the new meter is 62093-077.
In the photo lab, your equipment should be secured
when not in use. Most imaging facilities have a
camera-crew ready room or locker that is kept locked so
only authorized personnel have access to valuable photo
equipment. On location, however, security is another
matter, particularly when away from your home station.
There may be times when you must leave equipment in
a BEQ or motel room. There are measures you can take
to protect this equipment. The first principle is do not
advertise your equipment. Do not put anything on the
equipment cases to indicate they contain photographic
equipment. Do, however, put your command address on
the cases. The second principle is not to leave photo gear
out of your sight any longer than necessary. Carrying a
camera bag with you to chow may be inconvenient-but
this is better than leaving it unattended somewhere.
Also, do not leave your photo gear in a location where
it could easily be picked up or stolen. Keep a strap
attached to the bag or case, and drape it over your knee.
People are probably one of the most rewarding
subjects for photography. Good pictures of people
capture the gestures and expressions that convey vitality
and character without the subject appearing
Basically, assignments for photographing people
fall into two general categories: pictures of a single
person and pictures of a group of people.
For the mediocre photographer, all the picture of a
person must do is identify a person. But good photog-
raphers steer away from these identification pictures.
The photographer is after something different, some-
thing not too loose and not too formal-something that
pictures the person, not just his features. One approach
to capture these characteristics is the candid photograph.
Most photographers are familiar with candid shots
of people they do not know. It may be true that the
average photographer thinks of a candid photograph as
one that is not set up or one the subject does not know
is being taken. Photographers have learned that candid
techniques can be used just as effectively to make
pictures of people they know, even when the people
know they are being photographed. The key to success
as a candid photographer is to keep a low profile, but
you do not have to be sneaky. A candid shot is a candid
shot, whether it is of the admiral at a news conference

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