Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coolwildlife | Apology For Blog Post Glitch

I wanted to apologize to you all this morning, I had a follower email this morning to advise that they received an old blog post from the Coolwildlife blog this morning.

I am looking in to the matter now as that was not a blog post that I sent out.  If you see future blog posts with past dates please DO NOT click on any links and delete the post.

Apologies once again for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Bill Maynard




Black Rapid Double Camera Strap Review

Black Rapid Camera strap Yeti double strap

As a wildlife photographer I have two camera’s with me 85% of the time.  Usually a long prime lens like the Nikon 600mm mounted on a Jobu gimblal head and tripod for those shots where I absolutely require the reach to the subject and a zoom lens like the Nikon 80-400 VR or 70-200 VR slung by my side for those times when the action moves in a little closer. By slung I mean with a black rapid strap which up until now was just a single strap but I recently picked up a double strap as well.

Why use a Black Rapid camera strap?

I’ve been shooting with the single Black Rapid Sport strap for two years now and it’s been a great addition, especially when a long hike is required to get to where I will be shooting.  I always found the straps that went around my neck after time put a lot of pressure on my neck and became very uncomfortable over time.  Many times if I was shooting with my longer lens I’d take the second camera off and just set it on the ground to give my neck a rest.  But with the Black Rapid strap I found the weight distributed across my shoulder to be a lot more comfortable and I can carry it around all day without fatigue from pressure points.

Why the need for a double strap?

Fast forward to today and I decided to give the Black Rapid Yeti double strap a try.  Don’t get me wrong the single Black Rapid Sport strap has served me well over the years and is great for single camera applications however I now envision myself being in situations where I will be carrying two bodies slung by side.

Example:  I’m planning to go back to Katmai National Park for another Grizzly Bear Photography tour. Last time I was in Katmai I so wished that I had an underwater camera available and handy to get right down into aBlack Rapid Camera Strap - Yetind below the level of the water when capturing the bears and pools of salmon.  I just purchased a Nikon AW130 underwater camera that I will sling from the strap on the left and I will carry my Nikon D4s and 80-400 VR on the right hand strap.  Sure one day I may pony up for an underwater housing for my DSLR but I need to convince myself that I’m going to do a lot more underwater photography before I drop $5k on a housing so this will be my first experiment.

Same deal when I head to the Pond Inlet Floe Edge in June 2016, I plan to have two camera’s slung around my body so I can capture Narwhal’s underwater and above where the opportunities present themselves.

Another application I envision which necessitates the dual Black Rapid Yeti strap is when I wish to bring the majesty of the landscape into my images.  My second regret while in Katmai shooting the grizzlies was that I often wished I was carrying a much wider angle lens to capture images that accented the bears within the context of the landscape and glaciers.  My second body on that trip was usually the Nikon 70-200 VR but it simply wasn’t wide enough to capture the ice capped mountain peaks and the bears on the tidal flats in the same frame. With the Black Raid Yeti strap I wouldn’t have to choose as I could have both wide angle and tele lenses at the ready on two camera bodies.

Changing lenses: Another great thing about having the dual strap is the changing of lenses, especially when I’m out in the field and it is muddy and wet and you can’t set one camera down.  Now with both bodies attached to my body I don’t have to worry about dropping a camera or setting one down on the ground where that really is not an option due to the conditions.

Is It Comfortable?

This new Yeti double strap is very comfortable.  The shoulder pads have ample padding and have a rubber underside so it stays in place better than some other straps I’ve tried.  Both strap lengths are totally adjustable so you can get the cameras to sit right where you want them.  I adjust my straps up to almost the shortest length so the cameras sit high up on my hip, any lower and I find they have a tendency to swing a little too much for my liking.  The second reason to keep that strap short is to keep the second camera out of the dirt and the snow when you find yourself kneeling down to take photo’s.Black Rapid Camera Strap - Yeti

With this setup I can walk around with two cameras, one of those being a Nikon D4s DSLR and a Nikon 80-400 VR all day long without fatique.  As a fun little side experiment, I wanted to see how the strap would do with my Nkon 600mm VRII attached to the Black Rapid Yeti and to my amazement the weight was very tolerable with a winter jacket on and it was balanced against my hip just fine as shown in the picture above.  Note, I have the fastener attached to the foot of the lens NOT the camera body which would out too much strain on the camera mount. I’m not saying I’d want to carry that beast around all day but it was to know I could sling it up for a hand held session if I wanted to.

The trick to being ready to shoot quickly

There are two clips that sit on either side of the camera so you can limit the motion of the camera on the strap when not in use.  I use the back clip fastened down so the camera can’t glide too far back behind me however I leave the front clip unfastened so the camera is free to come up to my eye without the need to unclip first before shooting.  In wildlife photography a matter of seconds can mean missing an opportunity, so I always keep the front clip free moving.

If you wish to support my website and blog I’d appreciate you making your Black Rapid purchase through Cool Photography Gear.

You can check out the Black Rapid Yeti Camera strap in action through the video below.

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DSLR Sensor Cleaning Made Easy

DSLR Sensor Cleaning

DSLR Sensor Cleaning

Let’s face it DUST is the photographers four letter word.  If you’re like me you follow the DSLR sensor cleaning protocol as taught to us by the guru’s of photography.  Phase one begins with a blower, when that fails you move on to an electro-static brush and finally the dreaded wet swab as a last resort hoping all the while not to leave streaks on the sensor or worse damage it.  And of course I needed to have different solutions and sensor swab sizes for FX and DX bodies so it was expensive and a lot to carry on trips.   Many photographers simply throw their hands up and send the camera off for a professional cleaning but at the rate dust gets on the sensor that really isn’t a viable solution either due to expense and down time.

If all this sounds all too familiar read on because I’m about to introduce you to the Cadbury secret of DSLR sensor cleaning.

It’s called the sensor gel stick by Eyelead and it works on virtually any interchangeable lens digital camera – from a compact mirrorless to a full-frame DSLR. And it is as easy as 1-2-3 to use as follows:

1/ Set your camera to “Mirror Lock-Up” mode (with the battery fully charged) to expose the sensor.

2/ Remove the gel stick from its protective case and walk the whole sensor with the gelled side of the stick.

3/ Work a grid pattern across the entire sensor until you’ve covered 100% of it then use the provided sticky adhesive paper (included inside the metal case) to remove the dust from the gel. Once cleaned, the sensor gel stick can be reused over and over again. Repeat this process as many times as necessary to clean your sensor.

4/ Once completed turn off the camera, mount your lens, set it to the smallest aperture like f/32, then take a picture of a white surface. When you analyze the image, there should be no spots left.  I use the VisibleDust Sensor Loupe to look inside at the sensor saving the step of taking a picture and easily identifying where the dust spots are so I cheat and only apply the sensor gel stick where the dust is physically located on the sensor.

I will tell you that I was skeptical when I was first saw the sensor gel stick from Eyelead however when I found out this is the product Leica uses in their labs along with many other service centers as part of their professional cleaning I was sold.

And once you’re convinced and you wish to learn how to use the Eyelead sensor gel stick I highly recommend you watch the following video, this is the one that gave me the confidence to try it myself.  

Sensor Gel Stick

I’ve used the Eyelead gel stick now on three of my cameras and in all three cases it worked beautifully.  On my D3s I had to take two or three passes at a few tough spots but in the end it left my sensor dust free.   I’m sure there may still be a need at some point for a really tough bit of baked on dust to require the old wet swab so I am keeping them around just in case.

My new DSLR sensor cleaning protocol consists of the blower brush first followed by the sensor gel stick and that’s it – Easy Peasy – Lemon Squeezy. DSLR Sensor Cleaning







Also posted in Wildlife Photography Gear Review Tagged , , , , |

CamRanger – Toy or Tool for Wildlife Photography?


If you own an iPad,  iPhone or iPod Touch and you have a need to control your Nikon or Canon DSLR remotely the CamRanger may just be exactly what you’re looking for.  I’ve always used a remote trigger and it works just fine for shots where I can pre-focus on a spot and sit back and wait for my subject to arrive.  However if the subject did not end up where I expected I was unsuccessful at capturing the image and of course I had to run back and forth to make adjustments to exposure, f-stop, etc. which further disturbed my subject and delayed my shooting.

Introducing the CamRanger.  This handy little device is very portable at 4″ x 2.5′ x .5′ and 3.5 ounces and comes in its own neoprene carrying case and a carabiner clip which takes up very little room in my camera bag.


Setting up the CamRanger

Installation was a breeze and I was up and running literally in ten minutes by following the simple steps below.

Step 1: Install the battery which is provided into the CamRanger

Step 2: Download the CamRanger App from the App store.

Step 3: Register your CamRanger using the serial number on the back of your unit.

Step 4: In the iOS settings from your iPad or iPhone go to WiFi settings make sure it is turned on and choose the CamRanger network

Step 5: Connect your camera to the CamRanger using the provided USB 2.0 cable. My D800 required a USB 3.0 cable which was not included.

Step 6: Turn your camera on and launch the CamRanger iOS app from your iPad or iPhone

I also performed a firmware upgrade which went off without a hitch so I’m now ready should I decide I absolutely have to have the new motorized head that allows you to move the position of the camera from the iPad app in addition to the other controls you have available.

CamRanger in protective pouch shown here attached to my D800 camera with 24-70mm lens..  Note: The neoprene pouch does not provide full weather proofing as the zipper will not close fully with the cable entering the pouch.  You will also note that the USB 3.0 cable that connects the camera to CamRanger runs through my L-bracket which disables the ability to shoot on the vertical axis.  I’ve ordered a right angle USB cable which will solve this issue.

Camranger on camera

The Field Test
So the big question I wished to answer was whether the CamRanger was just another new shiny toy or a useful tool in the wildlife photographers bag.  So with that objective in mind I setup my Nikon D800 on a tripod one cold February day, threw down a little bird seed in front of the camera and headed in doors to my couch where I could stay warm and put this little device through its paces.

When you press the eye on the CamRanger interface the wireless network transmits the image to your iPad in Live View mode so you’re seeing what the camera sees which of course is way better on an iPad than the 3 inch display on the back of the camera.  Focus is achieved by a tap anywhere on the screen of the iPad with a double tap to zoom in on your subject which is great for checking whether the subject’s eye is in focus both before and after taking a picture.  Fine focus controls are also available should you need to further define your focus point.  Best of all there is no need for the camera to also be in Live View so this saves a ton of battery life on the camera which is a very thoughtful design.

The interface is very intuitive with everything I’d want to adjust available on screen.  It wasn’t long and I had a red squirrel heading down my big oak tree for the seed I had placed in front of the camera. I had set the camera to take 3 shots when I pressed the capture button but you can set that as high as 18 continuous shots if your camera can manage it.  I shoot in Raw and those 36MP images take approx 27 seconds to download so you can preview them which of course is a life time.  Switching to RAW + JPEG basic had those images downloading for preview in 2-3 seconds which is very acceptable.

Res SquirrelBelow are the adjustments you have at your ready:

  • Shutter Speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Metering Mode
  • Drive/Shooting Mode
  • White Balance
  • Image Format
  • Focus Mode (Nikon only)
  • Auto Exposure Mode (Nikon only)
  • Exposure Compensation & Bracketing
  • Software Auto-Focus toggle to toggle AF/MF

From my iPad I was able to see how each setting that I made an adjustment to changed the histogram and the image I was viewing on screen.  The same was true when I flipped over to movie mode where I quickly moved to a manual exposure and shot a few minutes of two red squirrels arguing over a very tasty walnut.   The focus point took about 1 second on average to register and there was a slight delay on screen between what I was seeing through my window and what I was seeing on screen so for fast moving subjects coming in and out of the frame or changing the focal plane constantly this application would not be ideal.  Where I would find it incredibly useful is for slower moving subjects and certainly static subjects.  Example: Setting up the camera at the edge of a marsh and waiting for a moose or other critter to come into the frame from a safe and undetectable distance.

The Distance Test:  So  just how far can you be from the CamRanger?  From an unobstructed view I was able to get 270 feet before the wireless connection was broken, however the picture taking process does take longer at these long distances.  With the CamRanger behind my cedar hedge that range was cut down to about 85 feet, which might be somewhat limiting for those shy creatures.  One thing that did surprise me during my tests, my wife went to take a look out the window to see the red squirrel and got between the direct line of site from the CamRanger  to my iPad and I lost my signal.  I will want to perform a few more tests out in the bush to see if trees between the device and the iPad affect the signal.

As for being able to make every possible adjustment on your camera remotely the CamRanger works beautifully.  Heck you can even do HDR, time lapse and focus stacking and the histogram really allows you to nail down your exposures.    Battery life is stated to be 5-6 hours which should work for most wildlife photography sessions although I will likely carry a backup battery for those uncooperative subjects that want me to put in a full day.   Images can be downloaded automatically during shooting or reviewed singly with the ‘Auto Save’ function switched off. I recommend reviewing images singly for wildlife photography so you can keep shooting without the added delay required for the preview to appear on screen.  

Conclusion:  My final verdict is that the CamRanger is a very useful tool and it has earned  a place in my camera bag, not a big one mind you, but that’s a good thing as we wildlife photographers often have weight restrictions.  I see it as an incredibly useful tool with subjects that are not approachable or macro photography where one can setup a camera on a tripod and use the iPad to really zoom in on the focus point to get sharp images or produce sharp video content.

CamRanger Controls



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Tripod Head News – Jobu Design Adapters Transform 3 in 1 Gimbal Head


Jobu Wide Angle Adapter

Special Offer: Save 15% on Jobu-Design purchases when you use the “Coolwildlife” coupon code.

Choosing the perfect tripod head can be daunting given how many are on the market and given the cost of these tripod heads you want to choose the right one the first time around.  Finding the perfect gimbal head may seem like an elusive quest however the folks at Jobu Design have crafted a few clever adapters that allow photographers the best of all worlds.


Adapter 1: The wide angle lens adapter (Jobu WAA2) which attaches to your tripod head shown here with the Jobu Pro2 gimbal head.  Throw a bubble head on top of your camera and you’ve got a near perfect landscape head at the ready.  A more complete blog on this adapter can be found here on the Jobu Blog Wide Angle Lenses On A Gimbal .  You’ll also require an Arca-Swiss camera plate (Jobu ADPT-AS250 or AS375) for the bottom of your camera to complete this setup.


Jobu Arca-Swiss Camera Plate

Jobu Arca-Swiss Camera Plate

Adapter #2 The top-mount to Side-mount adapter. (Jobu QRR-Pro) – When every pound counts such as small regional flights to remote areas a side-mount can save the weight of a swing arm.  This clever little adapter turns your top-mounted gimbal head into a side-mounted head with the turn of two screws.  For the complete story on top-mount vs side-mount gimbal heads visit the Jobu Blog Top-Mount vs Side-Mount.

Jobu top-mount to side-mount

Jobu top-mount to side-mount

With just two adapters you get a full on gimbal head capable of not only supporting your long lenses but also landscape photography with wide angle lenses and a side-mounted tripod head for those missons where weight is critical. Ian and the design team at Jobu Design really have made the quest for the perfect tripod head a no brainer so now you just need to decide on whether you want the Jobu Pro2 or the Jobu HD3 tripod head to go with those adapters.

Coolwildlife did a full video review of these two tripod heads so for those of you wanting a more in depth review visit CoolwildlifeTV – Tripod Head Reviews.

When you are ready to purchase use the “Coolwildlife” coupon code and save 15%.

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Largest Print Size for Nikon D3s

Swans In The Mist PhotoI recently had a client from Switzerland request a large canvass print, we’re talking 9 feet on the longest side, of a swan image that was published in Digital SLR Photography Magazine in April 2012.

My first reaction of course was one of euphoria having made the sale but my second was one of horror.  The image that had been requested was taken with my Nikon D3s which is a 12 MP camera.  According to the charts as depicted below the biggest picture size is 9×14 inches which is a far cry from the 108 inches being requested.  Well I am writing this to let you know that the largest print size for a Nikon D3s or any other 12MP camera I expect can in fact be pushed to at least 9 feet.

Above is the canvass print proudly displayed in the clients home and they have reported that the quality is stunning.  Of course I am sure a well researched and knowledgeable printer is a mandatory part of this equation as one does need the facility in which to process this large print size.  I am sure that a sophisticated enlargement software was also used to extrapolate the image to the final size while still maintaining image quality.  Point here is it can be done, so don’t shy away from big picture sizes.

You may view the original “Five Swans In The Mist” image without the living room in our waterfowl gallery.

For reference sake the chart below provides suggested large print size by camera resolution.  Each colored box represents a certain number of megapixels. The numbers along the top and left side are print dimensions in inches at 300ppi (pixels per inch). Most books and magazines require 300ppi for photo quality. For example, the chart shows that you can make a 5″ x 7″ photo quality print from a 3 megapixel camera.

Megapixel for print size

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Nikond800 Firmware Update Announced April 2013

Nikon Logo

Today Nikon announced a Nikon d800 Firmware Update. The latest Nikon d800 software upgrade includes the following fixes:

  • Support for the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR has been added.
  • Subject tracking performance in AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) autofocus mode with framing using the viewfinder has been improved.
  • Gamut for Adobe RGB images displayed in the camera’s monitor has been changed. This enables more vivid display of images.
  • With live view photography in [M] (Manual) exposure mode, exposure preview was always on.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases when certain memory cards were used, movie recording would stop, even when the time remaining display indicated remaining recording time.  This issue has been resolved.
  • With shooting at an image quality setting of TIFF (RGB) and an image size setting of Small, the right edge of images contained a purple line.  This issue has been resolved in the latest d800 firmware.
  • In some rare cases, images recorded in JPEG format could not be opened by some software applications.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases, colors would change with shooting when white balance was set to a specific color temperature, as with Preset manual or Choose color temp.  This issue has been resolved.

I downloaded and installed the Nikon d800 Firmware Update without any issue.  The download and installation instructions are included on the Nikon site.



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Cliff House Kodiak Bed & Breakfast – Kodiak Lodging At Its Finest

Kodiak Alaska Bed and Breakfast viewIf you’ve ever traveled you know that accommodations can make or break your vacation so when I find a place that goes above and beyond to make sure that their guest experience is a memorable one I like to sing their praises.  I’ve always preferred a Bed & Breakfast over a hotel and my recent trip and experience with a Kodiak Bed and Breakfast was beyond expectations.  My stay with Marty and Marion Owen at the Cliff House on Kodiak Island was first class all the way.

You can expect to stay in a clean, recently renovated and tastefully decorated room.  A fully stocked  fridge with fruit, yogurt, milk and fresh muffins greets you every morning and Marion’s home made granola is to die for.  Oh yes, the view of the ocean is also a nice touch.

Your hosts Marty and Marion are beyond pleasant, accommodating and knowledgeable.  Marion picked up us two crazy Canadians at the airport complete with bilingual signage and when our luggage was lost even provided us transportation back to the airport that night to claim it.  Marion even took us hiking along an ocean side Pacific trail for a few hours of photography which was way beyond anything I expected.

Marion is an accomplished and frequently published photographer, botanist and author of one of the Chicken Soup For The Soul books and man can she cook.  We had dinner with Marion and Marty most evenings which was not an expectation but certainly a lovely addition to our stay as it made us feel at home in Kodiak Alaska from day one.  Marion has a garden that I am sure is the envy of all Alaskan’s.

Marty is the Harbor Master in Kodiak so is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to anything to do with the ocean, weather, boats, fishing, etc.   Whale watching in Alaska is a must do activity and my friend and I went on a whale watching tour with Marty and Marion and it was spectacular despite the rainy conditions.  We saw hump back whales, fin whales, puffins, sea lions, eagles and sea otters all in one day.  If you’re short on time they also offer a dinner cruise that lasts a few hours in the evening.  The food is fantastic, all from Marion’s garden.

You could stay in a Kodiak hotel but why you’d want to is beyond me when you can treat yourself to some good old fashioned down home Alaskan hospitality.

Icebreaker Merino Wool Base Layers – So What’s The Big Stink?

Icebreaker No Stink Clothing



Already know about Icebreaker and want to buy go to the “Icebreaker Store”  You may choose the country you reside in from a drop down menu at the top left of the site so that you  may shop in your currency.

For the rest of you “What’s the big stink all about you ask?”  This expression may very well be about to change forever to something more like “Where’s the big stink”.  Move over synthetics and make way for Icebreaker Merino wool.  What if I told you I’d found a light, breathable, wicking garment?  You’d say been there, done that, already own the t-shirt.  Hey let me finish, what if I then said that same garment kept you warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather?  Starting to get interesting says you but then I come at you with the Pièce de résistance, what if you could wear that Merino Base Layer for 40 days without washing it and it wouldn’t smell?  Seriously, 40 days and no smell and let’s throw in no itch just to top it all off.

Like you I was skeptical, so before my Alaskan Bear tour I wore an Icebreaker Men’s Bodyfit 150 for five days around my cottage in sweltering temperatures to test things out.  Let me just say, one day in my synthetics and you wouldn’t want to be within three city blocks of me but after five days in the Icebreaker Merino Base Layer still no smell.  I took that little test on the road while out on an Alaskan Bear Photography Tour August 2012 and wore the same Merino shirt for ten days and once again no smell and this after heavy trekking and sweating daily.  I can also attest to the warm in cool weather and cool in warm weather attributes along with breathable and no itch as Alaska threw all kinds of weather at us.  I also layered with an Icebreaker Men’s Bodyfit 260 and Icebreaker Men’s 200 Leggings for additional warmth on the really cold days.

I loaned out one of my Men’s Bodyfit 150 merino wool base layer tops to Buck Wilde, my bear guide in Alaska, and he liked it so much that I left him with a 150 and 200 as a thank you for the most memorable grizzly bear experience of my life, pictures can be seen at COOLwildlife Coastal Bear Pictures.  He was going camping with the bears in Hallo Bay for two months after my tour so I figured he could put them to good use.  I will be touching base with Buck in October to see how 40 plus days stands up to the no stink test.

Icebreaker base layers are measured for warmth by a numbering system.  The 150 is the lightest weight moving up to 200, 260, 380, etc. each one providing more warmth as the numbers get higher and you can layer as required so it’s really easy to build out a layered system with just three  pieces.  Perfect for those that wish to travel light and be prepared for extreme weather conditions.

For the outdoor adventurer, athletic folks Icebreaker clothing is like sex on a stick.  If you’re thinking you need to rush out and buy a full set of tops and bottoms in varying weights you’d be right.  Having said that it just doesn’t seem fair that this new technology development is hoarded by adventurers, so I got to thinking what the other possible applications for this clothing might be just to be more inclusive.  Here are a few every day ideas just to get you thinking:

  • hockey base layer that can stay in duffle bag for the entire season (gross but doable)
  • single guy can do laundry every six months, but only if he wants to and is not actively dating
  • cheating scoundrel of a husband – no perfume smell on clothes (other stupidity at your own risk)
  • smokers who claim to have quit can now get away with a mint and crossed fingers, no more smelly clothing

and the list goes on.  Spend three hours at a bar with friends and a few pitchers of beer and I am sure you could come up with two pages of fun and practical uses for this stuff.  And feel free to spill beer all down the front of yourself cause it won’t smell in the morning.  How’s that for putting an end to the next day nagging about your drinking habits, you’re free and clear my friends.:))

If you want to see the entire Icebreaker collection it’s best to shop directly at the Icebreaker store. Remember to choose the country you reside in from a drop down menu at the top left of the site so that you  may shop in your preferred currency.  Suffice it say I will never buy synthetics or cotton again, for my money Icebreaker Merino Wool is the only way to go.  I now own a complete collection of merino underwear, merino t-shirts, merino base layers and athletic clothing for running, golf, etc.  I’ve never been cooler, happier and smelling so good in all my life.

Hope you enjoy too!!!


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Photography Insurance – What Kind of Camera Insurance Policy Do You Need?

All is calm on the lake early this summer morning other than the call of the loons down the lake so you decide to throw your camera around your neck and head out in your kayak in hopes of getting close enough to get some great shots of a loon feeding or in that classic wing flap.

Seemingly this is like any other morning until your kayak unsuspectingly begins to veer to the left and before you know it you find yourself treading water and in total shock and disbelief  that your $10,000 camera and lens is now at the bottom of the lake.  This is exactly what happened to a fellow photographer and friend of mine.  An event he will not soon forget is at least bearable knowing that he had camera insurance to cover the loss.

Tipped KayakSince that event I have done significant research into various photography insurance or camera insurance policies and wanted to pass along what I have learned as it may just save you thousands of dollars one day.

Option 1: Many photographers simply use their home insurance as a means of covering their camera in the event of theft, breakage, fire, etc.  This is certainly an option if you don’t have a lot of expensive photography gear.  However be aware that the standard home insurance policy has limits as to how much they will cover so if this is the option you choose make sure your coverage is adequate.  if not you should opt for a specific photography insurance or camera insurance policy.

Option 2:  Add a special camera insurance rider to your home policy.  In this case you provide your insurance company with an itemized list of the camera gear you wish to have insured.  You’ll be requested to provide a description of each item along with value and serial number.  Your premium will be based on the sum total of the value of the items that you insure.

Cautionary note:  If you sell your work regardless of the value, yes even one $5 postcard, you are deemed to be a commercial photographer and thus not eligible for coverage under this type of policy.  When the insurance carrier asks if you are a professional photographer what they really mean is do you sell your work so answer truthfully.  I had this type of policy for two years and only recently discovered that because I have the ability to make sales through my website had I made a claim it would likely have been denied.  That means the only choice for photography insurance for most photographers is option 3.

Option 3:  Speak with any number of Insurance carriers that provide specific  photography insurance policies that permit commercial activity.  At the recommendation of a few photographers I ended up taking out a camera insurance policy with State Farm.  Ask for their marine and mobile equipment policy and most agents will know what you’re talking about. Once again you will be required to provide an itemized list of your photography gear complete with serial numbers and value.

If you’ve spent any time at all with a camera in your hands you already know that anything can and will happen so trust that the initial hassle of paperwork is well worth the peace of mind knowing that you are covered when your rogue kayak decides to have a little fun at your expense.:))