Photo by Scott Bourne

(Canon 1D MK II – Canon 500 F/4l IS Lens, Wimberley Head, Gitzo Tripod, ISO 400, Aperture f/5.6, Shutter Speed 1/125)

All the photo tricks and tips in the world won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t have your camera with you when you need it. If you happen by a rare Green Jay and you don’t have your camera, you can’t make the shot.

I can talk from experience here. In the old days, before I learned this lesson, I lost some once-in-a-lifetime shots because I left my camera at home.

Sometimes it’s not practical to carry your entire kit with you. For those times, try a small point and shoot digicam. Some of the new higher-end models deliver high quality 8×10″ images that are good enough for publication.

Wherever you go, carry a camera. Then you’re certain not to miss that great shot.

Join the conversation! 15 Comments

  1. That´s the main reason I need to buy a Canon G9!

  2. I’ve never seen a Green Jay before. Its a beautiful bird. Where is their range?

  3. best piece of advice.. EVER!

    i deliver pizzas for a living. and i still carry my point and shoot with me.
    tonight, i delivered a pizza and this lady saw my camera sitting on my seat and asked me “why on earth do you have a camera in your car?” and i said “so that if i customers don’t pay me i can take a photo of them and put them on the banned list”

    she laughed.
    i laughed.
    she paid me.
    i didn’t take her picture.

  4. @Thomas most people have not. They primarily are found in extreme northern Mexico and down in the most southern part of Texas near McAllen.

  5. I need to get a new point and shoot – what would you recommend?

  6. Ok, carrying your camera with you sounds reasonable but how about carrying a 1Dmark II & 500 F/4L IS? Not the lightest kit I guess. :) (And I doubt that’s the only lens you were carrying)

  7. @Henri I was younger then. Today it’s more likely the Canon G9 :)

  8. Good advice Scott. I always have my Canon G9 with me and have gotten some images that print very nicely at 12×18.


  9. @CW Get the Canon G9. I carry mine everywhere. But then again, I also carry my 40 pound camera bag with Nikon D300 and 6 lenses too. But that is starting to take its toll as you get older.

  10. I too am really looking for a P&S compact that I can carry with me always, but I am so in love with RAW that I fear there is only one option: the G9. Now I keep hearing these horror stories of the G9 being incredibly noisy even at ISO 100 or 200. Yet pretty much most of the podcasting photographers I listen to have a G9. I know it will never be dSLR quality, but is the noise acceptable? (Or should I wait for the G10 with a CMOS sensor?)

  11. On a similar note, make a point to go shoot and do it; you just might get lucky.

    I have a regular riparian preserve that I go to in order to photograph birds. On more than one occasion I’d thought about shooting some pictures but felt too tired, hungry or just not interested but in spite of that I made myself go and I ended up getting some very good shots that totally made up for any reason I had not to go.

    Those times help me motivate myself in the future when I don’t feel like going shooting.

  12. I travel 2 hours every other weekend to visit my girlfiend. I not only take my camera with me, I have it by my side. It’s amazing the number of interesting and unexpected photos I have captured along that route over the past 2 years.

  13. @Yves – there’s a small selection of other P&S’s that shoot RAW, and I’ve personally used two of them. I’ve used the Panasonic DMC-LX2 and am currently using the Ricoh Caplio GX100, both of which are great cameras. My issue with the G9 is that its thick, and I’d rather have a slimmer camera so I can put it in my pocket or bag than feel like I’m carrying a small SLR with me. The only issue with the above to are ISO above 400. Apparently the G9 is better in this regard. For a great website devoted to advanced P&S’s, check out

  14. If I hadn’t walked out my front door this evening with my camera, I would have missed the baby cardinal sitting in my front flower bed. I couldn’t get down to its level because mommy and daddy were flitting around, so I got as close as I could.

  15. […] Sometimes those last minute grabs are some of the best. I guess it really does pay to always keep your camera with you. […]

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