MotoUSA Photo of the Week – August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011
Justin Dawes
Justin Dawes
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Raised on two wheels in the deserts of Nevada, the newest addition to the MotoUSA crew has been part of the industry for well over 15 years.Equal parts writer, photographer, and rider, "JDawg" is a jack of all trades and even a master of some.

AZ Deans photo of a summer ride to the Verde River is a scene would be envied by any rider.
AZ Dean’s photo is tempting me to call of the rest of the work day and head out in search of a similar scene.

The heat of summer is upon us, and this Friday’s MotoUSA Photo of the Week is the perfect cool down. After seeing the POTW post on Facebook, AZ Dean posted a scene from his recent ride to Sheep Bridge on Arizona’s Verde River. It’s his very first entry and immediately I was in envy of the epic destination and subsequent swim break. Sorry, AZ Dean, but I have every intention of poaching your spot sometime in the near future.

Technically his photo skills are superb. The aperture of f/8.0 allows for the whole scene to be in focus so that the details such as the bridge are not lost. The exposure is spot on and the sky is nice and blue. It is obvious Dean knows his way around a camera, and for that he is now in the select group that has a chance of taking home $500 worth of EVS gear for Photo of the Year.

This week in my moto-photo tip I’m going to take a break from the act of shooting and instead give you some guidance in care of your cameras. This morning I received an estimate to repair my Nikon D3S DSLR that I had dropped a few weeks ago, and the resulting $2300 shock has prompted me to implore you to take care of your gear.

First off, let’s talk about protection from the elements. Water and dust are the biggest enemies to the survival of a camera. When you’re out on a ride, be prepared for whatever Mother Nature might have in store for you. Protection can be as expensive as waterproof bags and covers to a simple Ziploc bag. You don’t have to spend a ton, but the gear specifically designed for camera protection does have useful features that a plastic bag doesn’t. One of my favorite

The conditions for the first 250 class moto were less than ideal with the rain and mud; most the time it was hard to tell who was who. Who is this
Specialized protection can keep your camera safe and working even in the worst downpour.

companies, Think Tank Photo, has a full line of protective covers for DSLR cameras called the Hydrophobia. I’ve used these covers in more than a few downpours at the AMA National Motocross races and even at the North Pole for the Mars on Earth: Kawasaki Space Program story. They allow you to use your camera in the rain and dust with maximum protection. These covers will also keep your camera warmer and functioning in cold weather with the addition of some hand warmer packs dropped inside the main compartment.

Dust has a way of sticking to cameras like glue, and if you are not vigilant this can lead to spotty photos and even an early death of your expensive gear. Regular cleaning should be part of your routine when you are out shooting moto-photos. Just a few special bits of cleaning gear will help you win the war on dust. Get yourself a Rocket Blower to gently remove the particles from your lenses, LCD screens and even sensor. Never use canned or compressed air! Not only do both have way too much force, they can inject moisture into areas where you don’t want it. After the rocket blower treatment, use a cleaner such as ROR and lens tissues to safely clean your lenses and LCD screen. I also wipe down the rest of the camera body with this stuff. I suggest that you leave the sensor cleaning to the pros. Any reputable camera shop should be able to clean your sensor for around $50, and I recommend that you do this at least twice a year.

Accidents happen, but if you take care of your camera you will be rewarded with a longer service life and maybe even better images. So get your cameras cleaned, and get out there looking for the next MotoUSA Photo of the Week. Upload your shots to the MotoUSA Photo of the Week Thread on the Motorcycle USA Forums for your chance to win. Until next time, happy riding and shooting!

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