I made it back from the photography workshop in one piece and with some great pics. More details will be coming later on the workshop itself, but I want to share one little tip that I picked up while I was there that will help you keep your camera and lenses cleaner and possibly save you a lot of money in the process. 🙂
Lens cloths are a necessity in keeping your gear clean and you can never have too many of them. I find a couple of problems with the ones you get at the camera store, though–they’re often too small, not providing you with enough surface to clean your gear sufficiently. Their too-small size also makes them easy to lose. When you do lose one, that means you have to go out and buy a new one, which can be expensive if you keep losing them. I have a solution, though…
This solution actually comes from Lori Kincaid, our workshop leader. She suggests taking an old and much-washed t-shirt and cutting it up into rags; how big or small you want the rags to be is up to you. After cotton knit has been washed a bunch of times, it develops a smooth lint-free finish to it that’s perfect for cleaning the glass on our lenses. Before putting those rags to use, make sure that you wash them first, but leave out the fabric softener. Since I also had some wool hiking socks that needed to be washed by hand, I opted to wash my cleaning rags with them in the kitchen sink using Woolite and cold water. As I write this, both the rags and socks are out in my laundry area air drying. Not only are you saving money, you’re also recycling a t-shirt that might otherwise go into the trash. 🙂
Woolite and cold water in the sink also works great for camera straps, especially the neoprene ones. If you live in a warmer climate like I do and tend to get hot and sweaty while out shooting during the summer, this is a great way to get your strap clean. Once you’re done washing and rinsing your strap, just roll it up in a towel to absorb excess water and then hang it up to air dry.
Keep an eye out for more postings and pics from the workshop. While I’m not done editing the pics yet, I have already gone ahead and uploaded a few of the finished ones to my Flickr page–click here to take a look at them.