BKKSteve;

I keep hearing and reading "expose to the right."  What does this mean?

Love your column and look forward to it every Sunday.

Keith-

 

Hello Keith -

Thanks for reading my weekly.  It comes out before 1800 each Saturday.  Stick's regular weekly column comes out exactly 24 hours later on Sunday.

"Expose to the right" is the new digital camera exposure rule.  Well, not exactly new, we've been doing it since the first histogram was integrated into a digital cameras LCD.  Basically it means to expose until the histogram reads as far to the right as possible.

Please look for a more detailed answer as the learning topic in next week's column.  It will be worth reading!

Steve


 

Steve

My plans are to rent a car and drive around northern Thailand and hopefully see some of those landscapes you keep showing us.  My questions is security.  Do you leave your camera gear in your car or carry it in your room with you each night?  Do you take it in with you when you eat?  I ask because I'll be carrying a few thousand dollars worth of equipment with me and I don't want to lose it.  Thanks

Greg

 

Greg -

I'm not going to share all of my secrets but I'll share some.  I routinely travel with in excess of $50,000 USD of equipment.  I've been doing this for years and have never had an issue.  Perhaps I've been lucky, but I like to think I've also been careful.

My SUV has purpose-applied dark tinting in the rear and on the sides.  Even with a powerful flashlight someone looking in will not be able to see my equipment cases in the far rear of my vehicle.  I also have a quality alarm installed.

Do I take my gear inside the room?  For me it's all about visibility.  If no one knows you have expensive gear with you, then no one will try to take it.  Parading through the hotel lobby with expensive looking equipment bags alerts every worker and guest in the place that you'll have expensive gear available in your room.  Some of these workers can then notice when you're out of your room.  Do the math.  Even in a top hotel you must remember your gear could be worth more than several years' salary for general workers.  Do you want to tempt them?

What about leaving it in the car?  First, I make sure that my care has nothing else about it which will attract thieves.  No GPS left on the window, no fancy car stereo, and nothing visible in the area of the car you can see into.  No fancy wheels / tires either.  Next, I have a hard and fast rule about never opening the rear of my car where anyone can see my equipment cases.  I'll stop on the side of the road before arriving at my destination and put away equipment, and arrange cases so I (or the hotel bellhop) can remove my luggage from a side door vs. the rear door where the equipment can be viewed.  Gas stations are also good for this.  I fill up at the end of the day, move luggage, put away gear, and eliminate the need to expose my equipment once I arrive at the hotel.

Still, there are some areas where I'll go to extremes.  Any tourist area that attracts well off tourists will also attract thieves who prey on well off tourists.  Hua Hin and Pattaya come to mind.  I leave nothing in the car, or in the room unattended.  I take my gear in with me and stay with it.  If I want to go out for the evening there are a few choice hotels where I know they take security very personally and I've done work for these hotels and I trust them.  They might be pricey, but I consider it cheap insurance.  In the more rural parts of Thailand I'm not nearly so concerned.

Also, keep in mind that your equipment might be worth enough to motivate someone to rob your person.  This is Thailand where the average worker often makes less in a year than what they could get for the contents of your camera bag.. so don't tempt fate.  Be smart and be careful.

I hope this helps

Steve
 

Please submit your questions to QandA@Bkkimages.com  All questions will be answered and most will show up in the weekly column.