As photographers, we tend to collect a lot of cameras, flashes, tripods, gadgets, all sorts of equipment really. Let’s face it, photography is a gear intensive hobby. And the price tags on all that stuff sure do add up pretty quickly.That’s why it’s nice when we are able to keep a piece of equipment and use it for years and years without having to replace it. Some things are just built better than others, but if you practice good storage and care habits, you can still squeeze some extra uses out of a lot of those lesser quality items too.
How Do You Store Your Gear?
Most of us are pretty careful when we’re using our cameras to protect them and keep them safe. For example, when we’re shooting in wet or dusty environments, we take precautions to seal our cameras away from the elements. Usually, this entails plastic bags or specialty housings. But what about when you’re not shooting, what do you do with your camera then? I live in an older house, and while it’s charming and inviting to people, it’s also pretty inviting to dust and humidity. The two arch nemeses of camera equipment. It’s a labor of love, but I’m constantly needing to get the duster out and run the humidifier.
All that dust and dampness can wreak havoc on your electronics! Your camera, your computer, your lenses–none of these items are particularly fond getting dirty or moist. And if you just set them out on your shelf when they’re not in use, you might be shortening their lifespan drastically. But don’t fear! Here are some handy tips you can use to maximize the lifespan of your camera equipment.
Rather than sitting your equipment out in the open and exposed to the elements, consider investing in a cupboard or chest of drawers that will fit all your gear. Any extra layer of protection you can give them from dust, the better. A lot of photographers will choose to store their gear in their camera bags. If you have a large enough bag, or multiple bags, that can hold your stuff, this is a good option. That way you’re always packed and ready to go!
However, I have personally known some photographers who take it one step further and keep their gear in a locking and fire proof safe. If you have a lot of expensive gear, this can really give you piece of mind and help protect your gear from thieves and fires, too!
There are also some really great dry box options available like the one you see in the photo above. They come in a variety of sizes and are surprisingly affordable!
Keep It Organized
If you’re like me and have a habit of collecting cameras, you may need to keep organized so you know what you’ve got and can easily locate whatever it is you’re looking for when you want it. I have a small camera bag I keep my main shooter in along with my favorite lenses. That way, it’s ready to go at a moments notice and I don’t have to spend time packing things up. I keep my underwater setup in it’s own gear bag–quite a large one at that! I keep all these pre-packed bags together in a nice humidity controlled cabinet. I live on a tropical island, so this is of utmost importance to me; however, it may be a little overkill if you live in a dry environment.
Inside the cabinet are series of shelves and a few drawers I outfitted with some foam I custom cut to fit the size of the drawers and the gear I wanted to keep inside.
On The Go?
Travel often? Me too, I get it. And while I wish I could bring my fancy dry box around with me wherever I go, there’s just no way I’m lugging a giant case around the world with me. So when you’re on the go, there are still a few things you can do to protect your gear. For starters, keep your lenses in the nice little bags they came with when you bought them. Make sure both lens caps are on the lenses, there’s either a lens or body cap attached to your camera, and all that stuff is kept safe inside a padded bag.
I’ve been saving the best tip for last. Pick yourself up a box of silica gel packets from Amazon–or buy a bunch of shoes and stockpile those packets! They are magical lifesavers and very affordable. Especially when you consider how much money they will save you by sucking all the moisture out of the air and keep your cameras dry. Just toss a couple of them into your bag and you’re set! Plus, they don’t take up any room and are super light.
Have any camera equipment storage advice you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!