Phil KittComment

Cradle Mountain and Camera Woes

Phil KittComment

A few weeks ago I took a trip to Cradle Mountain to do some landscape photography. I'm trying to hit a lot of the popular landscape spots in Tasmania, to compare my skills against other photographers whose work I've seen, and tackle locations that I've seen dozens of photos of, to see if I can do something new.

Sadly I could only stay one night, and the weather was completely overcast for both sunset and sunrise. Regardless, I had a really great trip! When we arrived, the road up to Dove Lake was only accessible by 4WD and AWD vehicles. We managed to hitch a lift with a couple of people driving through, and after shooting fruitlessly for about 30-45 minutes, and with fading light and a long and possibly treacherous walk back to the accommodation ahead of us, we set off along the Cradle Mountain Boardwalk. 

The walk took a little over two hours, trudging through snow and using my phone as a flashlight (I'm a lot better equipped these days). Most of the boardwalk was covered in snow, and I had a terribly uncomfortable messenger bag and tripod to carry, but a delicious steak and glass of wine back at our accommodation tasted all the more delicious because of it.

The unfortunate side of this trip was that I failed to properly stow my camera body away. It was freezing and dark, so it was difficult to tell how much spray there was in the air, and there must have been a lot more than I'd thought. When I got my camera back to the tavern, it was behaving extremely erratically, with buttons pressing themselves or being totally unresponsive. I foolishly kept turning it off and on, and trying various buttons while I was drying it out, which only added to its problems. Eventually it stopped working entirely.

I could have had a really good time shooting here, if it weren't for all the rain!

If anyone is reading this - don't do as I did. If there's any hint of water damage, switch off your camera, pull out your battery, and start drying out your camera. If you've got some rice handy, pop your camera in a container of it for as long as you can (I've heard 3-7 days quoted) or place it near some heat if rice isn't around.

In this case I was lucky, and the water seems to have dried out. The camera acted a little funky for a day or so, but it switched on the very next morning. I may have corrosion damage in the top of the camera though, as my shutter button stopped working just the other day. I've worked around it by using a battery grip and shooting with the second shutter button on there, but it's super clumsy shooting in landscape orientation, and has severely handicapped my shooting ability.

Oddly, I decided there might just be some dust or dirt under the shutter button, and decided to stick my face over the button and blow. It's working again! It's a super random thing to have happened, so I still want to open up the top of the camera and get a look under the button, but signs are looking good that I won't have to send it away for repairs, or buy a second body immediately.