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This is for #TreeTuesday . I have the hardest time taking photos outdoors in the woods and I'll tell you why.

1.Mosquitoes & Black flies
It does not matter how much DEET I slather on myself(even though it gives me headaches),how many layers of clothing I have on or what color,even if my hair doesn't smell girly... they still swarm me.I oftentimes wear a bug net and take Benadryl to control the itching on top of it.It's not the bites themselves because that's just annoying in it's own right but my reaction is so that I get huge welts that last for about a week or so.

Let's just say I need a much easier way to carry it or some kind of fancy carbon fiber set up because with my camera bag,first aid kit,bug bite supplies,ten layers of clothing in the midsummer heat and humidity ( to protect me from #1) I don't have the patience to deal with trying to carry my tripod under my arm.Or maybe I'm just too lazy to contend with it .I had a guitar strap strapped to it once but it would come unhinged and be flapping by one end.Not cool lol

Most of the photos I took from this outing are..incredibly noisy.Handheld shots and all due to point #2.I will still probably share some of them because I personally like them but in a technical way?They fail,I know this lol.I don't have a full frame so cranking up the ISO to 800+ pretty much makes those shots unprintable.(which is how I personally define my more successful shots)

Anyway,I'm not going to have to worry about that much until around April,where I will vainly try to get out in the woods more only to be accosted by all manner of biting and stinging insects waiting to punish me for leaving my abode. /end rant lol
Craig Szymanski's profile photoRachael Alexandra's profile photoGary Munroe's profile photoSteve Wilde's profile photo
#1 - Try to ignore them.. the more you try to swat them away the more they seem to be attracted to you.. at least it seems that way to me.
#2 - A sling is probably the best way to carry it but if you're looking for smaller/lighter.. aim for a Gorillapod. You can carry it around easier and wrap it around trees and branches or just stand it up.
#3 - Share anyways!! Grain is also not always that bad.. can add character or even convert to black and white.

And keep shooting.. even in Winter (no bugs then!)!! ;)
Simple solution: stronger DEET, or a Cedar Oil or a lemon eucalyptus-based alternative if you prefer something not skin melting more natural. Nice photo BTW.
I hear ya on all three points Rachael. Carrying around a tripod is kind of cumbersome for me, especially if I'm already carrying around a bunch of other junk, and mosquitos are always a pain. I don't really have any easy solutions for you on either front, but atleast you have a good 4 or 5 months to shoot the woods as much as you want without having to worry about the mosquito problem. Make sure you try and take advantage of that!
I like this series of 3 woodpecker holes. I've seen thing like this hundreds of times and never thought to take that shot.
Deet is terrible and can ruin your gear. I use a Picardin based repellent (I like Sawyer brand) to spray on and I also pre-treat the outer-layer clothes that I usually go hiking in(hat, jeans, shirts, etc). I have been with a group of people and seen them swatting away as I calmly enjoyed my surroundings. It used to be the other way around as for some reason I am usually the type the bugs like to bite.
I strap my tripod to my backpack. I have the inexpensive Induro (not carbon), which is only 4 pounds. I'm usually too lazy to set it up though and tend to use rocks and other objects to steady the camera in low light.
+Gary Munroe Ignoring them may be easier said than done lol I'll have to consider the Gorillapod,I was under the impression they are very small ( or short I should say) It could be neat to be able to affix my camera to random stuffs though :)

+Brian Recknagel 40% Deet..I don't think I could handle much more than that lol I have some of this: but I haven't found it helpsas much as I need it to.Smells nice though :) Might you have a brand or product you would recommend ?

+Chris Mallory I suppose I should get myself a pair of snowshoes then,which I was planning to do anyway.There was actually an instance last winter where the ice on the lake looked really awesome.There was also no way of standing anywhere to be able to photograph it because I would be chest deep in snow on the side of the road..Now I'm just about 5'7 so that's quite a snowbank to scramble into.Now,if I had snowshoes I might have had a chance of hopping onto the snow snowbank instead into the snow bank lol It was still probably a stretch,even with snowshoes :) Anyway,goes to show you that winter still has it's own opportunities

+Craig Szymanski Oh,well that didn't occur to me,with the Deet being bad for your stuff.It stands to reason though that it certainly wouldn't be good for it.I'll have to try some of that Picardin repellent too.Thanks for the suggestion :) My camera backpack thing is supposed to be able to hold my tripod but mine is too knobby(the wingnuts at the bottom,when it's collapsed) to fit in the holder.Even if it did fit ,mines Around 6 lbs or so and it feels awfully off balance lol
+Rachael Alexandra - Well ignoring them may not make them stop but it may help on the mental side of things. Gorillapod is short (does come in several different sizes though) so if you used it as a tripod it would be low to the ground. Unfortunately tripods are the one thing that I think everyone thinks is a pain until they need it. ;)
Come shoot up here in Saskatchewan, Rachel. I haven't seen a mosquito since mid-October. ;)
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