A Useful Tool You May Not Think Of

There are times when I wistfully think about the long past days where the only thing I thought about when I was going out to shoot was what I might discover.  I wish I were more inspired to go out and shoot more regularly so when I get a day where I am, I typically blow through the studio with some level of gusto, jump in the truck and start driving in the hope of discover.

I usually forget something.  I'm used to it.  I make up go-bags to help me avoid annoyances.  I determined that it had been a long time since I had taken the Hasselblad into the field so I grabbed it, a speed light, an 80mm and a 28mm lens.  I threw my little go-bag of H batteries and charger in an off I went.  The first place I stopped, had some interesting light happening with bare trees, firs and the remnants of snow on the ground.  I stopped and hopped out and managed to get exactly three shots off, before the display told me the battery was dead.  Aha!  I have a spare! That one wouldn't even light up.  The third one did and I made the shots.  They were less than I would have liked.  

Back on the road, I saw a Canadian Tire.  I guess the childhood marketing penetration worked because when I think of cars and batteries I think Canadian Tire.  I pulled in and bought myself the tool that this already long-winded post refers to.  The device is a DC power inverter.  You plug one end into the 12v power adapter connection, that for most of my life were called cigarette lighters and your battery charger, or laptop charger or other AC dependent device into the other side.  In my vehicle the 12V ports are powered when the car is running.  So I plugged in the inverter, plugged the charger into it, and the first battery into the battery charger.  I drove around, found some horses and some other less successful stuff but by the time I was on my way back and driving through Kettleby, when I pulled into the old Anglican church lot, the third battery was giving me the evil eye.  I pulled the battery off the charger and it was up to 50% and so I was able to get the shots I wanted because I was able to charge batteries on the road.

I do not habitually leave batteries plugged into chargers.  I've concluded that because I run the Hasselblad on AC in the studio, that it had been much longer than I thought since I had charged the batteries.  Lithium Ion batteries naturally discharge over time.  Not a flaw, a fact.  Now that I have an inverter in the truck, ready when I need it, I can charge any kind of batteries I need while on the road.  The device I bought is limited to 300w total load, about six times more than my MacBook needs so I think I am in good shape.  It's about 4 x 8 x 2 inches and cost under $40.  It is now stored with the tarp and the armoured knee pads, and the microfibre cloths in the back of the truck.  If you drive and shoot, you might want to think of grabbing one of these things yourself.

I wonder what I'll forget next?