The Lord giveth and the God of Lithium Ion taketh away / by Neil Alexander

Or "The Importance of Preparation"...... 

A couple of weeks back, with a rare window of opportunity - time and a decent forecast, I planned a trip up into the hills an hour's drive from my home. I planned on shooting some more footage for a timelapse I'm putting together and getting some photographs of the Autumn colours. 

Even after all this time, the anticipation the night before still gets me excited. I try and plan as much as possible - where I need to be and when, so that I can head off on auto-pilot in the darkness of the early hours. I endeavour to prepare as much as possible; everything from prepping camera bags and leaving them by the door, to making sure the coffee pot will be ready and having clothes in a pile ready to throw on. 

Leafy Autumn road scene in the Peak District with cyclist

Everything that I either need to consume, wear or carry is set out on the kitchen table the night before. I've missed too many dawns scrabbling around in the dark trying to find this or that, that I now have the process down to a fine art. Or so I thought..... 

Curbar Edge, High Peaks

I had two tripods set up with two cameras shooting in opposite directions at different focal lengths, both on interval mode. A hundred or so frames in, one of the battery indicators started blinking away swiftly followed by the other. I quickly swapped out batteries for spares, only to find the spares completely devoid of any life whatsoever.

It was very cold - couldn't have been much above freezing, so I paused the interval shooting and put the batteries in the warmest place I could think of - in my armpits under 4 layers of clothing and sat down out of the wind. I sat there for about 5 or 10 minutes and then popped them back in. Amazingly, warming them up was enough to get at least another hundred frames or so on each camera but then I was out of charge completely.

It was whilst I was sitting there, feeling like a prat with camera batteries shoved under both arm pits, that I started to wonder - with 5 batteries, how could it happen that I end up with them all flat? 

The last couple of weeks have consisted primarily of school holidays, lots of office based work and shooting with my lil' Fuji, a lot. It turns out that I had completely neglected my Nikon kit. I couldn't even remember the last job I'd used it on and I must have just dumped it, downloaded the cards and forgotten to re-charge the batteries. Total schoolboy error and one, I hasten to add, that I shan't be making again!

Anyway, at least I managed to make the majority of the photographs I had planned.

Leafy Autumn road scene in the Peak District