I am no longer a landscape photographer, I am an ‘Everything Man’ who has to deal with things I never thought I would, such as: dealing with 2 pallets of useless calendar packaging, bad Feng Shui advice and water damaged cameras.
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I am no longer a landscape photographer. I used to be, until I decided to do it professionally. Now, I am an Everything Man.
As an Everything Man, about 5% of my time is spent in the landscape. The rest of my time is spent ordering new printer toner, filing monthly EU VAT returns, filing quarterly UK VAT returns, installing new toner cartridges, checking, replying to & deleting emails, packing book orders, cleaning my camera gear, cleaning new toner off my trousers, editing videos, explaining to brands that I don’t have time for a 30 minute Zoom call, so just tell me about your new A.I. editing software in an email. The list goes on… and on.
As an Everything Man, I am learning new things every day. Unfortunately, these are not very exciting things, however they are none the less important.
3 Mundane Things I’ve Learned this Week
1 – Buying the cheapest packaging will save you money but cost more in time & stress.
Every year I pack and ship thousands of calendars and books. The protective packaging is a vital part of the process. If the boxes are not strong enough, the calendars & books get damaged in transit.
The packaging also needs to be affordable & ergonomically designed to make packing the books & calendars as easy as possible.
Last month, for the 8th year in a row, I ordered 2 pallets of book wrap mailers (boxes for books & calendars) from the same company. The company shall remain unnamed. They have always been good quality & affordable, but it’s clear that with rocketing inflation & oil prices, the unnamed packaging company have had to do some cost cutting.
This year, the calendar boxes were 10mm shorter than they should have been. My photography calendar did not fit. I now had 2 pallets of useless cardboard sat on my driveway. Disaster! The same happened a few months back with my bubble wrap pouches and last year the book wraps seemed to be made of paper rather than carboard. ‘Unnamed’ have a serious quality control issue.
The unnamed company in question accepted my complaint and I returned the pallets for a full refund.
I found myself with thousands of calendars to ship, but no packaging.
I had to put on my ‘Everything Man’ hat & find a new supplier. This was not an easy task. Finding the correct size at a reasonable price proved difficult. Once I had received many samples, I went with a more expensive, but far higher quality packaging company.
Packaging supply issues should not be a problem of the landscape photographer, but such is the way of the self-employed.
2 – Turning my desk around by 180º makes me work more efficiently and improves my photo editing.
Thanks to reading an article about Feng Shui, I had it in my head that I wanted my desk to be facing into the room rather than facing a wall, I also wanted a seat with a view, which I would have when my desk was in this position.
This Feng Shui thinking caused me a couple of problems, which impacted my photo and video editing.
Problem 1 – By having my desk face the room, my back is to the wall which is a terrible backdrop for making YouTube videos. Yes, I could film a video elsewhere in my office, but 90% of the time I need to be seated at my desk.
Now I have flipped the desk 180º, I have a more visually pleasing backdrop when sitting at my desk. Keep an eye on my YouTube channel for this minor and not very interesting change.
Problem 2 – Having a view is nice, but it is distracting and on bright days it renders my eyeballs useless, and I can’t see my screen properly, so I close the blind. The view is gone. What a pointless thing it is to have a view when trying to work at a computer.
Now that I have rotated my desk I am no longer tempted by the view and the light is not falling on to my face and burning my retinas. I can see my screen better and the view is still there, I simply need to turn and look at it.
3 – My Fuji X-T4 has phantom power drain.
This is a very mundane problem to have, but after 6 months of observation, I can conclude that a full battery left in my X-T4 will be empty after a few days of sitting in the unused camera. (My X-T4 is my main YouTube video camera).
I believe this is the result of me carelessly dropping my X-T4 into a river in Iceland back in February. It took me a week to dry it out as I was off-grid, and I forgot to bring my sack of basmati rice. The X-T4 also does not charge from the USB-C port anymore and has a slightly broken flippy screen.
Wait though, that’s not the most interesting part of this story.
Despite my knowledge of the phantom battery drain, the broken USB-C port & the damaged flippy screen, for reasons I do not know, I have not yet switched to my back-up XT-4 camera, which is in mint condition and hardly used. Why do I force such suffering on myself?
[Last minute addition] – My XT4 is now dead. With all of the complaints above, a recent rain storm on a trip to the Cairngorms finished off the camera, which now has a broken mic socket as well as a busted internal camera mic. She served me well and did hold out to the bitter end, but our last moments together involved her flickering on & off as she fought for her life. I have not yet checked the last recorded footage to see if it survived, I’m still drying myself off.
My Recommended Video of the Week
My First Solo Photography Exhibition by Nick Carver.
This is part 4 of a series and I highly recommend watching it all. The main takeaways from Nick’s videos are his attention to detail and the pride he takes in his work. Every time I watch Nick, I want to try harder and do better.
Sit back, relax and get inspired with 2 landscape photography books filled with inspiration, ideas, tips, gripping stories and comedic photographic anecdotes. Available now.