Six by Syx: Tip #6 Think of EVERYthing

Posted by on August 5, 2011 at 11:32 am.

To help prepare you for the marathon, Vancouver Photo Workshops instructor and 2011 12×12 judge Syx Langemann offers up a 6-part series of tips and tricks to get you through Saturday August 6th.

Your camera is clean
Your bags are packed
You’ve read over the tips one last time (seriously, go read them over – they are fun and informative!)
You’re ready for this marathon
SO…what are you forgetting?


Start with your camera bag. This is essential for the day. Make sure you have things like:

  • Your camera
  • Your lenses
  • Your flash
  • Your reflector
  • Maybe a light meter (if you don’t trust the one in your camera). Maybe pack a grey card to help with exposure
  • I’m not usually without my iPhone, and that is an assistant that is always needed. There is a ton of reference and help out there, much like this blog; you just need to search it out. Also for the meter and the grey card, there’s an app for that
  • Tripod – no app will replace that

Now that you are packed, unpacked and repacked. Take out all unnecessary items that will weigh you down as the 12 hour day drags on. Try to pack light, but not too light; you don’t want to leave anything important behind.

Plastic bags, oh yeah, don’t forget those. They are great for protecting your camera from the expected intermittent rain showers in Vancouver. Even in August…you never know. They are also great if you find yourself in a sketchy place where you need to kneel down or lay your shoulder on the ground. Sometimes great photographs come from different angles. Think outside of the box and think ahead.

Once you’ve packed your camera gear, then it’s time to think about yourself. This is where you need to concentrate. Seriously, for some of you (Morten), not having your morning coffee will ruin a day, so plan accordingly.

  • Shoes – your feet are going to be doing a lot of walking, make sure you have comfortable footwear. I’m not sure that flip-flops qualify, no matter how hot it is
  • Hat – protect yourself from the sun and the heat
  • Sunscreen – because summer finally arrived!
  • Dress in layers – there is a chance of it cooling down into the evening. You will be tired and hungry, don’t add cold to the mix
  • Music / audio book – it’s gonna be a long long day, you might as well be in your own little world. This is one of those things that is easily left behind, and it can really change your shooting mood!
  • Food / snacks / water – last time I checked, we all needed these to survive. Make sure you have $ in you pocket and plan your feedings. It’s a proven fact that hunger is the cause stupidity*. You’ll need to stay sharp if you plan on winning. This year, the organizers have set up the home base at Urban Rush Cafe which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options in addition to the usual coffee shop fare so that you can concentrate on your shots and not where to get some grub. Check in often to fuel up and chat with everyone. You might just get your brilliant idea for the perfect shot after a creative pow-wow with your fellow marathoners

Above all, you all will most definitely need to bring:

  • A sense of humour
  • A sense of adventure
  • A sense of direction. Don’t get lost – there’s an app for that

The themes are released every hour on the hour. Don’t miss a theme. Don’t miss a frame. Don’t shoot out of order.

I wish you all the best of luck tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing all the images with the other judges!

*Not proven by anyone that I can reference online, but I know that at some point in my life my mother told me this was fact. “Come in from playing and eat, you stupid kids,” she’d say.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Six by Syx: 6 Essential 12×12 Survival Tips. If you have a question or comment, leave us a note below!

Known for his Classically Twisted Nudes that push the viewer to discover new views of beauty, Syx Langemann has been photographing his own unique world since 1993 and can be found at Vancouver Photo Workshops teaching students how to capture theirs.

Syx is also one of the judges of the 2011 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon.

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