I'm heading back up to Mauna Kea after what seems an awfully long time away from the summit - in fact I think it was the middle of August when I was last there. It'll be nice to get back to that oxygen-deprived altitude as it's such an extraordinary place and it's also where I do my best work despite the conditions - I'm an observational astronomer with some expertise in infrared astronomy and there are few places better on our planet to do that kind of work!
Strange as it may seem, the problem I appear to be suffering from is that I become more stupid as a function of time spent at sea level. I drove to work today with the camera in my car since it was such a beautiful day thinking that I'll take a few pictures on the way back home. I knew the memory card wasn't in the camera so I'd need to fetch it while getting ready for the new day and I knew the camera battery needed a charge.
Did I do either? Nope. I remembered to bring the camera with me though so I'm not a completely hopeless idiot, but when I saw an interesting sunset near home and got the camera out to take a few pictures, I was utterly dismayed. The battery charge was really quite low and worse, I could only store pictures to the internal memory. That's about 9 shots.
OK, I thought, let's work around the problem. There was no way I was ever going to take that stunning picture that I'd want to make into a huge poster, so reduced the image quality setting in the camera. Now I can take 20 pictures! Unfortunately my ratio of photos taken to decent pictures is extraordinarily high, so I had to concentrate a little more than I normally do.
Fortunately the battery lasted but this wasn't the picture I was really after. I like it though and now the memory card is back in the camera and the battery is on charge. I must remember to change the quality setting back though, and I bet I won't. (I need the battery back in the camera to do that, so can't do it right now!).
There's an acronym I think I posted about in the past that photographers should use to remind themselves about all the things they need to do before they go out taking pictures. Unfortunately, I can't remember what that acronym is. Even if I did, I doubt I'd remember what the letters represent. I need to get back to 14,000 feet.