sand out. The main problem is that the camera must be opened to load and remove film. At this point the camera
is vulnerable to sand and dust.
There are a number of things that you MUST do as a photographer to keep your equipment operating.
a. First and foremost, keep your camera, lens, filters, flash unit, and tripod in its case when not in use.
Expose the equipment to the elements for as short a time as possible.
b. Make sure the lens cap is in place when not shooting.
c. ALWAYS keep a filter over the lens even when not shooting. This will protect the lens from
d. Provide protection from sand and dust when changing lenses. It is during this time that the inside of
the camera is vulnerable. Sand and dust can enter the major working parts of the camera when the lens is
e. Make sure that all components are clean and free of sand and dust before attaching to the cameras.
f. While changing film, it is important to clean out the film chamber. Any film chips combined with
sand will scratch your film and could ruin the entire roll of film.
The importance of keeping the camera and lens clean cannot be emphasized enough. Even a small
amount of dust or sand can damage the camera. A photographer without a camera is a complete waste of vital
manpower and resources. It could also cause your commander's mission to fail.
Since sand and dust can penetrate the most tightly closed container, it is necessary to take specific
measures to keep these particles out of your equipment.
a. Always keep the lens hood and filter in place. The lens hood, in addition to shading the lens from the
sun, which could cause flares, helps protect the lens and filter from blowing sand. A filter such as the Ultra-
violet haze filter or a Skylight filter can be used to both protect the lens from blowing sand and can improve your
color pictures. Remember, a filter costs much less than a lens. It is a good idea to carry extra filters of this type
in the desert in case one is damaged.
b. In the desert, a neutral density filter can do two things for you. It will reduce exposure and also help
to keep the lens free of sand and dust.
c. Use compressed air (canned air) to clean the lens, filters and other camera parts. NEVER use lens
tissue on a dirty lens until all the sand has been removed. Rubbing a dirty lens will scratch the lens and render it
useless. A simple air syringe can be used to remove sand, but is not as effective as canned air.