Reasons to Carry a Camera

I work at the summit of a nearly 14,000ft mountain that sits atop a pretty tropical island. That alone is good enough reason to carry a camera at all times. You never know when you will need that camera, beauty appears when you least expect it.

Dome Motor Controller
The control wiring for a Keck 1 dome VFD motor controller
There are other reasons to carry a camera in my life. I often use the camera to document my work. There is a camera, the little EOS-M, in my backpack alongside the rest of my tools. Wire cutters, screwdrivers, allen wrenches, a multimeter, all the useful tools I need every day, along with a camera, memory cards and spare batteries.

The advent of digital cameras where the cost of each photo is negligible has made this possible. This would not have been practical in the days of film. Yes, I remember those days, counting out every frame of a 36 exposure roll, deciding if the shot was worth it. In this digital age I usually have a dedicated camera along and never worry about shooting. If that camera is out of reach there is always the iPhone in my pocket.

The equipment I work on is often unique, there may be only one copy in the world. Two if we have one installed on both Keck 1 and Keck 2. The documentation can be of varying quality, some is good, some is abysmal, some is just plain wrong. Some of this gear was professionally built by engineers, some of it was built by graduate students who would never need to fix it years later.

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