Whether you are trying to be a photographer, a hobbyist or you are already an established photographer, there are some basic things which, if forgotten can cause you a lot of damage or heartburn. Here is the list of such top 10 tips which you must keep in mind before / after every shoot.
1. ALWAYS RESET YOUR CAMERA SETTINGS AFTER THE SHOOT
We all change camera settings while shooting to suit the available conditions and get the best results. Imagine a scenario. You had to shoot at a setting which you do not usually do e.g shooting at higher than usual ISO like ISO 6000, or a Tungsten White Balance, Or an aperture of f/11, or even JPEG. You come back after the shoot tired. You drop the bag and hit the bed. Next day is a normal routine and your next shoot is on top of your mind. You go to that shoot and without realizing you start shooting with previous shoot’s awkward settings. And you end up ruining all your images.
Make it a habit to check and reset all your camera settings before you hit the bed.
2. TAKE MULTIPLE BACK UPS
Lethargy is our biggest enemy. And it makes us believe that we have done the job after we finish our shoot. In fact, completing shoot is only half done. Taking backup is equally important because a little lapse, you end up losing all images. In fact, backup should start simultaneously while the shoot is on. Figure out a way to take back up almost immediately your SD Card is full. Do not even wait to go back home before you do it. And take multiple backups and keep them in different locations viz one copy at your home and one at your office.
3. DON’T DELETE IMAGES, INSTEAD FORMAT THE CARD
Erasing / deleting images only deletes them and does not do much. But when you format your card, it does not only delete the images but also adds relevant and important camera information. This step minimizes the risk of data corruption. Also one add on tip is that you must format your card in the camera you are going to shoot from.
4. CHOOSE IMAGE FORMAT WISELY
While choosing your image format do not go by others say is right. Do not use RAW just because everyone says it’s the only format one should be using.
RAW: When you want to get the max information to help you create what you want as a final image.
JPEG: JPEG are best bets if your genre of photography does not allow you to do much post processing and / or you need to send images almost immediately after the shoot. e.g photo journalist
RAW+JPEG: If you are required to send your low res images for clients to select from, then this combination works best.
5. CHARGE YOUR BATTERIES
Starting to assume things can prove to be damaging. Stop assuming that your batteries have sufficient charge in them for your next shoot. Keep checking in between and/or after the shoot and keep charging at regular intervals. You don’t want to stop shooting because battery was out of power; do you?
6. MAKE A CHECK LIST
Make it a habit to make a check list of camera equipment / things to do before every shoot and/or travel. And go to the minutest detail while doing that. Yes, even that small cable which you have not used in last 10 years. Your memory can fail but that list will always remind and be your savior.
7. READ HISTOGRAM
The worst thing you can do as a photographer is to rely on the accuracy of back LCD screen while on a shoot. Make it a habit to refer to Histogram for every shot. In fact, set the preview to Image+Histogram so you don’t have to waste time in checking histogram after every image.
8. ALWAYS KEEP CARD POUCH HANDY
You are in the middle of your shoot and the card suddenly gets full. What do you do? Take that out of camera and put it in your pocket? Well, you are certainly a dare devil when it comes to photography. Keep your card carry pouch readily accessible so that you don’t have to look for it once it gets full. This way you will playing safe.
9. QUALITY V/S PRICE
Do not compromise on quality when it comes to buying accessories. The cheaper the price, the lower the quality of the accessory you are buying. These accessories equally contribute to the image quality. Each compromise, degrades your final image quality.
10. UPDATE FIRMWARE
This step, though most important, is usually forgotten and neglected by photographers. Camera companies release firmware updates on regular basis to improve the camera performance. And by not updating regularly, you are still shooting with our old camera which has many shortcomings. You don’t have to go to authorized service center to do that. Just log in to the company website and download the latest version.