Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photography: How to NOT miss a photo opportunity

Well i have been thinking about this more and more. In the beginning of my hobby getting started I didn't really bring my camera "everywhere" so to speak. But these days if i don't have my D40x hanging on my arm or in my bag i have the my point and shoot camera in my pocket or jacket. Always ready to take a photo. I'd thought i share some tips on how not to miss that good shot

Get a decent point and shoot camera. Why? Well there are places i will no matter what bring my DSLR, for example when i m going out with my mates to the bar and i know i m going to have a couple of beers, so i bring my much less inexpensive point and shoot just in case there is a "moment" that just needs to be snapped.

Be sure to have at least 2 batteries along with you at all times, i don't know how many times i have mentioned this (i think i mentioned it in my last post). But its going to bit you in the behind in the long run, trust me.

Make sure your equipment is clean, this is very very important. Dust on the sensor and smudge on the lens will ruin a good shot (yeah i have experienced that as well, i think most of us have and will). At least once i week i give my lenses (finally got a second one, yeah!) a clean, using 100% proof ethanol, if you cant get your hands on that go to an optics store and get some of that cleaning liquid that they use to clean glasses it will work great as well. Cleaning your sensor is another story, you shouldn't do this unless your really SURE of what your doing. A scratch on the sensor will ruin the entire camera, and they are very pricey to change for a new one, you might as well get a new body all in all. Below is a link (which i can trust) on how to clean your sensor the "safer" way.

-Cleaning your sensor

I also tend to wipe my camera body from anything that might have gotten stuck on it, sand dust salt. As i live rather close to the ocean salt is an issue and i spent quite the time by the beach with my DSRL so i make sure i give it a good wipe every time i get back from the beach.

So how do you know you have dust on your sensor? Check out the image below, it will looks like something along those lines, click the image for a bigger version.

checking for dust on the sensor

Memory- make sure you have enough to go around for a photography party so to speak! You can get some very cheap memory cards these days, so its no excuse to say your running out of memory. Get yourself another card, just get a cheaper one as a backup one. If not make sure that your cards are empty most of the time. Personally my memory card get emptied everyday, or after ever time i shoot so its empty all the time, except for the times when i m at home. I use SD (Scan Disk) cards 2GB. Just like the one below, but make sure you get the right one for your camera!

Note that this SD card will not fit all the DSLR out there, i know it fits the D40x

Keep your mode to auto or program when your not using the camera. This allows you to just turn on the camera and snap away, its not all the time you have time to fix the appreture and the shutter speed. And when walking around keep your lens on AF (auto focus) so you wont loose that chance, i forgotten about this a few times and ended up with blurry shots.

If you use filters, keep the ones on you think you will use and if you are not wanting to use those filters make sure you take them off when your not using them. I started with UV filters, but only for the purpose to protect the glass of my lenses. I did tho get filters where i can mount another filter on the UV, in case i want to mount another filter on the UV. But make suer you don't have a ND or a polarizing filter on when shooting a portrait or night shots, the shots are just going to look silly. Even tho the ND could render some interesting results.

Side note: I don't use a ND filter, because i m quite handy when it comes to post processing and i can recreate a ND filter there, but i will be heading down to Spain this summer, to the beach and i m going to get a polarizing to get a nice looking ocean.

Make it a habit to remove your lens cap. I m one of those that used to do this all the time, brought up my camera thinking my cap was of and was going to take a picture and i see that its all black through the viewfinder and i quickly move my hand over to the front. But this can delay your shot even more! So lets try to make that a habit to remove the lens cap as soon as the camera gets out from the bag, or carry your camera around in your hand and the cap in your pocket but protecting the glass from anything that can happen to it.'

Stay focus, open your eyes look around. I have noticed this: now that i m getting more and more into photography. I m looking all over the place when i m walking about, and i just see what i would have seen through the viewfinder if i look at certain locations etc, crazy, yeah i know! But it has helped my photographically speaking!

And please don't look at your all the shots you take directly after you have shot them, yeah sure take a look at the histogram and a quick glimpse at the shot, but why are you going to waste that precious time the subject or something is going on by looking at the LCD screen when you can do this later or when you get home?

If you have the space don't delete any photos, unless you really have to, or if a photo is complete junk. I have turned those "ehh maybe" shots into some pretty nice peace. Post processing can do some really nice wonders for those maybe shots.

P.S if you are wondering why i use Nikon photos here its just because i have a Nikon Camera :)

No comments: