Here are 5 tasks that can prepare us for more successful shooting and efficient post processing.
- Check It — If you're like us, you have multiple data cards of varying capacities, all stowed in different locations. Gather your cards together and check each one to ensure they are really empty before shooting. You don't want to overwrite that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antartica or lose that exhausting-but-fun family vacation. Download any remaining contents then format the cards in your camera. Now you can confidently capture new images without losing yesterday's amazing moments.
- Wipe It — Gather your lenses. Carefully remove the lens filters. Use lens wipes and soft cloths to clean the filters, inside and out, then wipe the glass clean. Also wipe the outer case with a dry microfiber cloth to remove dust and debris, like dried mud from it face-planting off the tripod and other past mishaps. Starting off with clean lenses eliminates any unnecessary spot correction in post work.
- Sense It — It's a fact that all sensors will need to be cleaned at some point. Dust and other particles sneak in regardless of how careful we are. It's an easy thing to check. Simply set your aperture to F22, snap a few frames of the bright sky or piece of white paper, then view them on your computer to check for dark spots. You can either clean the sensor yourself—some sensor cleaning kits include all the tools you need—or take the camera body to your local camera shop, like The Photo Center, or send it to the manufacturer and start the season with a clean slate.
Watch a tutorial for your specific camera before attempting to clean the sensor yourself.
- Bag It — We all have our favorite gear bags. Dragging them around to different locations, plunking them on the ground while we shoot, and opening them up to the environment guarantees that debris gets inside. Make time to empty the compartments and wipe them out with a damp cloth. Allow them to dry thoroughly before stuffing the contents back inside.
- Organize It — We've all done it...showed up without a charged battery or tripod or with malfunctioning gear ... right?! Before reloading your gear bag, double check each item to make sure it's clean and working properly. Inventory every lens, camera body, and accessory. Then, create a check list so nothing gets left behind. List comfort items, like water, snacks, and meds, so you can be confident and comfortable on longer days out. Then organize...stow batteries in one compartment and data cards in another. Can some gear be offloaded for a less weight? Make sure to distribute the weight of contents evenly to help minimize fatigue on longer hauls.
What prep steps do you use? Click "comments" below to share them with our other photo family members.