Feb 25 2005

Digital Photo Shooting – get prepared

For a rewarding digital photo shooting you will first need to get your camera prepared and to select the right basic settings which we will review just below.

In upcoming articles we will talk about common mistakes which can occur during a photo session and the best ways to approach different subjects.

First, get prepared:

For a successful digital shooting you will need all the technology to work flawlessly and not against you.

This means that you have the camera ready for shooting, no dust, dirt or finger prints on the lens(es), enough space on your digital camera memory card(s) and at least a full battery.

Clean camera:

Any dust or dirt on your lens will have a negative impact on the pictures’ quality by decreasing the image contrast. This will be more visible if you are shooting against the sun or any other strong light source.

Keeping your digital camera clean is a good habit because the dust can eventually find its way inside and shorten the camera’s life, but you should pay special attention to the lens surface. For your comfort you should also clean the viewfinder and LCD monitor.

For cleaning your digital camera you can use a blower, a brush and for dirt and fingerprints on the lens a micro-fiber cloth is usually a good choice. Avoid cleaning fluids if they are not absolutely necessary because they can easily slip inside the lens and do some damage there.

Digital Storage:

Digital photo shooting is usually more “productive” than classic (film) shooting because of the perceived “free film”. So get prepared to quickly run out of storage space.

If you are any serious about your images, never settle for lower resolution and/or higher compression. If you are shooting jpegs – as most of you are – always keep your camera on the Large – Fine setting. This will offer you a bit less images on the digital camera memory card but all the images taken will provide good quality. More on this later, in the basic setting section.

So for a successful digital photo shooting get a large digital memory card, better two of them.

Why two ? Because when you will go in that dream photo safari for two weeks you will get another storage device with you, and then a card will be in the camera while the second will be downloading to your storage device and allow you to keep shooting.

Batteries:

Those are really important because no digital camera will work without one and if you have an empty battery you can forget digital photo shooting. Digital cameras are really power hungry, especially if you use the color LCD and the internal flash a lot.

Most recent digital photo cameras use proprietary LiIon rechargeable batteries so you can’t pop in some AAs in an emergency. Actually this is a feature because their Li-ion batteries are quite well sized and may offer you enough power for at least a day of digital photo shooting but you should make sure to recharge your digital camera battery prior to the shooting session.

If you are a proficient shooter you may consider having a second charged battery to completely avoid getting caught without power when the photo opportunities appear.

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