A few simple steps to prepare your camera and accessories before you start photographing will establish a routine that could save precious memories from being lost forever.
Batteries, cards and protection
Your new camera has arrived and you can’t wait to start shooting.
A few minutes and a simple routine will protect your photos and your camera.
- Treat yourself to a spare battery or two
- Treat yourself to a spare flash card or two
- The perfect camera bag
- Lens protection
A spare battery will save heartache, it is always when you really desperately want to take that fantastic shot, of an unusual animal that has turned up to investigate your campsite. Of that perfect sunset. The list can go on!!You have been out all day, you have been using your camera and the battery is almost exhausted. That spare battery, fully charged will save you from that “if only”feeling.
Do not store your batteries together, or carry them together. I had two batteries in my pocket, while videoing a wedding and I literally got zapped, like a mini bolt of electricity. The terminals had rubbed together and my whole leg tingled.
Also please take in mind that while travelling in aircraft, you must put your batteries in carry on luggage. You will be requested to either put them in separate plastic bags, or tape the terminals.
FORMAT YOUR CARDS
When you purchase your flash cards, before you take that first photo, you MUST format the card. This enables your camera to communicate with your card efficiently and prolongs the life of your cards.
It is also imperative to format your cards regularly. I format mine each time I have finished a days shooting or finish or job. When you come home from a days shoot, upload all your photos to a hard drive, (not your computer). When you have uploaded all the photos, made another copy, whether to another hard drive, USB, or the cloud, then format your card again.
To format your card, go to menu and find the format tag. Choose the format button and the camera will ask you to you really want to format as by doing so you will delete all the information (photos) on the card. Say “Yes” and watch as your card is cleaned ready for use again.
A lot of people just delete individual photos off the card and think they are cleaning it. However, by deleting the photos and not formatting the card, it is like washing your window with a dirty cloth, it will leave a trail behind. When you format your card, it will be squeaky clean with no trailing information left.
So it is so important to back up all your photos, twice. Then format your card.
To protect your card, keep it in the plastic pouch that it came in. Or keep them all together in a card holder.
When choosing a camera bag, make sure it has plenty of room for your camera and lens to fit snugly, not too tight and not to have so much spare space that they will bounce around with movement. I like three or four pouches or pockets, for batteries, cards, your battery charger and cord, cleaning cloth and lens cleaner. Also think about your future purchases, a speedlight, lens filters. I also like a spare spot to keep my keys, so that when I see something I must photograph or video, and I am racing to grab that sunset, before it disappears. I don’t have to worry about my keys dropping out of my pocket.
AFTER THE PHOTO SHOOT
As soon as possible after the photo shoot, load up your images to a storage device. I like to have a couple of external hard drives, so that if one fails, and they will, you will lose all your images. Remember they are precious to you. I personally do not like to clog up my computer or my laptop with my images. Images are large in size and will make your computer slow down measurably. I am also not a fan of cloud storage, you can’t control them, where do they end up and do you physically own them.
My next job is to charge up the batteries that you have used on the shoot. This ensures that you are ready for the next shoot, whether, it is planned or a spur of the minute, rush out the door, to grab that perfect sunset, the native animal or bird that has flown into your backyard.
Only when my batteries are charged and my images are uploaded to two separate external hard drives, do I pack up my gear and store it ready for the next assignment.
Also as soon as you can upload your images to your processing program, (if you shoot in raw, more about this later). Save them and if possible do a basic process. I use Adobe Lightroom and although not free, it is also not expensive, and I find it extremely easy to use and fast.