Tips & Tricks

by Alan Martin

Photography Tips

  • Always change lenses with the camera off, down, and away from wind.
  • Format your memory cards before you use them. To ensure no data loss, it is always a good practice to totally reformat your card after each download to your computer.
  • Keep sand far away from your camera. Even a small amount of sand can ruin a camera lens.
  • Check your sensor for dust by shooting f/22 against a bright area (e.g. the sky or a window) at a slow shutter speed.
  • Always shoot in color even if you want black and white. You can convert the image into black and white later and you will have an image with a higher resolution.
  • Use the centre point of focus and AF-S(Nikon) or One shot drive mode(Canon) to lock and hold the focus; it’s very fast and accurate.
  • Daylight fill flash can really improve a foreground.

15 Safety Tips

  1. Use a UV filter to protect all your lenses. Remember, it is always cheaper to replace a filter than a scratched lens.
  2. Keep a supply of plastic bags (rain covers) with you. Better yet, invest in a professional rain cover (inexpensive but invaluable).
  3. Always use lens cleaning cloths and lens cleaning pens (avoid liquid cleaners). Liquids can easily leak in your bag, damaging equipment.
  4. Avoid dangling straps off a table. It is easy to pull the camera off the table.
  5. Make sure you always zip up your bag when not using it. It is easy to pick up the back while it is unzipped resulting in equipment falling out (especially true for backpacks).
  6. Be very careful around liquids. Keep water, coffee, and other drinks on the floor or on a different surface entirely from your expensive equipment.
  7. Buy a professional sensor cleaning kit to clean dust and dirt from your camera’s image sensor. Check your sensor’s cleanliness regularly and avoid annoying dust retouching in Photoshop (a giant time waster).
  8. Using old messy camera bags when traveling so as to not attract attention to your gear.
  9. Take the time to always pack your bag properly and check to see that no sharp edges are exposed that could scratch equipment. Avoid any liquids in or around your bag while your gear is in transit.
  10. Backup your digital memory cards after every photo-shoot. Use a laptop or a hand held backup device. Lost images mean time wasted. Some images can never be reshot.
  11. Only buy high quality, fast, and professional memory cards. It is worth the extra investment and significantly improves the reliability of your photography.
  12. Always change lenses with the camera off, away from wind, and always leave your camera open and exposed for as little time as possible.
  13. Format your memory cards before and after using them. To reduce the chance of lost images.
  14. Keep sand far away from your camera. Even a small amount of sand can ruin a camera lens.
  15. Backup your images after loading them into your computer. I recommend the most important images get burned and store in a safely deposit box.