Hey Every one! Hope your having a great week! This week I want to go over some hacks and best practices that I have developed over the years of photography. We all have little things we do to help us along and some of these I may have mentioned in other blogs along the way. These are things that I do that seem to help me when I'm doing my photography thing. Some of them might not seem like photography specific related things but they will help. So here are 10 hacks or best practices that might help you.
1. Keep an organized photography bag. Keeping a organized bag will speed you up when you're out photographing. Having a specific spot for everything in your bag does a few things. First it keeps you from loosing stuff. If you have a specific place for everything you can quickly know when something is missing. Because you will have an empty space where there is not suppose to be. I lost a camera strap for over a year because I just shoved it in my bag where it wasn't suppose to be and when I went looking for it I couldn't find it because it was a black strap in a black pocket and I didn't see it. This was at a wedding I was shooting and I took the strap off because it was getting in my way I said to myself Ill just put it here so it won't get lost. Well it was lost even though it was in my bag. I ended up getting a new one before I found this one and now I have two. The second thing it will do is speed up you're photography. When you're out shooting you don't have to look for something you know where it is and you can quickly get to it without searching. You can do it in the dark because you will be so familiar.
2. Keep micro fiber clothes everywhere. You've heard this hack before. If your like me you have these little micro fiber clothes laying around everywhere. You get them at the eye doctor in almost every electronic you buy they just accumulate. So in every slot of my camera bag I put one or two at the bottom under a lens or under a battery. That way when I'm out in the field and I need one there is one very handy. I always have one in my pocket also. So if I'm shooting away from my bag I can pull one out. It also comes in handy if you're out shooting with a friend and they need a cloth you can quickly pull one out of your pocket for them to use. This has happened to me more than once.
3. Gaffers Tape. Gaffers tape is wonderful. Its very sticky but it does not leave a sticky residue when you remove it. It's like duct tape without the mess. It comes in handy when putting cords away or just to hold something together. I stick this tape in various places to always have it handy. I will put a piece on a large lens hood or wrap it around something like a lens brush so I always have some in my bag without taking a roll of it with me. This tip can get you out of a jam.
4. Medicine. If your older like I am sometimes you need the help of say a Tylenol or a Tums to get you through the day. Instead of taking a bottle of each I use an old film canister and put a few of each in and use it as a pill bottle. This works great and is the perfect size to keep the weight and clutter down in my camera bag. I then can wrap Gaffers tape on the outside the bottle to use like in the item above.
5. Emergency Rain Poncho. I always have an emergency rain poncho with me. Here is the reason. I went to a state park to shoot a waterfall its about a mile or so hike in to get to the fall. When I left the weather was fine but one of those afternoon thunder storms snuck up on me and it started a downpour. I got pretty wet. I did have a Plastic bag that I covered up my gear with but I got soaked. From then on I carry one of these little disposable ponchos with me. They only cost about 5 dollars and really come in handy.
6. Take an umbrella. Along with the tip above about rain ponchos. If it looks like you'll be shooting in the rain. Maybe doing street photography take a small umbrella with you. Not so much to keep you dry or your camera dry but to keep water spots off of the front of your lens. Theses little umbrellas are handy and deploy with a touch of a button.
7. Check Camera Settings before you arrive. Make sure your camera is ready to go for that first shot. If your going on a camera shoot before you leave or travel make sure your camera is set up to shoot the second you arrive. Make sure the ISO is set to where you want it. Maybe you were shooting Night photography and you have the shutter set at 30 seconds and you don't check it. When you arrive at the first spot the next day and you frame up your shot and click! Nothing happens for 30 seconds and you may miss the shot. So give your settings a once over before you leave so this does not happen to you.
8. Batteries, Batteries, Batteries. While most of us are shooting digital and even more are shooting mirrorless cameras always have fresh batteries at the beginning of the day. One of my mirrorless cameras is notorious for eating batteries. So the night before a day trip or after a day of shooting on a multi day trip the first thing I do when I get to the hotel or at my house is put a fresh battery in my camera. Charge up the one that came out and any that you have used up during the day so the next day you have a fresh set with you. Nothing can stop your photography like a dead battery. Be prepared and always carry a spare or two.
9. Have lots of SD cards. Another of my nightly checks before a trip is to make sure I have an freshly formatted SD card in my camera for the nest day. When I arrive at my hotel after a shoot I pull out my SD card and insert a fresh one and format. Boom! Camera is ready for the next day! The one I took out I backup and store in a camera wallet. I shoot one SD card or more per day and a fresh one every day. These cards are fairly cheap and beside a dead battery this can stop you from shooting. If you're shooting and your card gets full and you don't have another then you are stuck deleting shots off of your card to make room wasting time. I always carry one or two spares with me just incase I have a card go bad or I fill one up.
10. Comfortable Shoes! Wearing comfortable shoes is one of the best things you can do for your photography shoot. Trying to hike or walk a city street or just being on your feet for an extended time. If you don't have comfortable shoes your feet hurt and you can concentrate on the matter at hand , shooting! Wear comfortable clothes as well. Tight fitting binding clothes will also make you uncomfortable leading to missed shots.
Well there are ten hacks or best practices. I could probably come up with more with a little thinking. I'm sure there are some stuff that you do that could help us. Share a hack or best practice that you do. So until next week please stay safe and get outside and shoot!