Mistakes are common in photography. Here’s a checklist I created to help me avoid the worst of them so that I don’t screw up that perfect shot.
Before the Shoot
– Charge battery in the camera, spare in the bag
– Empty memory card in the camera, spare in the bag
– Camera set to shoot raw
– Picture size to large
– Picture control to your preference (neutral is mine)
– ISO set to desired value, usually 100
– Camera in right mode (aperture priority or manual)
– Shutter release set to your preference (single or mirror up)
During the Shoot
– Once composition is set, lock down tripod legs, ballhead, and camera plate
– Check focus and depth of field
– Before each shot inspect lens and filters for dust or water drops
– After each shot review your histogram and highlight warning, adjust exposure or bracket if necessary
– Check the corners and edges of each shot for distracting elements or important elements that are cut off
– Check for lens flare
– Bracket a few shots for white balance
– If shoot moving objects, try different shutter speeds
After the Shoot
Celebrate your kick ass shot!
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Joshua Cripps is a full-time landscape photographer living near Yosemite National Park in California.
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