Probably the worst thing that can happen – through your own fault at least – is to arrive on site and find that you’ve forgotten to bring something. For example – you remembered your tripod bit forgot to mount an L-bar or arca swiss tripod plate on your camera. The checklists below might help to prompt you when preparing.
- Clean Lens & filters
- Charge batteries – camera and phone
- Check space on SD card/s.
- Replace with new cards if necessary
- Check tripod legs firm/adjust as needed
BEFORE YOU GO
Pack as below:
- Camera plus charged battery/ies
- Clean Lens/es
- L- Bar or swiss arca plate or equivalent
- SD card/s
- Phone with charged battery
- Filter holder
- Step-up adapter/s
- Clean Filter/s
- Blower / Lenspens
- Microfibre cloth/ lens wipes
- Remote cable shutter release if available
- Torch/ head torch if planning night shots
- Food Change for meters?
- Clothing/ footwear for conditions
- Bag for litter
- Check viewpoint OK?
- Foreground/Midground OK?
- Check scene for composition?
- Remove portable distractions
- If necessary move elsewhere
- Set up tripod securely/firmly
- Attach camera firmly to tripod
- Remove lens cap and store safely
- Check camera set level to horizon
- Attach remote cable shutter/ self-timer
- Take a base shot
- Check Preview for focus, exposure, and white balance
- If necessary change settings, take another shot and check
- Note shutter speed, aperture, ISO
- Tape lens barrel to lock focus
- Switch to Manual Mode
- Enter the aperture and ISO
SET UP FILTER SHOOTING
- Set High ISO Noise Reduction OFF
- Set Shake Reduction OFF
- Set Mirror Lock UP
- Enter base shutter speed from test shot into app to calculate settings for ND filter being used
- Enter shutter speed for that ND filter onto camera if less than 30 seconds
- Attach Adapters and Filter/s
- Use gaffer tape on viewfinder (and lens exposure window) to seal against stray light entering camera during exposure
- Do not re-focus: Change mode to Bulb if recommended shutter speed more than 30 seconds
- If using more than 30 seconds set Long Exposure Noise Reduction ON
- Check filter still clean
- Use calculated time to start timer and TAKE SHOT
AFTER THE SHOT
- Allow time for Long Exposure Noise Reduction activity
- REVIEW image – ADJUST AND RETAKE IF NECESSARY
- When finished remove filter/s and adapters & pack securely
- Replace lens cap and lens hood.
- Fold tripod
- Check that you are leaving nothing behind
- Check that your backpack zips etc are closed properly
- Pack and leave
I think that with this post I’ve now covered most of the trickiest things that anyone new to photography needs to know. If anyone reading this blog wishes me to cover a different aspect, please let me know. Otherwise, my next post will revert to my writing hobby.