You’ve probably had times before when you came across something interesting and unexpected, but you didn’t have your camera ready at the right moment. In situations like these, you try to take it out of the bag as quickly as possible, mount the right lens and start shooting, but most of the times, the moment is long gone.
Here are a few tips to help you stay prepared at all times and make the most of sudden opportunities.
Disable mirror lockup
Mirror lockup is a great feature to use when you have absolute control over your subject and the time you have available. It works great when using a tripod and when the entire process is a slow paced one. For action shots and fast moments, it’s best to leave it off.
Keep the lens cap off
As long as you have a quality UV filter mounted on your lens, it’s ok to keep the lens cap off. I don’t think there is any photographer out there who hasn’t missed at least one great opportunity because of a forgotten lens cap. Keep it off while shooting or whenever you’re in a situation when unexpected events might happen, and put it back on at the end of the day.
Set your camera to continuous shooting
Sometimes things happen so fast that you need all the speed your camera can give you. That means a high frame rate that should always be ready to use. It’s better to just hold the shutter release than to have to press it each time for every photo.
Keep the right lens on
Each photographer has a favorite lens that he uses most of the times. It’s best to have that one mounted at all times because the last thing you want to do when something interesting comes up is to go through your camera bag and change the lens. Even if you have a lot of practice, it will still take valuable time, and you often won’t have that time.
Keep the memory card clean
It’s best to have the most available space on your memory card because you never really know how shots you need to fire to get that one, perfect shot. Always have a spare, empty memory card on you, or at least make sure there is plenty of space on the one you’re using.
Use the stabilizer
If your camera or lens has a built in stabilization system, make sure to keep it turned on. You will often not have the time to make the proper camera settings and the exposure could be a bit too long for normal hand held use. The stabilizing systems actually work and help prevent getting missed shots from motion blur.