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A Post-Shoot Ritual for the Digital SLR Photographer

Part of the dSLR Settings & Shortcuts For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Photography is art, not rocket science. However, you do work with a digital SLR camera and change settings when taking photographs under certain conditions. If you don’t change the settings to their default values after a photo shoot, you may end up with undesirable results. It’s helpful to go through this list after every photo shoot and prepare your camera for your next photo outing:

  1. Download images to your computer.

    After the download, rename the images and apply keywords; doing so makes locating the images later much easier.

  2. Back up image files.

    An external hard drive is an excellent place to back up your images. External hard drives provide an inexpensive way to safeguard your precious image files if you have a problem with your computer hard drive.

  3. Reformat the memory card.

    Always reformat the memory card in your camera. Don’t format the cards using your computer. Your camera has the correct algorithm to format your cards properly.

  4. Set the ISO to its lowest setting.

  5. Set White Balance to Auto.

  6. Set Exposure Compensation to 0.

  7. Set the on-camera flash to OFF.

  8. Recharge your camera battery and spare battery if necessary.

  9. Set the camera metering to Evaluative.

  10. Disable auto-exposure bracketing.

  11. Clean your camera body.

    Always use a soft cloth to remove any accumulated grime. If necessary, dampen the cloth and then wring it almost dry. Wiping the camera body with an almost dry cloth is highly recommended if you’ve been taking photographs at the beach and there is a lot of salt spray in the air.

  12. Clean your camera lenses.

    Purchase a lens cleaning kit at your favorite camera retailer and use it after every shoot. You’ll get better pictures with a clean lens.

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