Getting home with some fresh images burning a hole in your camera bag is exciting. Review, edit, upload, goto sleep. What I need to work on is a step between uploading and going to bed. Preparation. Normally my camera bag is ready to go, but with half charged batteries, and my memory cards not as organised as I would like. Here is what I’m working on to make sure I’m always ready to go. Nothing worse than assuming your camera is ready when it’s not. I’m sure everyone has got to the end of a long drive, or paid to get into somewhere before realizing your camera is not ready to go.
Format Cards – Nothing worse than starting to shoot and running out of room almost immediately. You need to make room, but you can’t delete the shots you have already taken. You either need to delete on the go, or swap cards. Even if your normal practice is to delete your cards before you start shooting, already having done so will increase workflow.
Charge Battery – Possibly the most obvious step. Even though I have a spare charged, not having to switch at an awkward time is a blessing. Nothing worse than getting your camera out of the bag and it’s dead. Well apart from forgetting to put the battery back in the camera at all…
Charge Flash(s) – Quite often I use a flash when I wasn’t planning on it. Flashes of course use a lot of power and being low will decrease your cycle times noticeably.
Default Settings – Ever taken a heap of photo’s then realised that the last time you used your camera the ISO was set to 1000? I have. Also make sure anything like timers are turned off. Some photographers always have a certain aperture and shutter speed set when putting the camera away so they always know the settings.
Cards Ordered – What I really need to do is put my memory cards away properly after use so they are ready to go. If I need a heap of memory I need to know where they are.
Back In The Bag – Once you have done all this, make sure your main gear is all put in your main camera bag. If you are heading out, you don’t need to do a checklist, you can just grab your bag and know everything is good to go.
Bonus Round – Clean your lenses and lens cloths from time to time too. Nothing worse than getting into the field and there is still spray on your lens from when you were near the ocean.