Great weather is finally here and school will be out in a few days. It's almost summer time, everything is green and growing and it is time to take some serious photographs.
Before you go out and play, let me give you a few tips to help you get some great photos. First check your batteries. If you use rechargeable batteries, make sure they are fully charged. If you use alkaline or lithium batteries, put in a fresh set and make sure they haven't leaked or anything bad that might hinder the operation of your camera. Next check the settings on your camera and make sure it is set for proper operation. Maybe you've been messing with the buttons to try different things or you might have loaned your camera to someone who changed the settings and didn't move them back. Just take a minute to set everything back to whatever you consider normal. A lot of newer cameras can be reset back to the factory settings by simply changing one of the menu settings.
Another small but important thing to check is your strap. Straps come loose over time and if it would happen to let go at the wrong time it could be a very expensive drop. Take a minute to make sure it is still tight and won't let your camera fall.
Next, clean your lens. The best thing to use is a microfiber cloth to clean your lens and LCD display. It's the same type of cloth you would use to clean your eyeglasses.
If you have a film camera, drop in a fresh roll of film. If you are digital, you should clear off your card by downloading all your images onto your computer and burning them to a CD or DVD. After you back up your images and ONLY after you have copies safely backed up on your computer and on disc you can use the format function on your camera to basically clean your card. The process of taking pictures and erasing them over and over again can eventually leave stray data on your card and could possibly confuse your camera. The format function sweeps your card clean and only needs to be done if you are experiencing card related errors. Did I mention to make sure you have a backup of the pictures before you use the format command?
OK, that should give you enough homework to keep you busy for a little while. As soon as you are done with your homework you can go outside and play. Have fun!
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a Master Photographer as well as a Certified Professional Photographer.)