Well no matter what the weather has been lately, we know that sooner or later summer will be here. So keeping that in mind it is time that we take a quick look at our camera equipment to make sure that it is in excellent shape before summer arrives.
No matter what kind of camera equipment that you have, how much camera equipment you have or how often you take pictures a few minutes now will save a lot of worries and problems later. So here are a few things to look at before the summer photo opportunities:
- You should take out all your camera equipment (camera bodies, lenses, tripods, mono pods) and make sure that there are no cracks or visible damage to your equipment. It is amazing how much damage can be done when the equipment is in storage, you put the equipment away and it is in good shape and when you get it out there is damage to it. It must be all the little gremlins that live in our closets that are doing this damage 🙂 . Honestly I think that a lot of times we have problems with our equipment or we see damage then we put it away and forget that we had a problem to begin with.
- After checking the body of the camera, lenses, flashes, tripods and mono pods the next thing to check are your batteries. Most cameras that are on the market today use a battery pack and I have never seen a battering pack explode when in storage, which is a good thing. But if you have flashes or other camera equipment that use standard batteries you should be checking them to make sure that your batteries have not exploded while in storage. If you do have a battery that has exploded you should clean this out as soon as possible. If it is just a little bit of corrosion inside the battery compartment use the eraser part of a pencil to clean off the contacts. As far as your camera, even with a battery pack, you should charge up your battery, or batteries, to make sure that they will hold a charge (also to make sure that you can find your battery charger).
- Next you should make sure all the images on your camera card have been saved to your computer and backed up to an external hard drive or a DVD. After you have transferred all your images to your computer and backed them up then you should format your camera card. By formatting your camera card you’re taking all the images and other data off the card and resetting it to like new condition. This is also a good time to buy another camera card if you think you’re going to need more storage space this summer. There’s no sense leaving it until the last minute and have to pay a prime price as you rush out of town.
- Next I am going to recommend this ONLY if you had problems in the past with your camera, or you’re not sure who has used your camera since you had it out last. (You do not need to do this if you regularly use your camera and you’re happy with the images that you’ve been getting from it). Take the camera and using the reset all function set your menus back to the way the camera was programmed at the factory. This is not something that you want to do on a regular basis but if you’re not sure about your camera, who has used it, or you had issues the last time you used it this can save you a lot of headaches and I have had people that were ready to buy a new camera and by using the reset function fixed their camera issues.
- After doing all the above you should take a few images to make sure that your camera is actually working. Try all your lenses to make sure that each lens is working correctly, try your on camera flash or external flash, and try the different ISO settings. You do not have to do any special pictures just your general pictures to see if everything is working as it should. After you take these images you should transfer them to your computer and pull them up to make sure that the image quality is correct and also check them for dust. It does no good to take a pile of images over your vacation and then find out that your quality setting was set too low, or there was dust on your lens or sensor, or your lens was not focusing correctly.
- If you want to buy additional camera equipment this is a great time of the year to do so. You can check flyers, online prices and shop around to get the exact deal that you’re looking for. You also have time to try the new equipment before you head out on vacation. Be cautious when buying additional equipment and make sure that is actually something that you need or have a use for before buying it. No sense spending money on something that will never get used, may as well use that money to enjoy the summer instead of wasting it on equipment that will not be used.
- Take a photography course!! Yes I have to put a plug in for a photography course. It is actually one of the easiest ways to improve your photography and to make sure that your camera is correctly set for your summer adventures.
- Now that you’ve gone through everything, you know that you’re equipment is working, and you’ve taken a photography course 😉 it is time that you put your equipment and knowledge to use. Don’t wait until summer is here head out for an afternoon or even a weekend and take some pictures. Only by doing and learning will your photography get better.
Take the time now to make sure that your summer pictures are the best they can be.