Last week, I shared with you how I prep my gear before heading out to a shoot.  I briefly hinted on checking my settings and how that helps me save time in the long run. This week, I thought I would expand a bit more on exactly what I am checking {and constantly changing} before photographing anything!

Before You Click: Checking Your Settings

Week 43: October 19-25

1. Check your white balance. One of the first things that I check before shooting is my white balance. Your white balance can change from shot to shot simply by going outside after being inside. Indoors, I usually compensate for artificial lighting and set my white balance to fluorescent. When I am outside, I typically stick to the cloudy setting as it adds some warmth to my photos.

2. Make sure you are using the right file format and size. I know, I know. Why would I ever change this, right?  Normally, I shoot in RAW and process the images through Lightroom and export as JPEGs. However, if I am traveling or will be uploading on someone else’s computer, I can’t rely on them having the right program to handle a RAW file. In those rare instances, I have to switch over to JPEG. There have been times when I forget to switch over to RAW and I kick myself later when I am post-processing. Other times you may change the setting is when you need to conserve space on your memory card. If you know you won’t be printing your images and only using them on the web, you can get away with using a smaller file size.

3. Check shutter speed and aperture. After I check my white balance and file formats, I start looking at the exposure triangle. I take into account the depth of field I want to achieve, the lighting, and my subjects. I start off with my aperture first. If I want a shallow depth of field, I know I can use a fast shutter speed. I don’t need the shutter to be open too long to let a lot of light in. If I am working with a moving target, I might use a smaller aperture {larger f/ stop} and a quick shutter speed to freeze the frame. If you think about all of this prior to shooting, then you can go about your shooting without having to stop and adjust.

It seemed as if you really enjoyed playing around last week and sharing your best of the week, so we are doing it again! Make sure you take your settings into consideration prior to shooting. Make sure you share your best on Facebook!