6 THINGS ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOULD DO WHEN IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
You’d be forgiven for not wanting to venture outside in the cold. At the time of writing this, it’s -1°C in London – not pleasant weather for taking pictures. However, there’s a lot that you can do from the comfort of your home to keep your kit in order and make you a better photographer. Here we go!
CHECK YOUR SENSOR FOR DUST
If you’re changing lenses quickly outside, there’s a reasonable chance that a few bits of dirt or dust will have crept onto your camera’s sensor. This will cause small spots to appear on your images, which are particularly noticeable when shooting stopped-down apertures such as f/11-f/22. To check for any major dust particles, shoot at the smallest aperture you can, pointing the camera towards the sky – then zoom in on the picture so you can examine the image for any dirt or dust spots.
The best way to tackle small dust particles is to remove the lens and use a blower, positioned about 3cm away from the sensor, to puff dust away. Do NOT touch the sensor with anything hard or abrasive! If you have larger pieces of stubborn dirt you could try a sensor-cleaning kit, but if you’re not 100% confident, send the camera away to be professionally cleaned at the Olympus Service Centre.
CLEAN YOUR CAMERA AND LENSES
Giving your camera and lenses a clean will go a long way to ensuring that you get the best optical and operational performance. Cleaning your lenses with a soft lens cloth and a small amount of lens-safe cleaning solution will help keep the optics free of grease and dust, giving optimum image quality. Many Olympus lenses are weather-sealed and the ones that aren’t are very resilient to the elements – either way, cleaning them with a dust blower and a microfibre cloth will help remove any nasty bits of dust and dirt that could scratch or cause an issue with your lens.
BACK UP YOUR IMAGES
Like most photographers, you probably have a bunch of SD cards that contain images that haven’t quite made it to a hard drive – or you forget to back up anything that isn’t a big shoot and end up with a full 16GB memory card from 20 different outings.
When I think how annoyed I’d be if I lost all those images, it gives me the kick I need to back things up. With winter’s short, often cold days upon us, now is the best time to take a moment to get everything sorted and organised on the hard drive. It’s even worth tidying up your old shoots, so you can recall images without having to spend ages searching for them.
PREPARE IMAGES FOR EDITING
Many of us are guilty of shooting lots of images, backing them up to a hard drive, filing them… and then forgetting about them. If you’ve got a stack of images that need a bit of TLC, now is the perfect time to go through them, sort the good from the bad and create a folder ready for editing.
GET YOUR EDIT ON
Once you’ve got all the images you need to edit sorted into a folder, start editing them now. I find that when I edit older images, I view them with fresh eyes – and most of the time I find a couple of shots that I’m really pleased with. When you’re happy with them, why not submit one or two to our PhotoOfTheDay?
PLAN TO SHOOT SOMETHING NEW
Learning new techniques and shooting something different is a huge part of the fun of photography, isn’t it? If you need some inspiration or some guidance on something to shoot in 2016, then look no further than last week’s blog:
Now you’ve got no excuses!!