Check Your Images!

Alistair Smith Alistair, All Authors Leave a Comment

A short blog from me this week, but just a reminder to check your images as frequently as possible!

Perhaps the most common mistake to make when it comes to wildlife photography, is the failure to check your images regularly! It sounds so basic right? How could you ever know how your photographs are turning out if you don’t check them? Well, almost every photographer has a story about rattling off a series of images in a sighting without checking their settings, which indicates that its a fairly common mistake to make.

So, don’t feel too disappointed if its happened to you, I can assure you it continues to happen to the best of us!

Having said that, its something really easy to train yourself to do every time you are out in the field. However, the problem comes in when theres a ton of action in a scene and you are more focused on capturing the action than you are in ensuring you have the right settings dialed in – the temptation is too great!

If you work on changing your mindset to check your settings prior to and during in a scene, your image “keeper” rate will increase significantly and you’ll avoid the disappointment of shooting an entire scene either completely out of focus, way overexposed, or at the wrong aperture and associated depth of field – none of which you can recover irrespective of your post-processing skills.

One way in which to achieve this, without missing out on any of the action is to familiarize yourself with the buttons and functions on your camera so that you are able to make adjustments to settings whilst looking through the viewfinder instead of dropping the camera – staying constantly engaged in the action!

If you have traveled with Wild Eye before, you would be familiar with the manner in which our guides are dedicated to ensuring that our guests are always in the best positions, and provided with the best opportunities to capture unique images. Part of this, includes our guides vocalizing camera settings throughout a sighting to ensure that everyone has the right settings dialed in. Whilst this certainly proves helpful, it also presents a risk of guests becoming too dependent on awaiting a guide’s instructions without having given any thought to the kinds of settings a particular scene may require on their own. So, to counter-act this, we try and make sure that guests understand WHY they are making certain changes to camera settings based on what they are seeing in front of them, rather than shouting out commands that may be forgotten moments after the images have been captured.

We try and equip those that travel with us, with the type of knowledge of digital photography necessary to ensure that they are able to make changes to camera settings in order to capture great images of their own. The trick? check check and check your images again! There is no golden recipe to dialing in certain settings for low light, or sunrises and sunsets, or for when theres action. Its dependent on too many other factors! So, understand your camera and settings, and check your images after every few shots to make sure that you’re on the right track! Its also a form of immediate feedback based on any adjustments you may have made in between frames!

Cheers for now,


About the Author

Alistair Smith

I left a corporate career in pursuit of a burning passion for the great outdoors and all things wilderness. Following a relatively short professional guiding career, I arrived at the realisation that my true passion was for adventure and wildlife photography. It is in this pursuit of adventure, that I would like to continue to share my passion for photography with others. I look forward to changing the way you see the world!

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