5. SHOOTING AT AN ISO THATS TOO HIGH
The downside to many and any digital camera is it’s ISO ability, every photographer wants better high ISO ability out of their cameras. I know that’s what I look for when it comes to buying a new camera. But the thing is knowing what ISO to use for the right time and how far you can push your ISO before you lose quality is essential. A lot of times beginners will increase their ISO too high thus giving themselves an image that will suffer from high ISO noise.
Like for example if your hand hold shooting a landscape scene you can do this easily with an ISO of 100 and a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second, to play it safe go 200 iso and 1/400th of a second. There is no need to shoot it at 800 iso and a shutter speed of 1/1600th of a second. For more details on ISO and how to use it, you can read our article on it.
6. NOT HAVING AN IMAGE / FILE BACKUP SYSTEM
Aside from your camera gear, the files you capture can soon become far more valuable than your camera gear. For me, I can’t put a price on what my images are worth or what I would do if they were suddenly lost that’s why I have multiple back up systems in effect.
My first line of image saving is using a Drobo Storage System where the files are stored on a hard drive that is backed up by another hard drive within the unit. Then if a hard drive dies you replace it and the system will re back itself up and nothing is lost.
My second line is having an external hard drive that is a mirrored copy of what sits on the Drobo. I use a program called GoodSync that will keep it updated. When you add new images to the Drobo and then attach your external hard drive one will check the other and then update accordingly.
Now aside from the RAW files, I have from shoots, from them I create master print files that are used when I add images to my website for sale. These are the real precious images to me. These files live in their own folder on my Drobo along with the external hard drive. They also live on another two separate hard drives marked Working One and Working Two. One I keep pretty much on me or around me at all times and the other I have located at an address that is not my personal one or my work. This is in case my house burns to the ground or some grub breaks into the house and steals it.
The main thing is having your images sitting in at least two location’s not on the same device. Have one on your computer hard drive and on an external hard drive as the minimum.
7. USING FREE IMAGE EDITING SOFTWARE
It’s time to get serious, there is only one editing platform out there and that is Photoshop or Lightroom if you must. Gone are the days where you use to buy Photoshop for $1000, you can get it for $12 AUD or $9 US a month on a subscription and then you get all the updates immediately and using the latest software. Photoshop is the benchmark for all image editing, the free resources online on using it are extensive. I could mention Photoshop Elements but why bother at those prices and also what I find with Photoshop Elements is that if you are going to learn an editing platform just use Photoshop. Photoshop Elements is fine but it has limitations or the workarounds you need to do to get it to do kind of what Photoshop will do perfectly with a few clicks really makes Photoshop the clear and only winner.
There are a lot of good programs out there that do help you with your images like Panoramic Stitching software PtGui, but all these programs will complement and feed into Photoshop for the final editing.