IN THE FIELD: Best To Reset


Digital cameras are so sophisticated and full of technology it can be hard to keep track of the multitude of settings available to create a good photograph. Especially since every situation or outing is different. So how does one obtain consistent results from day to day? Have no fear…there is an easy solution.

I have found the best way to insure predictable results is to reset my camera back to the settings I use the most, before I put the camera away for the night.

Here are a few examples of what I double-check after each photo shoot.

Exposure modes. I always shoot in full manual mode so that’s an easy one to keep track of. No need to fix that setting.

ISO is another setting I don’t change often since I primarily shoot outdoors. I normally have it set between 100 and 200. Occasionally I will shoot indoors and may need to bump up the ISO level if I’m not using a flash. This is the one setting that seems to elude my easy solution. I‘m not sure why, but it does. Bad David.

White Balance is another setting I double-check. Sometimes I’ll change it for different effects, but I always put it back to the cloudy setting. I like the warmth the cloudy setting provides.

Every so often I’ll use exposure compensation. This is another important selection to put back to zero after the day’s shoot. If not, every photo taken after will be either under or over exposed. Bummer.

There are times my on-camera flash will be put to use for a little fill light. I always check to be sure the output levels are reset to zero if they were changed…wouldn’t want to under or overexpose that next scene.

And then there are the focus modes. If I employ the use of manual focus, I double-check the camera and lens settings and change them back to auto focus.

By resetting the camera back to my most often used settings, I know that when I pick the camera up the next time, it’s ready to go…with no surprises.

f 8


ISO 100

cloudy WB

  1. November 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Oh yeah! I should do this but often I’m a check it before I go person…and sometimes not 😉

    • November 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      I HAVE to reset things at the end of the day…if not I’ll pick up the camera and shoot at a high ISO, or wonder what’s wrong with the camera when it won’t focus cause it’s still in manual mode, or the focus lock is on and I can’t change the focus point, or I still have the meter set up for spot metering or….

  2. tedgriffith
    November 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    This is something I really need to get better at doing. It normally isn’t much of a problem because I tend to choose settings for every shot, but when I get in a hurry I’ll forget something like bracketing or something I rarely use. Thanks for the tip!

    • November 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Same here Ted…there are things I change from time to time and forget that I did that and….oops…wrong setting. Drat.

  3. November 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Boy this advice is timely after today’s shoot – thanks! Lovely photo, great fall colours and subject,well set up. Kudos, David.

    • November 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Glad to be of help. Forgetting to reset the ISO back to something lower is my biggest challenge. Gotta figure a way to have it show in the viewfinder! I took this photo 2 weeks ago…before the north winds stripped all the leaves from the trees.

  4. LB
    November 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Excellent advice (and beautiful photo!)

    • November 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks LB…this was the view from the deck at our rental home. Took this shot the day before we moved.

  5. November 23, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Good tips – I will bear these in mind! Thank you!

    • November 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks Jo, hope my little tips are useful. We sure do have to remember a lot since we are in the digital age. Film was straightforward…ISO was constant until a roll of film change, focus was manual…auto modes…what’s that?

  6. November 26, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Good advice. I frequently change the White Balance and forget to change it before putting my camera away, resulting in unhappy “surprises” when I process some shots that I’ve made.

  7. November 26, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Glad to offer tidbits of advice (from past experience) ISO is my biggest “surprise” but I’m getting better at remembering.

  8. December 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I know why your photos are always so terrific…it is all the little things that make a difference.

    • December 4, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Thank you Karen…you are too kind. I do have to say, you capture wonderful images also! Your compositions are always spot on, and your food and interior photos are fabulous! They are not the easiest subjects to portray in a two dimensional world.

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