Disney Photographer Habits

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I came across an article the other day about photographer bad habits. I thought I would pass on a few of them to you.

Batteries, Don’t Leave Home Without Them:

Okay, raise your hand if you have done this while at Walt Disney World: Forgot to recharge your camera batteries from the day before or leave your room without bringing any extra camera batteries. Mine is sure raised as I have done both.

I have gotten into a routine when I travel to do the following two things. The first is to never leave the room without enough batteries to last an entire day of shooting. Usually my cameras can last a full day without depleting one battery unless I am going to do long night exposures using a tripod. Then I will need a second battery. The second is no matter how tired I am, I start charging batteries as soon as I get back to the room. Another tip is to bring a multi-outlet power strip as there so you have enough outlets for all your electronics which need charging.

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin ride in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin ride in Tomorrowland.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV -0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

Memory Cards, Bring as Many as You Need:

Memory cards are not very expensive these days and I bring as many as I will need plus five more for my trips to Walt Disney World. That way even after putting the day’s photos on my computer and travel sized memory drive (hard drive or solid state), the cards are my third back up. I have a memory card case and when I put the used cards back in, I turn them so the back is facing up telling me I have used it and I lock it so it can not be used until I unlock it. It will make me think before I format the card.

Speaking of formating, you should do that to all the cards before the trip. Easier to start with clean cards each day.

Shopping in the World of Disney store at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Shopping in the World of Disney store at Disney Springs.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/125s, f/1.8, ISO 1100, EV +0.3.

Cleaning Routine, Do It!:

This is a habit I need to do more often. Before each trip I make sure I do a full cleaning of my cameras and lenses. I first use Nikon Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes to clean the outside of my cameras and lenses including the glass, lcd screens, buttons and levers. Do this with the cameras turned off so you do not change any settings. Next, I clean the camera sensors using a Eyelead Camera Sensor Cleaning Kit. I have found this kit to be the easiest and best way to clean my sensors. I then pack a bunch of the wipes and the sensor cleaning kit to bring with me. I never know if I may end up in a dusty or dirty place with my equipment and may have to do another cleaning. An example would be on a Disney cruise with a stop at Castaway Cay. Sand and salt spray can easily get into everything.

Monorail Yellow moves over the Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Monorail Yellow moves over the Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

Zeroing Out Camera, A Good Habit to Learn:

Below is an example of what happened when I was using a tripod for a bit and forgot to Zero Out my camera when I took it off the tripod for this photo. The link goes into detail. It is a process I go through to set my camera to a good starting position for all purpose phototgraphy. I do it before I leave my house/resort room/car or whatever. That way even if it is off a little bit, I will not get such a bad photo as the one I have shown here.

Paddlefish restaurant at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Bad photos of the Paddlefish restaurant at Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/15s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

These are good habits to have when traveling to any destination.

Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

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