Travel Photography Tip First Things First

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/1000

This week while teaching in the Storytellers Abroad Workshop here in Togo, West Africa I have noticed some trends that most students make.

Every day we assess the trends of common errors and address those each day. One of the most common themes that almost every day starts with is taking care of the technical before trying to capture the content.

Allison Waller, a student in the Storytellers Abroad Workshop, has all these Togo children fascinated with her camera.  [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens,, ISO 3600, ƒ/4, 1/100]

Before you start shooting pictures or capturing video you need to take care of the settings on your camera.

Here is a short list of things that I recommend that a person check before capturing the content.

  1. Set the camera resolution. 
    1. Stills – I use RAW, but just be sure you have made a conscience choice.
    2. Video – I often shoot today in 1920×1280 24 fps. Again be aware what settings you use. With video you need to be sure all the cameras you use are on the same resolution or editing will be a problem.
  2. Set ISO – Use the lowest ISO possible to still get a sharp image and well exposed
  3. Set Aperture
  4. Set Shutter Speed
    1. Stills – Pick shutter speed that works with the focal length
    2. Video – Use shutter speed double the fps.
  5. White Balance – I recommend always using a Custom White balance
  6. Video Sound 
    1. Microphone close as possible to the person 
    2. Set Audio Recording level
    3. Always use closed headphones to listen for sound issues

Once you take care of those technical settings then when you start shooting the content you are collecting will be useable.

Pat Davison, professor from UNC School of Media/Journalism, is teaching interviewing techniques using a translator during our workshop in Togo, West Africa.  [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 1800, ƒ/8, 1/100]
[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]