The Greatest Photography Tip there is…

OK, here it is – my secret.  This new Blog just went live, and already I had an idea for an article.  The single greatest bit of advice that I can dish out.  Something I always do, no matter what.  Something I’ve been reccommending for years.  Something I know most pros do not do.  And I know this first hand from the times when I used to get lots of phone calls from pros having camera trouble.

Are you ready…  It’s simple to do.

Read.  Your.  Manual.

A manual comes with (as far as I know) every camera.  Read it – it’s as easy as that.  Seriously, I used to get asked techie questions often by other pros who owned their own studios, and when I’d ask them “did you read your manual?” their faces would screw up in a little sour look – “No, I don’t read camera manuals, I know how to use a camera.”  There is a lot of information in that little manual.  Some of it will be very basic and rudimentary – consider that to be a good review session.  Some of it may seem way over your head right now, but one day you might be ready to step up to some bigger techniques, and you’ll remember seeing some explanations in your camera manual.  I used to keep my manuals in my camera bag, in case I needed them while I was out shooting.  Nothing is more frustrating than needing some little custom function that you rarely use, and not knowing where it is hidden in the camera menus.  Check your manual.  I actually have a copy of all my manuals on my iPad now – Nikon has an ap for that (I can’t imagine that Canon might not have one, too.)

The point is, there is always something new to learn in a new camera’s manual.  I just got my Nikon F6 last September, and I had read the manual front to back twice before I even ordered the camera.  And then I read through it again with the camera in my lap once it arrived.  And, I can tell you this – I know I’ve referenced that manual at least 3 or 4 times since.

Take the time – read that manual!