Be Prepared for the Unexpected Photograph – Digital Photography Tip of the Week

I have been writing these tips for over a year now, and sometime they come to me very easy, others I have a hard time finding a topic. If there is something about digital photography you would like to know about, please leave a comment and I can work at writing on that topic.

This week’s tip is something that I have thought about on many occasions, but haven’t written about. Be prepared for the unexpected photograph, that is, keep your camera with you, and ready. Digital media loaded, batteries loaded and charged. If you own a digital point and shoot camera, it is very easy to be ready to shoot. It is a very simple concept, but if you do not have your camera with you, you cannot take a photograph. You never know when a photographic opportunity will present itself.

I was out with a friend last night looking for a specific subject to photograph. We hadn’t found it yet and were losing the light, so we settled on shooting the sunset. The sunset itself was brilliant, but I was still uninspired to photograph it as the foreground did not add to the photograph (remember, if an element does not add to the photo, it detracts). The sunset was almost over, I had packed up and Dave continued to shoot. Almost over. As I stood there talking to Dave, the last fading orange light just touched the horizon, and illuminated the water in front of it, the rest of the water was blue with the reflections off the final bits of dusk. There were slight clouds in the sky enveloping, but not obscuring the crescent moon, all of which was reflecting beautifully in the water. There was only about 30 seconds when everything fell into place for the photo. I had missed my opportunity.

Had I followed my own advice and been prepared with my camera, instead of having it packed away with my tripod folded up, I would have had a magnificent shot. Instead, I had nothing. Even though I had my camera with me, I didn’t have it ready to use and missed a great opportunity.

Until next time, happy shooting.

The digital photography tip of the week is written by the PCIN Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer and is currently the President of the Niagara Falls Camera Club. You can see more of his photography at his Photo of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send Chris, or a question about digital photography he can address in the newsletter, send it to

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