With the beginning of each new year, I do a little clean up of the previous years loose ends set myself up for the coming year. This includes non photography related items such as creating new folders in my filing cabinet for receipts, invoices and bills and ensuring the same folders from last year are indeed still organized. I also perform several photography related tasks which of course are of more interest for this site.
I like to start the year off fresh and to do so, begin with a good cleaning. I remove everything from my gadget bags and give those a thorough cleaning. I am often photographing on beaches so inevitably, I end up with a little sand in my bags. I brush off the outsides (which I do regularly) and lightly vacuum the inside of the bag. I also remove any dividers to ensure I can clean the entire bag.
Before I put my equipment back in, I examine and clean as necessary all of the front and rear elements of my lenses and filters. I also take the time to be sure that my sensor is clean though that is also a regular routine. I clean my camera body with a soft brush, brushing off any dust that may have settled in the seams of the camera body and replace the protective plastic sheets I place on my LCD screens to help protect them. I then reset the image numbering on my camera as I use continuous image numbering for the entire year to prevent multiple image from having the same file name which in turn, makes organization easier. Finally, before putting everything back in the bag, I make sure that I have everything that I need as items can be left behind when switching between gadget bags for different projects and compare what I have to my gadget bag checklist.
The two last things I do to get ready for the coming year is to create the file system structure to store the years coming photos, I catalog my images by the date the photograph was taken, and to back up to removable media 2 copies of any images I have not yet backed up, storing one of these copies in a different location to ensure if something happens to one, the other is safe and sound someplace else.
You may not have to do all of the same processes as I do depending on your unique situation, but it is a good idea to at least do some basic cleaning and organization to keep things running smoothly for the next 12 months.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.