Quite a few of you may be getting new cameras for the holidays. Most people are going to charge up the batteries, plug in a new storage card and start blazing away. That’s fine, that’s part of the fun of getting a new camera.
Once you get past that first enthusiastic blast, you’ll want to settle down and follow up with these five things.
Read The Manual
You really should do that before you start blazing away the first time, but try to tell someone with a new camera that they have to spend an hour with a book that appears to have been designed to be as dry and uninteresting as humanly possible.
But you will want to read it. Cameras are so complex, so jammed with features, that a lot of the neat things your camera can do are buried deeply in complex menus. While any camera will work in Auto mode, some of the real goodies will only be found browsing the manual.
Buy A Skylight Filter
Skylight filters are the cheapest insurance you can buy for a new lens.
Get a Rain Sleeve
While you’re getting the skylight filter for your new lens, get a rain sleeve, fold it up neatly and keep it in the bottom of your camera bag. That way you know where to find it without looking, day or night, in any working conditions.
Take a Class
Even if you’re an experienced photographer, you can learn a lot taking a photography classes. If you’re either a part-time pro or very skilled enthusiast, instructors will sometimes let you structure your class work to focus more on the elements of photography you’re interested in working on.
Go For a Walk
A photo walk in this case. Photo walks are organized by local photographers, photography clubs, nature clubs and bird watching groups. Many of them are free, some charge a small fee. It’s a great way to get out and spend the day taking pictures and getting to know other photographers.
I’ve met many of the local photographers on photo walks, it’s a great way to network and make connections in the business.