The most frustrating part of photography is missing a beautiful shot, and every photographer will testify to how depressed it makes them feel when they have done all the necessary ground work.
The conditions which cause this are as numerous as there are potentials for perfect photographs.
There are no fail safe solutions, but learning a few techniques can minimize the chances of missing a beautiful shot.
How to prepare against missing a perfect shot?
Camera bag: It sounds silly, but if you lug around a cumbersome, complicated camera bag, you increase your chances of missing the shot while searching for necessary accessories.
Though a camera bag should carry all the accessories required for a photo shoot, you cannot waste time by removing every item in the bag every time you get to a new location.
Select a bag that has easily accessible flaps and zips which make spontaneous shots easier. When packing the articles in the bag, arrange them in logical order. This will help you to remove them as you need them at a busy photo shoot.
Batteries: If you are shooting in dense forests or out-of-the-way places, always carry an extra battery with you, as well as a battery charger just in case. The same applies to memory cards: always carry a pair of memory cards so that you don’t have to waste time deleting bad shots to make way for new ones.
You should also never delete shots at a photo shoot as they may look completely different on the camera. You never know; the one you wanted to delete may just turn out to be a prizewinner.
Avoid last-minute cleaning: Besides reflecting your passion and care towards your work, ensuring that all your accessories are clean before you get there will cut down on time at your photo shoot. Many of them miss the shot that can be blamed on a dusty lens or spotty aperture.
Be prepared: It’s all about time management and forward thinking. For example, if you have planned a sunrise shoot, you should ideally get to the location at least an hour before the estimated time of dawn. Factor in that is you will need time to set up your camera accessories according to the location.
Pre-set your camera according to the requirements of the shot: adjust the ISO, aperture, white balance, shutter speed, attaching the lens, filters, lens hood and all other necessary accessories to make your shoot pleasant and stress-free. The better you are prepared, the better your chances of capturing spontaneous shots and not missing a detail.
Be observant: So often you think you have the perfect shot and discover later that a branch or other unwanted object found its way into the picture and spoilt it. The way to avoid this is to get into a habit of scanning the scene through your viewfinder from the upper left down to the lower right before pressing the shutter.
Be patient: In photography, patience really is a virtue. While waiting around for a whole day for the perfect weather to create the perfect mood may be a bit extreme, it could just make the difference between an award-winner and an average unimaginative shot. Exercise your discretion, but never let the reason for missing the perfect shot is that you were in a hurry.
P.S. Check your lens cap: It’s an obvious precaution, but it happens often. Just when you thought you had the perfect shot set up, you realize you haven’t removed the lens cap as you take the photograph. Make a point of getting into a routine of doublechecking that the lens cap is off before shooting.