Check Your Settings

Screen shot of photograph's metadata


I shot hundreds of photos last Saturday. There was the pool shoot workshop, the Star Wars Celebration V event and then the Last Tour to Endor party at Disney's Hollywood Studios. During that time, I checked and adjusted a lot of settings on my camera.  My ISO ranged from 200 to 6400, depending upon the light. I changed my white balance from daylight to flash to florescent and maybe a few other settings, due to the variable lighting conditions of the day. I was in manual mode and Aperture Priority mode. I changed aperture & shutter speed quite a bit.

However, I never once looked at the Quality settings on my Nikon D700. I think that's because I never intentionally change it.  I like to shoot RAW mode because of the flexibility it provides.

For example, there were a couple of images where my exposure was a bit under or the white balance was off.  The RAW image gives me enough data to make adjustments on those settings without destroying the image. Now I'll probably have to toss some of those images, even though some may have been keepers after adjusting a couple of sliders.

Fortunately, most of the shots are fine enough.  The exposure, white balance and other details that I could fix with a slider are OK. Now that I've screwed up, I'm reminded of WHIMS:

  • W: White Balance
  • H: Highlight clipping warning
  • I: ISO
  • M: Mode (JPEG or RAW)
  • S: Shooting (Resetting to the right shooting mode for the subject: Aperture Priorty, Shutter Priority, Manual, etc.)

Apparently, I've been WHISing my settings. So here's your friendly reminder to never assume and check all the settings before you shoot.

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