Modern cameras have a large variety of possible settings that allow you to take photos in many different lighting conditions and get just the style and type of shot that you are aiming for.

But, I’m betting that many of us have favourite groups of settings that we tend to use more often than not. At least I do. You could call these your personal default settings. For example, my default setting tends to be aperture priority mode, exposure compensation at zero, and ISO 100.

If I’ve gone out shooting and I whip up my camera to take a shot, I guess that my expectation is that the camera will already be on these ‘default’ settings. I tend to get a little excited and sometimes impulsively start shooting as soon as I’m at my desired location. My Bad!

Therein lies a bit of a problem.  Perhaps on my previous shoot, I changed the exposure compensation, ISO, mode, or other settings to suit the environment I was shooting in.  But alas, if I forgot to change them back, the settings may be totally wrong for my current excursion and at least the first couple of pictures I snap may therefore fail dismally. The other day, I messed up what I think may have been a really good wild bird shot in just this way.

To counter this little problem, I’m now fostering the following habits:

1: When I put my camera in the bag after shooting, I return the settings to my default.

2: When I take my camera out of the bag to start shooting, I quickly check that my settings are what I need on the day.

I guess more experienced photographers probably do these things without even thinking about them. It’s likely a normal part of their workflow.

Hopefully, it will be for me soon as well.