These are not your "Rule of Thirds" rules!
Life as a travelling landscape photographer is not always easy.
Sometimes, far more often than you'd like, things go wrong - or mistakes get made.
Coming out of the mistakes I've made, here are my personal "Rules of Photoland"
Rule 1 ) Reload!
Whenever you take out a battery to recharge it, put the spare in.
Same goes for the Camera Card. Put the spare in, before you download those pics.
There's nothing worse than seeing an amazing scene, and finding the only bit of camera equipment you don't have with you is the battery or memory card!
(Despite having spares of everything, recently I managed to leave a neatly piled stack of batteries on my desk next to a neatly piled stack of empty memory cards as I rushed out the door to capture that perfect sunset. So, yeah. That happened.)
Rule 2) Double Tap
Shoot the best shots twice.
Especially if auto-focus is on. Murphy's Law says the camera will autofocus on the thing you least want it to see.
Murphy's Law also dictates that you will be so excited by the killer shot, that you won't notice you bumped the tripod just a little.
Rule 3) Check the results in the field.
Don't spend the whoe shoot taking wonderfully blurry shots before you realise the camera is still set to manual focus from last night's moon photos.
Take a few shots and check. Check focus, composition, white balance. Zoom in on foreground and background.
Repeat this every few minutes. The time you spend not shooting is a fraction of the time you can spend shooting photos you can't use. This rule is even more important when you are under time pressure.
Rule 4) Check the back seat.
Have you got your tripod? Shooting freehand is fun, if that's what you planned. But not if you're driving off to a beach to do long exposures. Check for your camera bag too. Yeah I know, you'd think that little detail wouldn't need mentioning? Trust me - a ten second "pre-flight" will save a LOT of time later.
Rule 4 ) Quickly isn't rushing. This is Rule 5, btw. I was rushing.
Work fast, sure. But don't rush.
One great shot is worth dozens of mediocre ones. So take your time, and get that great shot in the bag!
(with thanks to the Rules of Zombieland! )