My DUH! List

by Anthony Morganti

Before You Press The Shutter.docx

How many times have you been happily clicking away, knowing that you’re taking great images until you realize, in varying degrees of horror and disappointment, that you have an incorrect setting dialed on your camera. In your head you hear, DUH!

This happens to us all and very recently, it happened to a friend of mine. She was doing a lifestyle shoot. It was going great — the family was cooperative and photogenic — my friend knew she was getting great images until a dreaded thought began to creep into her cranium.

Did I fix the exposure compensation setting?

The day before, she was shooting a strongly backlit subject, that she didn’t want to silhouette, so she dialed in a positive two stop exposure compensation to get some detail in her subject. Those shots came out great! Unfortunately, todays images did not. She never reset the exposure compensation from the day before and all of her images, on this glorious day, were terribly over-exposed. To compound the problem, she chose to shoot JPG’s and not RAW so she had less latitude to correct the images in post.

Fortunately, the family was very cooperative and willingly restaged the previous poses so my friend avoided a total loss, albeit she suffered a bit of embarrassment. Personally, I often forget to reset the exposure compensation when I use it. Often too, I’ll dial up the ISO, often very high, then I’ll forget to put it back down until I’ve shot a bunch of images that would be better suited at a lower setting.

My Solution?

I’ve come up with a little list of reminders. These are just a few things I often forget about. It can be printed on a 3×5 card and tossed in your bag or laminate it. Refer to it before a shoot and stop forgetting these little things. If you have something that you often forget and it’s not listed, simply jot it down on this card — front, back, wherever. Just write it down as a helpful reminder. You can download the DUH! card from here:

On My Card

Shooting Mode

Once or twice I thought I was in Aperture Priority Mode but was in Manual Mode. I discovered this rather quickly but it’s still annoying and a time waster.


I mentioned this earlier. I’ll often turn ISO up for a specific type of shot and forget to turn it back down the next time I pick up my camera.

White Balance

I’ve never messed this one up but I imagine there are those that do so I added it to the list.

Exposure Compensation

This, if she was gently reminded, would have saved my friend some embarrassment.

Clean/Blow Dust Off Of Lens

I do this more than I’d like to admit. I get to a scene and typically get so exited, I forget to make sure my lens is clean and dusted. When it happens, a few hours later you’ll find me grunting in front of my computer as I tediously remove the spots in post. Again, download my list from here: and remember to add your own DUH’s to the list.


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