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Take your telephoto lenses as well as wide angle ones.
Take a plastic bag or purpose made sleeve, to put camera and gear in if it rains.
Hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, water, raincoat, jacket or long sleeved top and light full pants. (often at sunset and sunrise mosquitoes are bad).
Camera, cards, batteries, money and phone.
Clean your camera lens and take a microfibre cloth
Think Safety First – often we get carried away trying to get that unique angle, always think SAFETY first.
Check the weather forecast before you leave and tell someone where you are going.
Golden hour and blue hour are the best times to go out, so go early in the morning or later in the afternoon to ensure the best light.
When you arrive on scene:
Check your camera settings, is the ISO on 100, are you in the right setting, if you are shooting in RAW is it turned on.
Check out where the light is coming from, where are the shadows falling, how much difference is there between the light and dark areas of the image.
Often it works best if the light is off to the side.
Walk around looking for what you want to be the main object that your image is about.
Think about what story you want to tell about it.
Look for different or unusual angles.
Look for foreground interest.
Take a few test shots and look at them in the camera, are their any distractions, are is the image looking the way you want.
Can you create a leading line?
Can you place the main object on one of the third lines or sweet spots of the composition rules.
Are there complementary colours, patterns of textures to add interest and depth.
Use a fairly large depth of field, f12 to f32 or whatever your camera goes up to.
Check if you have IS (image stability) on your camera or lens. If it does not have a tripod mode then turn it off.
Look at an image Vertically as well as horizontally.
Take a wide angle image and then see how many other photos you can find within the image.
As photographers we start with a canvas that is jam packed, we have to take objects out to create the image we want. We do this by changing the angle to exclude things, moving things (rubbish), or using a shallower depth of field.
Have fun and enjoy nature.
As you take your camera off the tripod, turn the IS back on:)