3 Easy Step Routine To Prepare For The Unexpected

Have you ever suffered from an “if only” moment?

I have, too many to recount.

Well, they say once bitten, twice shy, third time…,(I’ll let you fill in the third as this is open to which interpretation you’ve heard).

For me, it became once bitten, twice shy, third prepared for the unexpected.

I trust that you get as much enjoyment from this posts featured picture as I do. Getting this photograph is a recommendation to being prepared for the unexpected.

This may sound strange, but the success of this picture was already won before I had left the home. 


As you know, I have some health issues which severely affects my mobility. At times, it’s too much for me even to leave the house or get into the garden.

As soon as I wake up it’s obvious whether or not I’ll be able to venture out. If I can, then the preparation I make at home will have a marked difference on my success of the day.

Let me share with you a few preparations you can make inside the home, and then I’ll let you into a little story of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

(This isn’t the same Great Spotted Woodpecker I write about some months ago. On that occasion, it took me 4 days of effort to capture some of my favorite photographs to date. You can read about that 4-day expedition here.

Step 1: Set the camera up according to the light of the day. These days with relatively accurate forecasts, you can get a good idea of how the day will be.

Step 2: Make sure the ISO is appropriate for the day. This will influence the speed of your shutter and help you have more control over the quality of the shot.

If you are using a Bridge camera the automatic setting may be satisfactory. Should you be using a DSLR and focusing on capturing birds like the above_____, then you’ll want to think about setting it to an ISO of about 1600.

Step 3: Spend a little time in the garden or from the window taking a few photos of different subject material to check the settings. This is a valuable 5 or 10 minutes to choose the right aperture, f/stop settings and will play a great part in your days’ success.

You are looking for: Good Image, Good Clarity, and Good Light.



It was a day where my health and the weather we’re going to allow me to explore a little. I pondered on going to the local woodlands where I can normally capture some good shots. It felt reasonable and within my limitations, so off I set.

My trusted camera was in the basket at the front of my mobility scooter and I was ready to go! The camera has a 600mm lens. The ISO was set to 1600 as I mentioned above.

From my home to the main road we have a longish gravelly path with fences either side. It’s like the road to a little more freedom. At the end of the path, there is huge, towering hedges either side.

As I came around the corner, there in front of me perching on a branch was a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a youngster to be precise.

Quickly, (but not so to startle this little-feathered friend), I lifted the camera, lens extended to 500mm, and blasted off 8 shots in rapid fire.

The rapid-fire setting was at 7 photos per second. So, 2 seconds in all to capture the 8 shots. I saw the woodpecker for about 10 seconds before it took flight.

Thus, if I hadn’t already prepared my camera whilst indoors there was no way in my condition to have had any success in capturing 4 photos of which I’m proud.

Remember: If you are setting out to capture a landscape or still life you can make all the necessary settings when you arrive. However, if like me you want to capture nature such as birds, butterflies, and insects, good preparation is the key.

The lesson is: Follow the 3 steps before you leave the house. I promise you, not every day but at times you will capture a photograph to be proud of.

Prepare well for the unexpected.

If you are not able to get out of the home you can still be prepared for success. I wrote about this before, and invite you to have a read.

Dad About Us

This week I have also started to post some of my older articles on Medium. In time, I may post different articles on Medium to the more tutorial based ones here.

If you don’t want to miss out, then please follow me on Medium.

I am really grateful for all the likes and encouraging comments that I receive with each post.

Have a great week.

Happy Snapping





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