02 April 2010
If you're out and about taking photos this long weekend, don't forget to change the time on your camera. Last weekend, the clocks went forward, and some devices will have recognised this automatically. The internal clock on your camera probably hasn't updated itself, though.
It's worth keeping an eye on the camera time when you travel abroad too: I have lots of photos taken in America which have a UK timestamp on them. When the PC downloads these pictures, it divides them into folders by day. But midnight in the UK falls in the early evening in the US, so a single photo shoot in one location can end up split across different folders on my PC. That makes it harder to find pictures later on.
I recommend that writers learn to take good photographs. It helps to sell stories if you have some images to go with them, and it is in itself a rewarding creative pursuit. It's also a useful research tool. If you want your pics to be published, though, don't let the camera stamp the time and date in the picture itself. It's in the file metadata, so you don't need it to be on the visible part of the image. You can get some fantastic professional-quality results with affordable digital cameras today, but a picture with a timestamp in the corner will always look like a cheap holiday snap.
* With thanks to my friend Mark for suggesting the idea for this blog post