Photography is a learning process and mistakes are part of learning any new skills. In photography, everyone can do mistakes, there is no doubt.
Don’t undervalue yourself or feel bad if your photography game doesn’t reach your requirements. It may be some involuntary mistakes you have been made.
Trying to identify any photography mistakes and eliminating them can drastically improve your learning journey.
8 beginner photography mistakes to avoid
Photography Mistake #1: Leading lines.
This is a common mistake most photographers do, and in general regular people who take photographs with their smartphone or new camera
Whenever we arrange our elements into the composition, we have to keep in mind the leading lines
This can be the horizon line, the position of a structure in relation with the photographer, any structural lines visible in our photographs
Some of the leading lines such as the line of the horizon can be fixed in Lightroom or any post-processing software, by adjusting the angle of the photograph of doing the necessary cropping.
Also, I want to include the rule of thirds and the composition rules under this category.
Whenever you are taking a photograph, try to remember this as being one little thing which can make a huge difference.
Photography Mistake #2: Messy composition
If there are way too many elements in a photo, the composition is getting messy.
The human eye likes simple things, and your brain enjoys much more a simple photograph with some basic elements than a complex one.
Take as an example the comparison of both of the above images. Maybe not the perfect example, but you may understand the message.
The first image has too many elements to be honest (motorcycles and crowd), while the second one is nice and clean (one single car)
Whenever you are taking photos, take this into consideration and try to rearrange the elements from your photograph
It is one little thing we have to be aware of.
Photography Mistake #3: Overexposed or underexposed photographs
This is not something that post-processing can’t solve but hey, everybody likes a good looking photo right?
The right exposed image can make a huge difference indeed. This doesn’t mean that you cannot create a specific composition where the image to be either underexposed or overexposed
As an instance, I recently wrote an article about how to use the overexposure to create an artistic image.
Shooting against a strong source of light can break the dynamic range of your image. In this case, I would recommend going for HDR photos
Photography Mistake #4: Camera shake
When I take photos, I tend to hold my breath for a few seconds so my body can be steady with minimal risk that I cause wobble while taking a picture
Although shooting with a tripod is not always possible, this is the absolute best way to remove any camera shakes and avoid your photos to be blurry from any movements
Photography Mistake #5: Out of focus / wrong focus point
This is another “tiny” mistake to be avoided, whenever you are taking a picture.
Your camera may not always focus exactly on the element you want or if it does, there is a chance that it may be out of focus.
There are a few things you can do to avoid this:
One of them is to use manual focus (if you are not in any rush) and fine focus on your subject. Of course, this technique requires you to practice to take photos with manual focus. I do recommend this if you are taking shots from a tripod or the lighting conditions are not favourable (such as night photography)
The second thing is using single-point autofocus. On my Nikon, I learned in time to take advantage of using one single point autofocus and to manually tell my camera where to focus instead to let it doing it for me.
Using the full autofocus method or group autofocus will not always guarantee that your focus element will be the main focus.
Also, consider the scene you are shooting: Do you need the AF-S (autofocus single) or AF-C (autofocus continuous)
The autofocus single is perfect for using when photographing a normal scene with no moving subjects to focus (e.g. landscape, street photography)
The autofocus continuous is more than perfect for sports, wildlife or where the subject is moving continuously. In this case, the autofocus is locked on the subject.
Photography Mistake #6: Taking a single photograph
When you are photographing a scene or a subject and you take only one photo, what are the chances that this is either out of focus or blurry?
You don’t want to miss out on the important things. I strongly recommend taking more than one photo to a subject or scene.
Take 3,4,5 or as many as you like. You will have what to pick from, and at least one of them will be sharp & good.
Consider also the memory capacity you have on your card. If necessary, invest in a bigger SD card for your camera. But my advice, do not take a single photo to a subject. Take more!
Photography Mistake #7: Shooting on auto mode
Most of the new photographers will tend to shoot more in auto mode. It may be confusing to learn how to shoot in manual mode or at least the aperture or shutter priory but is more than necessary to learn this.
Learning how to use the exposure triangle is one of the most important things to advance as a new photographer.
Take your time and learn the manual mode. Practice and more practice.
Photography Mistake #8: Not shooting in public places
This one little thing I am struggling with also. I am pretty much very anxious to shoot in public places because someone will say something
Of course, they can’t do anything about it (depending on your country) as the laws cannot consider this a violation of privacy in a public place, but some people tend to get mad.
Taking photographs in a public place can extend your bank of great images. By not doing this, you may be missing a really good photograph which can make a difference in your portfolio or personal project.
My advice is to take as many photographs as you can wherever you can. How does it sound on taking 50 vs 500 photographs on a single session, let’s say, of street photography?
Photography Mistake #9: Not having a plan
This is not an actual photography mistake, as sometimes myself I like to grab my camera and go outside shooting without a plan, but.
Planning your photography session or trip before and the route can increase your productivity and shortly, you know what to do.
Sweet&Love my camera! Photography Mistakes Conclusion!
There are more points to cover such as shooting with the right lens / focal distance, the colour temperature, not using a polarizer or ND filter whenever is the case.
But today in this post I wanted to cover 9 main photography mistakes and how to avoid them.
Do not underestimate your skill value if you are doing mistakes in photography. Everybody does, we are all humans.
Just practice with calm and enjoy photography, and everything else will come by itself.
And if you enjoyed our little guide, please consider reading a few others to improve your photography:
- 5 tips to improve your DSLR photography
- 25 creative ideas to photograph in a boring location
- The best 7 unique tips for new photographers
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