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12 Common Photography Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

If you are starting out as a photographer, it’s likely you will make mistakes. In time, you will learn from those mistakes and they will not come into play as often in your photography.

Being aware of mistakes in advance will minimize your chances of making them in the first place. This article will review common photography errors, so they won’t get in the way of you taking amazing shots.

Not Knowing Your Subject

Every photo should have a subject. Even if you are taking a landscape picture, there should be one object that draw the viewer’s eye. Knowing your subject in advance will help you take more interesting pictures, and it will improve your composition.

Shooting from Too Far Away

Obviously, we all want to be the proper distance from our subjects when shooting photos. But sometimes we misjudge and take photos that do not show the subject clearly enough.

A good way to avoid this is to start by filling the frame with the subject. If you feel the subject is too dominant in the picture, back off from there.

Waiting for the Right Weather

Some photographers only want to shoot when the sun is out, and the sky is blue. However, shooting in inclement weather can open you up to a sea of possibilities. You can get terrific overcast lighting, see reflections in raindrops and more. If you don’t experiment with different weather scenarios, you may never see the potential of a variety conditions can offer.

Taking Out of Focus Shots

If your picture is out of focus and you didn’t intend it to be, it’s essentially worthless. If you have a DSLR camera, take advantage of its focus lock feature. This will lock the focus when you half press the shutter release button ensuring you get clear photos every time.

Only Take Photos with Your Subject in the Center of the Shot

Sure, there are times when you will need to have your subject in the center of the shot, but if you stick to this formula, you will get photos that look static and uninteresting. Change things up by taking pictures of the subject on the side of the photo of even halfway out of the shot.

Having Too Much in the Photo

When there’s a lot of beauty around you, it may be tempting to shoot it all. But if you add too many elements to your shot, you’ll lose focus on the subject and it will be hard for the viewer to determine the image’s meaning.

When taking pictures, make sure there is nothing that competes with the subject in terms of size and color. Save all that other stuff for another photo.

Not Thinking About the Light

As a photographer, you always want to think about where the light is coming from and how it’s affecting your subject. For instance, if you’re shooting a person, you won’t want there to be too much shadow on their face. On the other hand, you won’t want light directly on their face, so they appear over exposed.

If you are shooting an object, the way the light works may be more subjective, but it is still something that needs to be taken into consideration.

Not Shooting from Different Angles

When you are taking pictures, you may think you have the perfect angle or perspective, but you won’t truly know until you try changing things up. Shoot from high angles, low angles and everything in between. You are sure to get some terrific pictures.

Red Eye

Red eye is a demonic monster in more ways than one. It happens when the flash hits the subject’s eyes and may be more likely to occur if the flash in your camera is too close to the lens.

The best way to avoid red eye is to not use flash. Alternately, you may take shots when the subject is not looking at the camera.

Relying Too Much on Editing

Some photographers don’t mind taking subpar shots because they feel they can improve them in editing. However, many editing programs add noise to photos. Also, if you rely on editing, you’ll never truly improve your technique.

Aim to get shots that are great to begin with and then think about editing them if necessary.

Relying on Auto Mode

Most cameras have auto mode that allows photographers to set shutter speeds, ISO and apertures. Then they can take pictures without too much thought.

However, what they might not realize is that cameras don’t always find the best results on auto mode. Therefore, it is a good idea for photographers to shoot on manual as well. In addition to helping you get great photos, it will also teach you about photography.

Always Shooting with a Tilt

A tilt can give a shot an abstract air, but it won’t work for every picture. What’s more, if you take every photo on a tilt, it will start to give off a feeling of sameness that defeats the unique look you are going for. While tilting every once in while is cool, you may not want to do it in every photo.

Now that you know what to avoid doing you will not be making as many common rookie mistakes. What errors do you find yourself dealing with when you shoot?


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