5 Photography Mistakes Beginners Make

in blog •  last year


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Not getting your entire subject in the frame

Whenever you go over your photos you will hate the moments where the photo you like the most, you failed to capture your subject entirely. Unless doing it on purpose, always capture your entire subject. You can always remove parts of the photo but never add on.

Shooting during broad day light

Light is essential for photography, it can make or break photo. During the midday, everything just looks super boring in general. When starting out try to take photos during the golden hour, first hour after the sunrise or the last hour before the sunset. Of course, it depends what kind of photography you are doing, but in general warmer and softer light is better.

Not taking (enough) photos

The only way to learn is to go out, take photos and make mistakes. Go over all of the photos you made during the day and ask yourself why do you like certain photos and what would have made other ones better. And then go out making photos again. Basically, repeat this pattern, forever…

Not shooting in RAW

DSLR and mirrorless cameras support RAW image files, even some smartphones do. This allows you to alter certain setting after you have taken the photo in post-production. Shooting in RAW will make you a lot more flexible and dynamic when taking photos.

Crooked horizons

Yes, I am going to repeat this again, and again, and again. A crooked horizon is such a waste to a great photo. Not only do you lose some of your photo when you are going to correct it, it just does not look right. Pay some extra attention when you are making your shot, and of course it will not always be straight. But for that there is post-production software


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Monday: foodphotography and animalphotography
Tuesday: landscapephotography and cityscapephotography
Wednesday: architecturalphotography and vehiclephotography
Thursday: macrophotography and colourfulphotography
Friday: streetphotography and travelphotography
Saturday: sportsphotography and smartphonephotography
Sunday: goldenhourphotography and longexposurephotography


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Taking good pictures is more tricky than it seems. Educating yourself about the settings of the camera and for what situation can help dearly, but still experience and a lot of trial and error and a really good eye can change the quality. Still I think taking really great quality pictures is a form of art, something that I not master yet, maybe I never will, still enjoy it allot though. Can't wait to go out with my kids and document it in the future.

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I agree that is an art form, but I also think that you can learn any form of art when you enough time into it. Look for great teachers (youtube offers a lot, or websites like udemy.com). Consistency will make you overcome any hurdle

Thank you for these useful infos! I take many photos and learn from my mistakes.Especially sunburst, hard daylight is my biggest mistake. Some days ago I deleted thousands of my photos. Composition is very important, but sometimes difficult to make people understand it. Postprocessing! Forget Picasa and other easy hobbyist programs, and use RawTherapee! Of course in RAW format, my Olympus can make RAW as well.

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Glad you like it. It is a learning experience for everybody :)

Raw images and post-processing is just so awesome. Of course you can get the perfect exposure while taking the shot, but being able to correct this after just gives you so much moor room to work with

Some great advice's. Let me be so rude and add some thoughts on them:

Not getting your entire subject in the frame - Yes, it's annoying, people with half of head are generally not-so-supportive critics. Landscape with only half of the mountain are like landscapes of very small mountains... etc... Better to have wider field of view and crop later. Loosing couple megapixels in crop is not that important... until is not half of them ;) If you make small mistake - keep in mind that Photoshop has amazing tool called 'content-aware fill' ;) It saved many lives :)

Shooting during broad day light - boring flat and soo booriiing! Can be ok, bust most likely will be not. Best is that hour just after the rain (let's call it 'Muddy Hour'). Especially if you judged correctly that rain will not return... with hail... and thunders ;)

Not taking (enough) photos - somehow agreed to this point until I changed my gear. New camera can easily keep with 10 pictures per second for hours and that's a lot of deleting in post processing. But always took one more photo, especially when you are sure that you have enough ;)

Not shooting in RAW - That's a rule! Don't even want to waste my breath on this. There is only one case when you should not use RAW, but nobody can remember which case was that. Probably just a myth.

Crooked horizons - Yeah dammit, I even correct photos of my Facebook friends and post corrections in comments. (Probably not advisable, since I have less and less friends from year to year) So miss level gauge from old Canon.. could mine fortune in Bitcoins with processing power used to level horizons since I moved to new gear. And it can be quite frustrating when you have pivot monitor which your son tilting a little bit, just for fun (he has my sense of humor... little brat...)

Let me add couple points:

  • Forgetting to return camera to normal settings: Previous night friend 'insisted' that you take photos during his 'drunken hour' (very unpopular by subjects when they sober up, but quite amusing for everybody else), and camera stayed at ISO-12K which means that all landscapes from today are complete and total wast of time.

  • Using mirrorless and not bringing spare battery: it's like you didn't bring camera at all.

  • Having a wrong glass mounted on body during windy day in forest or even better at beach: you'll spend fortune on sensor cleaning, and some pictures will look like Aliens attacked the sky... quite artsy but utterly useless ;)

  • I do not need camera for this trip: You need it, believe me!

  • I do not need tripod for this trip: You need it, believe me!

  • I do not need to back-up today: You need it, believe me!

  • Not lie to your other half how much you spend on new lens: You must, believe me!!

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Some really valuable and amazing tips. Lets keep learning from each other here on Steemit. I will give a more in depth response later on!

Thank you for very essential advice! I have just joined your contest and got my first smart phone which I find very complicated to master.
Photography was my first hobby when I was a child, but when I broke the camera, my parents didn't get a new one for me!
I really need a tutorial on photography, why don't you do a short video?
Yes, I continue to experiment by taking many bad photos every week.

Cheers.

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They did not want you to break another camera :P I recommend you to go over to youtube and tap into that vast pool of knowledge, there are already a lot of great tutorial videos available there. Have fun shooting photos!

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Thank you very much fir your kind reply. I will be looking up as your advice.
I always go around with my small camera, just in case!

Cheers.

your advice right.i agree i will try it. and thanks for your advice :-* ♥ @juliank

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You are welcome :)

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it's ok. :-)

Thank you for the tips. 😊 I often do the things you mentioned that we shouldn't do. I hope I'll do better

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Looking forward to how you will integrate these tips :D

I agree with everything you said. But the raw images takes so much space. Maybe i just need a bigger memory card. Also crooked horizon irritates me when i see them so i try to fix it as much as possible.

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How large is your memory card? I use a 64 GB card and I never get this full. I remove all the photos I do not like on a regular basis during the shooting and when I am home I upload all the photos to my computer and go through them again, again removing everything that I do not like. Formatting the card after.

You are winning a lot of contests, so maybe invests some of that juicy money into a bigger sd card ;)

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I only have 8GB. :D. I just bought one today. 16GB. Thank you for the contest. I can take more photos now. hehe

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Awesome! Try out some shooting with RAW and using a software program like Lightroom after, there is a free trail.

The next video really helped me out to get started with Lightroom, takes about 30 minutes:

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Thank you so much for the tip. I will surely shoot more of my photos in RAW now. I'm gonna watch it now.

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I just finished watching it. Very informative. I will watch his other videos. thank you

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Thank you very mu

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No problem

I know that it's not exactly what you mean by "taking lots of photos", but I think that 1,3 and 5 can be related. The fact that you can take loads and loads of photos with no penalty (unlike back in the days of film where you would run out of film pretty quickly) leads people to become a bit "slapdash" with their photography. Especially for landscape photography, people need to take their time, find a good composition and check that everything looks right before taking a few exposures of the same scene. At least that's how I operate. Sometimes I can take 10-30 minutes setting up/finding the right shot before an exposure. If you have the time, take the time and then you wont accidentally crop your subject or get a wonky horizon.

So i'd add one very important item to you list - "take lots and lots of photos but be patient and take your time with each one".

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Or compose your shots before taking so much photos and it should be automatic when doing fast pace photo taking. :)

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This requires experience, since I bought a 50 mm prime lens I an still getting used to how big the frame is exactly.

Eventually by doing it over and over, I will know from heart how big my frame is without looking through the view finder.

I do agree, eventually you will be taking less shots since you already know beforehand if you will like the composition

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Oh yes certainly, this is more orientated to beginners. When starting out you just want to make to make photos as often as you can. Eventually you start learning what to look for and patience becomes more and more important. Of course every shot you do take, you want to be mindful when doing to so.

In the old days when they used film, you had 36 shots per film. Getting one keeper per film was the norm

Excellent advice. I would add, when not shooting in full automatic mode don't forget to preview your images and adjust your shutter to match the situation.

I threw away about 90% of the photo's I shot on my last day out because I had the shutter open too long for shooting in daylight.

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Excellent advice, I will be adding more tips over time. This are far from all the tips I have.

I normally shoot either in Aperture or Shutter speed mode when I am not using a tripod. I calibrate my ISO every time the light changes(go indoor from outside and vice versa). This works out most of the time

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I thought (unsuccessfully) that I could get away with shooting in auto-outdoor-landscape ...

I forgot one critical thing. Landscapes don't move. Next time around I'll probably do similar shots in sport mode, or with a tripod.

Very good advice... and I think point 3 had to be point 1!!!

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Thanks, they are not in any certain order! But ye just keep making photos and review them, ask other people to review the ones you like the most and you will improve

Great tips @juliank. I agree 100%

If you take enough photos this comes completely natural without you knowing. ;)

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Yes over time we automate things and we no longer have to think about it. It the same for everything, do it often and long enough and we integrate it into our system. However, feedback and reflection are super important to prevent bad habits forming

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Agreed 100%

Aside from not taking enough photos and not shooting in RAW, I sense an opportunity here for a special photo challenge to specifically and creatively break these rules - one day each of bad framing, bad lighting, and skewed horizons.

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Interesting idea, noted it !

I thing,,,, it is a NATIONAL anthem of all photographer in over the world.... Hahahaha. But I belief that @juliank. It's a great advice.

Thankyou for sharing

Noted:) Thank you @juliank😊👍

thank you for your advice. i will follow this

Very good advice! I agree with everything.

Thanks @juliank for your good advice.

Thanks, nice education on how to be good paparazzi.

thnks my frnd ^^

Thanks for advices- have a nice day @juliank

A good and informative post on photography. These are elementary mistakes we all make ....
I paint. Painting part is easy. Taking a photograph of a painting kills me !! The light, colours, shadows, paint reflection- it is crazy !

Thank you for this very important information, and

Boom. Preach. Nice tips 😄

This post received a 2.7% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @juliank! For more information, click here!

Thanks for the tips.. same struggle when I was also starting and still up to this time

Thank you for these advices! I will keep that in my mind! I somehow a bit confused to the crooked horizon part maybe I'll dig deeper and research about it. I really admire how you impart your knowledge to the beginners. Again, thank you for this!!

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Great advice for newbies like me!

Although one can learn a great deal from Internet/YouTube but there's nothing like hands on practice. However, cliched it may sound, practice does make a man/woman perfect. Insightful article.

Thanks for the advice

Thank you for very essential advice! I have just joined your contest and got my first smart phone which I find very complicated to master.
Photography was my first hobby when I was a child, but when I broke the camera, my parents didn't get a new one for me!
I really need a tutorial on photography, why don't you do a short video?
Yes, I continue to experiment by taking many bad photos every week.

Cheers.

Which software do you suggest for post-production changes ?

Thank you very much, I love photography, I am learning, your advices are very useful for me.

Practical tips, thanks!

Yep, those are excellent tips. I should get back to taking better photos now. 😂

I don't really get the crooked horizon though. You mean we should always take photos of the horizon (or any subject) in a horizontal way? Don't do diagonals and such?

I never thought of these things