Some photographers are greatly gifted. It seems like they must have been born with a camera in their hands as each piece of work produced is flawless with not one mistake. Most of us wish to be exactly like this. However it can’t always be the case so work has to be done to produce high-quality photographs, rather than just getting them through sheer luck.
If you are new to photography, and have taken photography as a hobby the chances are that you will make mistakes – it’s inevitable. Don’t panic, there are a handful of methods you can adopt to avoid making regular blunders. Therefore, this article highlights five common mistakes made by almost every newbie photographer, and how they can be avoided to make even the least-experienced beginner seem like an expert in photography.
How to avoid common photography mistakes
1. Centring everything in the image
It may seem like the picture produced is clean and crisp. Focusing on a simple horizontal line going through the image that is picking up shape seamlessly. To a new photographer, this aspect can make their image feel professional. As though this completely straight line is hard to complete for any photographer, and the symmetry of the image is the selling point that will differ the photograph from all the rest.
While this may be assumed as a unique feature to an image, it can actually make the photo produced become very confusing to the audience. The problem with focusing on lines is that it is suggested to ‘cut’ the image in half. This then makes it hard for the audience to decide which section to focus on when realistically they should be looking at the entire image.
Try adopting the ‘rule of thirds’. This is a principle used by all proficiencies where the photographer images breaking the image into thirds horizontally and vertically to have nine parts. The photographer can use this to then choose four segments in which they’d like to focus the subject of the image. As you can see in the image, you have a better idea of where to look in the image – at the plants.
2. Sticking to simple viewpoint
Having a unique and creative work ethic is what separates most photographers. This is particularly evident between those who are beginners or just getting into the art form.
As a simple effect, many people will put their subject front and centre of their image. So an entire building, landscape or profile is captured easily, with absolutely no depth or adventure included. This is a very dull way to take an image and completely takes away any potential effect an image could have.
Try taking every image produced from a different angle. Left, right, lower down to the ground facing up, like the Alice in Wonderland picture. Practising early with different sides of an image will allow you to learn how angles work with light, how something can look for different positions, and overall the fact that an image can be taken from just about anywhere. Or, for a moving landscape, why not practise with shutter speeds, capturing the moment in a way that is high quality and will not lower the standard of the photographed view.
It’s all about experimenting and experiencing what works and what doesn’t. A building may not look right, shot from a high view, but it may capture a landscape perfectly. It’s a learning curve and a sure way to end up with a successful final product.
3. Cutting off the edge of the frames
It may not be the feet. It may not be the head. But one thing every newbie does is cut off an important section of the image that can make the product look uneven or lopsided. Cutting off can happen in almost every image. Whether it is landscape, architecture or a person, losing the edges of a photo can affect its success.
It’s a point of learning. It’s all about learning where to focus the camera to get the best, most flawless shot. If everything wanted cannot be fit into the square of the image, then new decisions need to be made to avoid cutting anything out.
It is suggested that when photographing a person, cutting away more than two-thirds of the leg will end up looking deliberate. This then shows unprofessionalism and as if you were not paying any attention.
4. Assuming a high-end camera is enough
Purchasing a high-end, brilliant-quality camera can surely make you feel and look the part. However, this does not essentially mean that the photos produced are going to make you look like a top-end photographer. Having a high-end camera will only take a clear shot, not a unique or creative one.
A great-quality camera has a whole host of features and settings that can aid in getting a perfect shot. It still takes the talent of the photographer to capture something breathtaking, and one to use the tools at hand to provide them the chance to get that winning image.
Take the time to understand the camera being purchased. Learn everything about it – the features, shot styles and modes that it offers – and practice with them. If everything is learned, there will be a clear control over the images that will become evident in what is produced. Learning the way the fixtures work such as setting aperture, the exposure triangle and investing more in learning than high-quality gear – will be the way a great photo is taken. It is also important to have a proper photography workstation to aid in editing your work.
It is the person behind the lens that is responsible for producing images that stand out from the rest. Other photos taken by photographers come out so well as they have taken the time to learn the composition of the camera they use, and exactly how to use every aspect of it. This is why the photos they produce are of seamless quality.
5. Taking the attention away from the focal point
If the image is going to hold a focal point, such as a structure, person or animal, then it is important to take extra care of both the foreground and background of the image.
The simplest things like bushes, pavements or even the sun can take the attention quickly away from the main subject. Don’t spend too much time focusing on the main aspect of the image and grabbing a quick shot. This will avoid any simple mistakes and everything around the subject will be catered for.
Critics will look at the entire photo, more than almost anyone else would. So, take into account that it is not just you who will be seeing the image. Although the focal point may look flawless with the most professional lighting, a critic will focus on the mistakes made in the background and will make an effort at showing why their attention was diverted.
Photography is an art form. It allows a person to experience the utmost creativity if they allow their minds to be imaginative enough. A beginner is not strapped to being an amateur, so this doesn’t stop anyone from being as extravagant as possible.
It is important to know that in a creative subject, everyone is continuously learning. Use the professionals as motivation; analyse what they produce and take these features into your work. This way, you will learn how to work with various settings, areas and camera points while trying to mimic something that’s already been done.
With a beginner in photography, many mistakes will happen, from bad lighting to half a subject captured in a shot., These things are inevitable and dwelling on them is not a way to move forward and hit success. So take the mistakes as a learning objective, and focus on why it was made and how it can be avoided. Soon after, the photos being produced will be of the highest standard with an amazing, professional quality.
Meta- Have you always dreamed of becoming a professional photographer? Then jump straight in. But, just be sure to check our list of common mistakes, we don’t want you making them!