The 4 Most Common Mistakes Beginners Make and How To Avoid Them

Author: TP Luttig

There are four common mistakes that most beginning photographers make. Because we strive to emphasize our subject, these faults will bring attention where it is not always desired. We will discuss these issues and what can be done to remedy them and produce better photographs.

One of the most critical decisions you face as a photographer is what is included in your shot and what is not. You may ask why this is so important. Let’s think about the comparison of our world and a photograph. Your picture has four edges and is limited to those. But the world goes on forever and does not end at end edge of a print. In regards to photographic artistic, this is the central choice you have to make. A common mistake is cropping a photo so tight that there is no space left over. You should not completely fill the negative spaces in your image unless you have a specific reason to do so. Leave a little room around your subject when taking the shot. You can always remove it during editing if necessary.

Another very common error is to not pay enough attention to what is going on in the background behind your subject. You have probably seen a lovely photo of grandma sitting under the apple tree out back. The problem is that grandma looks as though she has a large branch protruding from the side of her head. This happened because the photographer used a small aperture and got the tree behind grandma in perfect focus also. Luckily, this is a very easy to mistake to correct. First, just take the camera down and look at what is going on behind your subject. You’ll spot objectionable items before your snap the shutter. You can also check the depth of field through your camera lens if equipped. A word of caution if you use the ‘auto’ mode frequently. In this setting, the camera may stop down the aperture more than you want thus giving you a greater depth of field.

Another common oversight is not using the proper focal length lens. A shorter lens will produce excessive distortion of objects in closer to the camera. The shorter the lens, the more pronounced this effect becomes. You should try moving farther away from your subject and use a longer lens if you think this could be a problem. Longer lenses produce less distortion and will provide a more pleasing, realistic image.

The last blooper that many a budding shutter-bug has made is to create an unexposed area on the picture. Probably the most common of these is the use of an improperly sized sun shade. Unless you want your photo to look like it was shot though a tunnel, make sure to consult with an expert when you are purchasing lens accessories like these. Before the days of through the lens views and digital previews, many photographers developed their prints only to discover that their finger was in the way or they forgot to take the cap off the lens! Thankfully this particular issue is becoming a thing of the past but it still happens some times.

Now that you are aware of these little pitfalls, you can go forward with confidence in knowing that you will avoid the faux pas that can ruin the perfect shot.

If you have a digital camera that’s collecting dust on the shelf, don’t be afraid to put your creative juices to work. Check out the Internet for digital photography lessons and other landscape photography tips, studio lighting techniques and much more in-depth information.



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