- White Balance Explained For Beginner Photographers
- Every Photographer Should Be Able To Do These 17 Things in Under 10 Seconds
Let's face it...
There's a lot that you can do wrong with your camera.
But rather than trying to cover every situation in which you use your camera in the wrong way, I've whittled the list down to three highly common scenarios that aren't doing your photos any favors.
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You Always Use Auto White Balance
The keyword here is always.
In some situations - many situations, in fact - auto white balance does a perfectly fine job of helping your camera get the color temperature right (or as close to right) as possible.
Even if it's not quite spot on, you can easily adjust the white balance in post-processing.
However, to never take your camera out of auto white balance is a big no-no.
That's because there's situations in which auto white balance simply doesn't work.
If you've ever taken a photo outside on a snowy day and the snow appears gray or blue, that's auto white balance not knowing what to do.
Similarly, if you've ever taken a photo indoors under incandescent lighting and your photo is yellow or orange, again, that's the auto white balance not doing its job.
All DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have multiple white balance functions that help you get around this.
You can select from all sorts of conditions - sunny, shade, fluorescent lighting, flash, and so forth - to adjust the white balance to the situation. You can even create custom white balance settings to get spot-on color temperatures (which you can learn how to do in the video above from Steele Training).
If you want to step up your photography game, learning how to adjust the white balance is a great first step.
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You Shoot in Landscape Mode, Black and White Mode, or Other Silly Modes
Shooting in full auto mode is bad enough, but to compound that mistake with using the gimmicky shooting modes that camera manufacturers insist on putting on cameras is an even bigger no-no.
I'm talking about landscape mode, sport mode, macro mode, black and white mode, and so forth.
When you select these modes, the camera adjusts things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and so forth, to "fit" the intended situation.
For example, when in sport mode, the camera selects a faster shutter speed to allow for freezing the movement of a fast-moving athlete.
The problem is that these modes are merely the camera's best guess at what settings will get a good shot.
So, just like full auto mode, these gimmick modes simply don't cut the mustard most of the time.
Instead, learning how to make adjustments to things like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO yourself will benefit your photos now and in the future.
Get a quick overview of your camera's shooting modes in the video above by Photo Genius.
You Shoot One-Handed
If we're talking about common issues that make images worse than they should be, it's photos that aren't sharp.
And a surefire way to get a photo that isn't sharp is to shoot one-handed.
Your camera - whether it's a smartphone, a full frame DSLR or something in between - needs to be as stable as possible to get a tack-sharp image.
And I don't care who you are - you cannot hold your camera as still with one hand as you can with two.
See how to properly hold a camera in the video below by Jared Polin:
Better still, don't just hold your camera with two hands. Hold it correctly with two hands, with one hand under the camera body and lens and the other hand firmly ahold of the camera grip.
Additionally, tuck your elbows into your chest to give your camera added support, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to give your body stability.
If that sounds like too much, a tripod is always a trusty option, too!
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