Common Beginner Photography Mistakes
photo by NguyenDucQuang via iStock
Everyone makes mistakes in photography, some are easier to correct than others. Many of the most common beginner photography mistakes are very simple to fix. A large number of the problems that beginner photographers run into concern either being unfamiliar with photographic techniques or the equipment itself.
Basic photography tips will cover these beginner photography mistakes allowing you to identify what went wrong and how to correct it. Along the way, we’ll throw in some beginner photography tips which will help you avoid many errors to start with.
photo by Paula Jones via iStock
When people say that someone has an eye for photography, what they usually mean is that their photographs are visually appealing. Photographic composition will often play a large part in that enjoyment. A lack of good composition is usually nothing more than not thinking it through.
There are several beginner photography tips that will help us in creating good compositions. The rule of thirds and leading lines are two that are simple to master in most photographic genres including landscape photography. These rules of compositions are guidelines to creating pleasing images.
Part of taking care of composition is to also make sure there are no distracting elements in the image area. An item behind a portrait subject can appear to be growing out of the person’s head, or a trashcan intruding along the edge of the picture can distract from a classic building or a flower garden.
photo by peeterv via iStock
Modern cameras are capable of handling a wide variety of exposure issues automatically, but these metering systems are not perfect by any means. Certain situations will require our input and intervention to capture a good image.
Any scene with a large expanse of light or dark or a subject with very strong backlighting is likely not to be exposed correctly, even with evaluative metering. There are a couple of basic photographic tips we can use to correct these beginner photography mistakes.
Changing to a different metering pattern and using AE lock or adding or subtracting on the exposure compensation dial are just one level of thought removed from full automation, so they are readily accessible to any skill level. There are online tutorials for most of our beginner photography equipment that will teach us these things.
Included in exposure related beginner photography mistakes are misunderstanding the built-in flashes of the cameras we’re using. Though they are great for many photos, they are not a substitute for a carefully crafted lighting configuration such as for a portrait. Plus, they aren’t that powerful, we won’t capture distant subjects with them.
photo by sanjeri via iStock
Shutter speed settings allow us to control a lot of motion issues but sometimes we just need to support and stabilize our camera. Subject motion can sometimes add to the photograph but camera motion rarely does.
Which is why we use tripods and other camera mounts to hold our cameras still. One of the beginner photography mistakes we can avoid is leaving our somewhat bulky tripod behind because it’s bulky but then not having anything to stabilize our camera.
Tripod alternatives are the answer for this problem. The OctoPad is one of the most useful of all of the tripod alternatives I’ve tested. It’s also compact and inexpensive, making it the perfect item to add to our beginner photography gear.
OctoPad is a weighted semi rigid pad with a non slip bottom and a ball head on top to hold our camera. It can be placed virtually anywhere indoors or out, even on slanted surfaces up to 45 degrees. Since they are cheap enough and small enough, we can carry a couple of them, one for the camera and one for a light, especially useful for video mode.
photo by FangXiaNuo via iStock
The other blur that is one of the more common beginner photography mistakes is poor focus. This is most often caused by the camera’s automation focusing on something other than what we intended.
Taking control of the focus points will usually fix this issue. Dynamic AF is great for many situations but sometimes it’s better to set one focus point and use focus lock to control the focus. If the camera has back button focusing available, this is also a fairly straightforward solution.
Learning how to control depth of field to have a lot of the image in focus or a selective area in focus will also help us create better images. Lens aperture controls this to a large degree, but lens aperture is also part of the exposure triangle so we need to stay aware of that or we’re right back to the other beginner photography mistakes about bad exposure.
photo by PeopleImages via iStock
If there is something in your image that looks out of place in the image, it might be dust on the sensor. Though our beginner photography gear has great sensor dust control, if we don’t keep the camera clean, then we can cause this issue merely by changing lenses.
You may not want to tackle sensor cleaning yourself, but cleaning the lens and camera is a simple job and we might avoid the sensor dirt issue altogether if we keep our gear as clean as possible. Many local camera stores offer image sensor cleaning services for reasonable prices to help us out in case we get something stuck on it.
Sometimes, it’s our camera bag that causes part of the issue. The bag we got in our kit is rarely the ideal choice for carrying our gear, many times they’re just too small, other times we just get a little careless about what’s in them. A good bag that protects well and that we can keep clean will be a great aid to avoiding dirt, grime, and dust.
Correct By Avoiding
photo by MarioGuti via iStock
The best fix for all five of these common beginner photography mistakes is to avoid making them in the first place. Get your gear clean, learn the basic camera controls for flash, exposure, and focus, use a small camera support when necessary, and take a little time to concentrate on composition and your photos will be better.