- The Worst Mistake You Can Make With a New Camera
- Random (But Helpful) Photography Tips for Beginners
Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash
Whether you’re a brand new photographer or a grizzled veteran, photography can pose a variety of challenges to you.
Sometimes those challenges take the form of not being sure of the camera settings you use.
Other times, the challenge has more to do with the artistic side of photography.
Though a complete list of all the common landscape photography problems you might ever face would be impossible to compile, I’ve put together this overview of four problems I encountered as I was beginning to take more photos.
Let’s get to it!
Common Photography Problem #1: Sunset Photos Lack Color
photo by CreativeMoments via iStock
One of the reasons why a sunset photo might lack color is using the wrong white balance setting.
Specifically, if you’re using Auto White Balance (AWB), your camera will try to create neutral color results by cancelling out changes in color temperature.
That means that if you’re trying to capture the beautiful golden rays of a sunset, AWB will diminish them, thinking that it’s an unwanted color shift.
The solution: Use the Cloudy or Shade white balance setting.
photo by danilovi via iStock
Though it seems counterintuitive to use the cloudy or shade white balance setting when photographing a sunset, these settings will actually emphasize the golden tones in your images.
Where using the Sunlight or Daylight white balance setting will yield results that are more or less accurate, the Cloudy setting will boost the orange tones. The shady setting will enhance them even further.
This is because the Cloudy and Shade white balance settings are designed to warm up the cool tones that predominate when shooting photos in cloudy or shady conditions.
Therefore, by using one of these settings at sunset, you can get those deliciously golden tones in your sunset photos.
Common Photography Problem #2: Your Camera Strap Digs Into Your Shoulder
Photo by Kawin Harasai on Unsplash
If you’re like me, when you head out with your camera to photograph landscapes, you head out for hours and hours on end.
As fun as it is to explore the natural world around us, it’s zero fun to have a camera strap digging into your shoulder all day long. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the cheap, flimsy strap that comes with your camera does.
The Solution: Get a better camera strap.
Photo by Brandon Burk
I resisted buying a better camera strap for a long time because I figured that they’re all the same. I was wrong.
I’ve had many, many straps over the years - some terrible, some so-so, and just a couple that I would say are stellar. The Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo is in the latter category.
What I appreciate most about this strap is the big, contoured shoulder pad. This sucker prevents shoulder fatigue and allows me to comfortably shoot all day long. That’s worth its weight in gold!
Photo by Brandon Burk
Something else I want to note about this strap is that it has all kinds of innovative features that help keep the strap (and your camera) in place.
On the one hand, there’s an integrated stabilizer strap that loops under your arm to keep the shoulder pad in place, even if you’re hiking rugged terrain.
On the other hand, there’s a handy Belt Anchor on the opposite side that keeps your camera locked in position on your body. That means it’s not bouncing around as you navigate the landscape and is instead perfectly still at your side.
What’s even better about the Belt Anchor is that it can be released with a quick one-handed motion, that way you can quickly bring your camera to your eye for a shot. See what I mean in the video above.
This thing is built like a tank as well.
Photo by Brandon Burk
It’s crafted from a single piece of full-grain leather, so it will outlast your cameras and lenses, that’s for sure!
A better camera strap is a must-have for any photographer. And if you want the ultimate strap, the Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo is a fantastic choice.
Common Photography Problem #3: You Used f/22 to Get a Large Depth of Field, But the Image Isn’t Sharp
photo by Kotenko_A via iStock
If you’re using f/22 to maximize the depth of field, at least you understand how aperture and depth of field go hand-in-hand, so that’s a win!
The issue with images not being all that sharp at f/22 is that lenses suffer from what’s called diffraction - which occurs when the aperture blades bend light waves as they enter the lens - more at extreme apertures than they do at middle-of-the-road apertures.
Therefore, as the aperture narrows more and more, diffraction increases and sharpness is reduced.
The Solution: Shoot with a larger aperture.
photo by erick4x4 via iStock
Rather than shooting at f/22, try f/16, or even better, f/11 or f/8. Opening the aperture will make the image sharper, particularly if you find your lens’s sweet spot, or the aperture at which it’s the sharpest.
Don’t worry about losing depth of field by doing this, either. Unless there is something in the foreground that’s within a few feet of the lens, you can still get a nice, deep depth of field, even at these larger apertures.
Common Photography Problem #4: There’s Nothing in the Foreground
photo by Michael Vance Pemberton via iStock
One of the most common photography problems that beginner photographers experience is not including anything in the foreground of their images.
This is an issue because a boring foreground is kind of like a book with no introduction - you need something to draw people in that invites them to explore the rest of the image.
Additionally, foreground elements give the shot more depth and dimension, and they can also help connect the foreground to the background to create a more cohesive shot.
The solution: Try using leading lines.
photo by IakovKalinin via iStock
There are all kinds of things you can incorporate into the foreground of your photos - plants, rocks, people, pets, you name it.
One of the best elements to use, though, is leading lines.
Leading lines accomplish what I noted above - they add interest to the foreground, they provide depth to the shot, and they connect the foreground and background. It’s a win-win-win!
photo by Quirex via iStock
In the image above, the fences frame the road - which itself is a leading line - and help move your eye deeper into the shot towards the setting sun.
That, in turn, has the effect of making this photo a visual experience. That is, your eyes move along from the foreground to the midground to the background in a seamless motion that makes it a pleasing image to view.
Utilize this leading line trick and the other solutions to common photography problems I’ve outlined above, and you will find more success with your photos!