We’ve all been there. We’re just getting started with our photography, and we’re looking for some good tips to improve our skills, but the internet is flooded with “advice” that turns out to be nothing more than personal opinions.
You’ve probably come across some of the most common photography mistakes before — incorrectly exposed photographs, poorly composed pictures, blurry images — and you’ve probably made them yourself.
But the fact is that these fundamental photography mistakes can be avoided quite easily if you just remember a few key points.
Today I’m going to share five common photography mistakes I see time and time again, so that you can avoid them and take much better photos in the future!
You may have seen your photo come out a little dark and blurry, or a little light and grainy. That happens to us all the time, but it doesn’t have to. If you avoid these common photography mistakes, you can create the photo you want every time.
1) Not using a tripod
You know that blurry shot of the Statue of Liberty? The one where even if you don’t know anything about photography, you can tell it’s not sharp? That’s because the photographer took it without a tripod. Although most cameras come with image stabilization, it just can’t do much for a long exposure during low light.
Tripods are especially important for night shots and photos taken in low light without flash. Image stabilization can only do so much. Tripods keep the camera steady to avoid blurring from an unsteady hand, but they also allow you to use slower shutter speeds indoors without flash or in low light. You can either use a self-timer or set your camera on burst mode to eliminate any movement while shooting multiple photos.
2) Shooting at too high of an ISO
You might be tempted to crank up the ISO when your subjects are moving around quickly or when there isn’t enough light to take a good picture otherwise. It
The most common mistake in photography is believing that something exists because you can see it.
Mistake number two: not shooting enough frames. If you’re shooting a portrait, for example, it’s very easy to tell when you’ve nailed the shot, because the person will look back at you and smile or otherwise communicate their satisfaction. But how often does the person look away from you and give you a look that’s just as revealing?
The only way to know if you got the shot is to shoot more than one—you need a range of expressions and reactions. This is especially important for documentary photography. If you’re approaching strangers, for example, telling them about your project, or even asking them questions about their lives or work, it’s important to get shots of them looking at you and then away from you. Sometimes they’ll give you a good expression right away; sometimes they don’t. But if all your shots are of them looking at you, then there’s no way of knowing which ones were good unless they do look back at you and smile or otherwise communicate their satisfaction.
A mistake that many people make is to take a photo of something or someone that has no real meaning to them. They may be fond of the subject but do not have a particularly strong attachment to it. The photo will be taken, printed, and put away somewhere in a drawer or cupboard, never to be seen again.
About 15 years ago I took the picture below. It was taken at my mother’s 75th birthday party. I had been taking photos for about an hour and I was getting tired so I wanted to warm up with a few shots of close friends and family that I knew would be satisfying to me.
Taken from the back of the room, this shot is of my sister-in-law’s brother who was visiting from Norway. I liked him and he was such a contrast to all the other men in the family with his blond hair, blue eyes and muscular physique (he is a cross country skier). However, it was not until he died in an accident some years later that I realised how much his visit meant to me and how important this photo had become.
If you want to take portraits but are scared of doing it wrong, here is a small guide on how to create the best portrait shots.
1) Buy a good DSLR camera.
Your camera is your most important tool as a photographer. Taking a good portrait shot is not just about artistic skill, it’s also about having the right technology. It’s hard to take great photos with an old and cheap camera. So if you want to be a great photographer, buy the best camera that you can afford.
But be aware that just because you have a DSLR doesn’t mean that you will be able to take better portraits. You need to know how photography works in order to make the most of your equipment, so read up on photography first before buying any expensive gear.
2) Use manual mode instead of automatic mode
Automatic mode (green box) is convenient, but using it means that you give up most of your creative control over your photographs. In automatic mode your camera will choose everything for you: shutter speed, aperture and ISO setting etc… And because this makes things easy for you it will also make photographs boring. Every photo will look the same and they won’t be any good. This is why I recommend using manual mode instead (M
A good portrait photograph will tell a story. It should be composed of images that intrigue, tell a story and hold the attention of the viewer. When you are trying to create a great portrait, it is wise to avoid common mistakes.
Tone:How to photograph
Picture a portrait of a person and you will probably think of an image of someone’s face. And that is the most common type of portrait art, but there are many other possibilities. In this article, I will outline some of these different types of portraits, explain how to create each one, and give some examples of each type.
Trying to decide which type of portrait is most appropriate for your subject can be a confusing process. You want the image to be creative and interesting, but still convey something about the subject or present them in a flattering way.
The following are the main types:
Head Shot: This portrait is just that – an image of someone’s head. It can be full length or close up on the face alone. They should be in color or black and white according to your subject’s preference.
There are three ways to create a head shot: use a digital camera, use a medium format film camera, or draw one by hand on paper using ink and brush. Of course you can also have it done at any photography studio (though you might get better results doing it yourself).
A typical head shot shows the subject looking directly at the camera with their face straight on (no profile). It does not show much background detail and tends