Three Classic Photo Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Rodolfo Lentejas Jr. | October 2, 2013

avoid photography mistakes

Photographers no matter how talented they are have run into their fair share of mistakes. Ask a professional or even someone who’s doing it as a hobby and they’re bound to tell you stories of their mishaps in taking photos. However, among all those mistakes, three stand out. Here’s are three classic photography mistakes and what you can do to avoid dealing with them.

Mistake # 1: Ruining or Missing The Perfect Shot

Ask any photographer and they’ll you that the one thing they hate the most is missing out on that perfect shot. So what can make a photographer miss out on this opportunity? Well, there are two reasons that both professional and casual photographers fall prey to resulting in this mistake.

First, the camera’s setting isn’t tuned properly. It could be the shutter speed is too slow or the ISO is too high for the current environment but regardless of what went wrong, a camera that’s not set properly can ruin an otherwise perfect moment. So before taking a shot, always make sure to study your surrounding and adjust your camera’s settings accordingly. Be sure to check the lighting condition, whether your current position is an ideal spot to take the shot, and whether there are any objects or people blocking your way.

The second reason why photographers fail to get that perfect shot is because they decided to go through the previous images they took (this is called Chimping). The reason for doing that could range from wanting to delete photos to make room for more or to simply to find out whether the shot they took turned out great. However, doing that can leave room for missing out on getting that perfect moment. Once you miss out on that, it will be hard to find one just like it again. To avoid this pitfall, opt to check your images after the entire event. Better yet, invest in a bigger memory card so you won’t have to worry about running out of space.

silhouette of photographer

 

Mistake # 2: Fuzzy Portraits

Another mistake the most photographers fall prey to is fuzzy photos. Images that end up blurred often occur when the camera isn’t focused properly on the subject at hand or when there happens to be too much movement from the photographer. So if this is something you’ve dealt with before, here are some of the things you have to keep in mind to avoid this from happening again.

First, make sure your camera is focused on your subject’s eyes and not on any other object. This will help single out your subject from the rest of the items around the area, ensuring that they come out clear once you take the shot. Don’t focus on their clothes unless of course that’s what you’re after. Doing so will leave you with clear shot of what they’re wearing but a blurry shot of their head.

Second, avoid changing your camera’s position while shooting. The more you move, the more chances you’ll end up with a fuzzy portrait. Make it a point to study how you want to compose your image first, including where you want to place your camera. Once you have that set, that’s the time you should put your camera in position to take the shot.

Mistake # 3: Underexposed Photos

As a photographer - whether you’re a professional or new to the field - one of the things you need to avoid is producing underexposed or dark photographs. However, no matter how good you are, somewhere down the line, you’ll probably encounter this mistake. To help you avoid this, here are two features that your camera offers which you can use:

Exposure compensation dial

Notice that circular knob on your camera with the numbers +2, +1, 0, -1, -2? That’s your exposure compensation dial. This feature allows you to adjust your exposure setting to let the right amount of light into your camera. This needs to be tweaked depending on the lighting and environment you’re in. The dial is normally set at 0 but if you want to have more light come in, simply choose from the two positive exposure compensation (+1, +2). To reduce the light coming in, you can choose from the set of negative exposure compensation (-1, -2).

Spot Meter

Although not all cameras may have this feature installed, a spot meter will come in handy especially if you’re after getting the correct exposure for the subject you’re about to shoot. Although it may not always give you the accurate exposure you’re looking for, the beauty about it is that it will give you one that’s consistent and close to what you need. This eliminates the need to guess whether the exposure you’ve set is correct or not. It can also be used as a basis to determine whether you need to increase your camera’s exposure to have more light come in or to reduce it and prevent light from entering.

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Tips-n-Tricks #249

A telephoto (zoom) lens will compress your background making it look closer to your subject than it actually is. A wide angle lens will do the exact opposite.


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