The Most Common Mistakes Made by Photographers

Toronto Imges explains The Most Common Mistakes Made by Photographers

By Roberto Machado Noa

Here are some mistakes we photographers make. They are based on my personal experiences as a Stock Photographer.

1. Too Far

Robert Capa once said it all, “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Don’t hover from far away like a sniper. Get in there close, and get in there with a wider angle lens. This can work for portraits, landscapes, or any type of photography. Sometimes it is best to get closer and capture what is most important, large in the frame.

2. Shots are shaken by movement

To achieve sharpness and reduce handheld camera shake, your shutter speed needs to be at least one over your focal length. So if you are on a full frame camera with a 50mm lens, the shutter speed would need to be at least 1/50th of a second .
Think about raising your ISO sometimes to get sharper shots, particularly in darker lighting situations, but also sometimes during the day. A higher ISO will allow you to use a faster shutter speed and a smaller aperture, such as f/16, to ensure that your entire image will be in focus.

3. Unrealistic Colors

Unrealistic and strong colors are often a fantastic creative choice. However there is a noticeable difference between when it is done purposely due to experience, and when it is done through lack of knowing any better or poor color management.
There is also a common tendency of newer photographers to try to make their photographs look like paintings. Once again, this can be done well, but the way I usually see it done is where people raise the saturation slider way too far.

4. Wrong white and black points.

The overall tones in your image are vital and you need to get good at working with the contrast, exposure, black levels, and highlights. Always try to get the exposure as close to perfect as you can in the camera. I know you can fix it later and often you can do it well, but it’s just not the same as getting it right in the camera. Also think about whether your images might be too dark or too light.
Having blacks and whites in your image are good things. Often you want some detail in the shadows or highlights but you want areas of white to draw the eyes in and areas of black to ground the image.

5. Heavy HDR

 I often see is HDR done to such extreme that the colors look far from real. It doesn’t even look fake, it just looks bad. There are absolutely no shadows or blacks, and no highlights or whites. I’ve seen entire images that are all middle tones!
You can take some detail out of the shadows and bring in the whites somewhat to get a better dynamic range. Try to find that fine line between realism and looking as good as possible. Retouching is about finding that fine line where an image works and not going over or under it.

10. Excesive Posting

It’s fine to take a lot of photos. It’s fine to show a photograph a day if you shoot a lot, but edit your work down to the best. Nobody has the time to wade through a million photographs to find the gems. They will miss the gems if they have to look through too many mediocre images.
We all take mediocre images but the best photographers do the best job at hiding those images.  Do your viewers a favor and pick out the gems for them and only show those. You want people to want more rather than wanting less, because if they want less then they’re probably not coming back.

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