Sometimes, getting better results with your camera is as much about what you avoid
as it is about what you actually do. Here are some common photography mistakes to avoid to take your photos to the next level.
Being afraid to get in close
Most new photographers tend to stand back too far, instead of filling the frame with the subject or trying multiple perspectives. Don’t be afraid to get in close.
Shooting in the “best” weather
Experienced photographers have a different definition of what the best weather is. Bright sunshiny days are actually horrible for images. Direct sunlight is too harsh as it creates dark shadows. On a sunny day, the sky is often so bright that it’s overexposed. There’s ways of working around harsh sunlight, but if you can go out on a cloudy day, go then, especially when you’re a beginner.
Being afraid of flash
Used incorrectly, the flash is harsh and unnatural. When you understand how to use one, it’s difficult to even tell that a flash was used in the first place. It’s a great tool for shooting in harsh sunlight to fill out the shadows. Once you learn manual mode, start learning how to work with your flash on your Sony DSLR
Trying to shoot at night without a tripod
If you’re going to be photographing at night, you’ll most likely be needing to use slower shutter speeds. Take a tripod
from Beachcamera.com along so you don’t blur your images by trying to hold the camera by hand.
Using the wrong focus mode
There’s a lot more to getting the camera settings right than simply using the right exposure settings. The focus mode tells the camera
how to focus. Use the wrong one, and you may end up with an image that’s too soft. For example, when shooting a portrait, use the single point autofocus and place the focal point over one eye. If your image isn’t sharply focused, it’s likely you used the wrong focus mode for the situation.
Standing by walls and bushes
If people know they’re going to have their photos taken, they inevitably find a wall or a bush and reverse themselves right up to it. If you’re using flash or you’re outdoors in bright sunlight don’t let them remain in front of the bush or wall. This will most likely result in them having a harsh shadow around them. By all means, if the bush is attractive, you can have it in the background. But just bring them far enough away from it so that you can use a wide aperture combined with a longer focal length. Then the bush will be nicely defocused in the background.
It’s easy to open an image in Photoshop and make it better. But it’s also way too easy to open an image in Photoshop and make it worse. Try first to get everything right in camera. Then use Photoshop for small edits or corrections. Check your image and make sure the colors still look realistic. Also that you didn’t increase the saturation or contrast too much. Over-sharpening is another common editing mistake that instantly gives photos a processed feel. If it doesn’t look natural, hit the undo button.
It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the tips, tricks, suggestions, and rules of photography. In the end, use the tips like these as guidance. But don't think of them as hard-and-fast rules that must be followed at all times. After all, photography is an art form. Each of us has our own personal style and vision.