3 Biggest Mistakes Beginners Make In Digital Photography

Photography for beginners can mean lots of very easy mistakes that ruin lots of could be great shots. This article will cover the three biggest mistakes people make in digital photography.

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is simply trying to photography too much. There could be a shot with a train on the left, a balloon on the right, a clown in the middle, air force one in the middle, and a couple smiling at the camera and it would just be too hectic. Complex photos are not fun to look at and usually make a viewer too confused and look away.

The solution to this is simply to isolate on one or two subjects only. Take a picture of the train, then a shot of the balloon, then the clown, etc. It’s alright if you use some more film, your photos will look better and more pleasing to look at.

Another big mistake photographers that are starting out make is very simple…relying on the middle of the subject too much. Our eyes are naturally made so that when we look at something we make it the center of our vision. So, it would make sense that most people take pictures with the subject at the center of the photo. This, however, is just boring and uninteresting. We see it everywhere. If photography was photographing things the way they are then there’d be a lot of ugly photos. Composing photos so the subject is more interesting as an art form.

The solution to this problem is simply to place the subject off center and to the left or right. This will make your photos much more interesting and easier to look at.

The last big mistake beginners make is ending up with camera malfunctions. Blurry shots, under or over exposed, etc. The result of this problem is a lack of knowledge how to use the camera properly. The solution to this is to get to know your camera. Know what shutter speed is and the aperture is. Start using your manual mode more often and manually focus the shot instead.

Photography Competitions? 5 Huge Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these common mistakes in your photo competition entries and you stand a much better chance of doing well:

Mistake #1. Photographers present tired and predictable subjects and treatments. Hackneyed shots are extremely tedious for everyone concerned. Individuality and originality, however, stand out. Be ruthlessly tough on your material – does it have an immediate impact? Is it original? Compelling? Emotive? If not, then go back to the drawing board.

Mistake #2. Photographers play it too safe and fail to explore extremes in their entries. What is presented is more like a merely accurate representation of something rather than a shot that vividly captures the ‘drama,’ ‘essence’, ’emotion’ or ‘personality’ of the subject. Shots that do are alive. Those that don’t are flat and are quickly discarded from the judging process.

Mistake #3. Photographers violate the basic principles of composition and framing. By doing this, an ignorance of the fundamentals of photographic aesthetics is immediately apparent. Such entries never win and there is a massive difference between knowing and understanding the rules but then consciously bending or breaking them and, on the other hand, being completely ignorant of the ‘rules’ in the first place. The difference will be very obvious in the images. Aspiring photographers need to educate themselves about the fundamentals of framing and composition or else will be wasting their time in most photography competitions.

Mistake #4. Photographers don’t enter enough shots into a competition. There is always subjectivity involved in the judging of any photography competition so aspiring photographers need to put in more than one entry if they can – especially in the major events.

Mistake #5. Photographers submit their entry at the 11th hour. In any significant photography competition, the vast majority of entries (to call it a tidal wave would not be an understatement in some cases) arrive at the last possible moment before the deadline. Judges are then confronted with the daunting task of wading through the mountains of (e)mail and judging each and every piece of work with equal dispassion. In theory, it should not make any difference when an entry arrives but in practice, judges can give more time and thought to those entries that arrive before King Kong’s mailbag.

Better Wildlife Photos – Five Common Mistakes to Avoid

Wildlife photography is both rewarding and frustrating, even for experienced photographers. While a great photo is something to treasure, the challenges of wildlife photography can leave beginners feeling a little lost.

“It was wonderful to be there, but this photo doesn’t really do it justice.” Does this sound familiar? Too often we have a great experience in nature, and even though we have our camera at the ready, we fail to get the shot. This is not because the camera lets us down; it is because in our rush to get a photo – any photo – we fall victim to any one of a number of mistakes that can ruin a good wildlife photography opportunity.

Here are five common mistakes in wildlife photography, and some simple tips to overcome them.

Mistake #1. Fail To Get Close Enough To The Subject. This is probably the most obvious mistake you can make. You may see a bird in a tree, but your photo turns out to be all tree and no bird. In wildlife photography, the ‘less is more’ approach is often best. Ask yourself what is important for your photo, and eliminate everything else. In most cases you are best to get as close as possible to the subject, and/or zoom in with your largest lens. This eliminates the distraction of the background so that the viewer’s attention is entirely on the subject itself.

Mistake #4. Distracting Depth of Field. This is closely related to mistake #1. When you set your camera to automatic, you allow it to set your aperture and shutter speed settings for you. To get the best results, you need to make these decisions for yoursef. If you take your photos on a small aperture setting, you increase the depth of field around the subject, allowing the background to become more of a distraction. You are better to set the widest aperture setting you can. This narrows the depth of field, concentrating the focus on the animal. As an added bonus, it will also allow a faster shutter speed, which helps to freeze a moving subject.

Mistake #3. Get Too Close To The Subject. When the opportunity arises to get a good close-up, some people go a little too far. A good wildlife photo wants a little space around the subject, otherwise your composition can look cramped, with the animal squashed into a space where it doesn’t quite fit.

In these situtions, try zooming back just a little, to allow a little ‘headroom’ around the animal. There should be at least a small amount of space above the head, and on each side. If the animal is facing to one side, adjust your composition so that there is a little more space in front of the subject than behind it. That way the animal will be looking into the picture, not at the edge of the frame.

Mistake #4. Poor Lighting. We all love to get out and about on sunny days, but these are not necessarily the best conditions for a good photo. Bright sunshine produces shadow where you many not want them; in particular across the face of the subject. In the middle of the day when the light shines from above, you can find that most of the face and all of the underside of the subject is lost in dark shadow.

The solution? If it is a sunny day, take your photos early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sun is at a lower angle. You will also find lower contrast and warmer colour in the light, adding character to the whole photo.

In many cases it is best to take your photos on a cloudy day, when the light is even and the contrast is low. This light can work best for some subjects by completely eliminating glare and heavy shadow.

Mistake #5. Bad Timing. Animals move, they blink, they turn their heads, they flap their wings…sometimes it seems they are on a mission to foil your best attempts at a good photo.

In every wildlife encounter, there are a thousand opportunities to take a bad photo, and maybe one or two opportunities to take a good photo. A nature photographer learns to be ready for that perfect moment.

This is a matter of patience and perserverence. You need to spend as much time as possible with your subject, and take a lot of photos. Expect most of them to be rubbish, but take delight in the good ones because they are hard to come by. In particular, watch the animal’s movements and behaviour. The trick is to try to catch a moment that expresses something unique to set your photo apart from millions of others. You won’t get that perfect shot every time, but when you do it is a moment to treasure.