5 Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make (and how to avoid them)

5 Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make (and how to avoid them)

December 13, 2019 100 By Peter Engel


making mistakes is all part of the learning process and as a beginner there’s a lot of lessons to be learnt anyway enough of the condescending tone and let’s show you how to sidestep those pitfalls metaphorically that that was just a bit of dog poo I was dodging there yeah right oh just before we get cracking I just want to give a quick shout out quick ‘yoohoo’ to Skillshare the sponsor of this video if you want to learn more about photography or other things you should definitely check them out it’s an online sharing community with thousands of classes from business to design to photography and other things as well but it’s not just about learning you can teach you can teach classes by uploading so go check them out Skillshare boom video there are plenty of errors you can potentially make when learning photography but let’s start off by cracking open the first five first off kilter horizons they look wrong kilts coming off in the horizon probably look wrong also yes that’s what my neighbours told me anyway but look off into the distance between that green thing and that grey thing that thing should be straight because that’s how you see it in real life that is unless you’re Rain Man in real life in which case you see the world in tilt it seems like such a small thing but it can spoil your image in a big way just a tiny bit off is enough to ruin an image and it’s something that’s quite easy to overlook because you’re too busy figuring out what settings to use or what your subject is doing or where it’s going do use the tools on your camera your camera probably has a grid for your viewfinder or one of those electronic levels yeah the electronic level and grid is quite easy to use when you’re shooting something like a landscape because the landscape isn’t moving anywhere fast and quite often there’s quite a clear horizon but what if you’re shooting something that doesn’t have a clear horizon or something that’s moving too fast for you to keep checking electronic level do keep using the grid but look out for other lines or objects buildings are a good reference point in this shot one might be tempted to use the advertising board as a reference point but given that I was shooting from an angle in the first place that advertising board is supposed to be slightly slanted and if I levelled that up it’s gonna make the shot a bit wonky you don’t need to get it perfect because you can adjust it in post but get it as close as possible because you’ll lose part of the image when you just do whatever you do just make sure your image is level before you hit publish but then there’s a Dutch angle which technically doesn’t have anything to do with Holland this is a purposely off-kilter shot quite often used to create a feeling of uneasiness but this is something you can quite easily get wrong and something that people use all too often to try and make it feel a bit arty even pros get it wrong just watch the first Thor movie the next one is all about getting the basics right basic but fix your framing and your photos will look anything but basic because if you have an interesting subject but you’re not framing it right it doesn’t really matter such as having loose framing like this I’m over here by the way in fact I could have just done this with VO and just wave my hands save some time save some energy talking there’s some hand wavy action photography shouldn’t be about being told what subject to take photos off so the problem of framing is not so much about what to include in your shot as it is what to exclude from your shot surely you will know what interested you big red dot thing people architecture that beard so you know what is that is interesting enough to make you take a shot in the first place but think of it this way if somebody else is looking at your photos will they know what it is that is interesting within that frame is it clear enough loose framing adds unnecessary information that dilutes what you’re trying to show move in closer this photo doesn’t mean anything in particular but does a better job of doing it and another thing that you can try is to just open up the photos that are already on your hard drive in your editing software and just crop them in see if you can improve any of the photos just by cropping in tighter the other mistake you might make is to frame things too tight and look at this that’s just too much face more face than one really needs you want to frame it tight enough but be careful not to cut off things like your subjects legs it will look odd and I don’t mean literally cutting their legs off all of a sudden [Music] yes so crop it in tight but not too tight you need a bit of context in your photo right and there’s not just about cropping off body parts adding just a bit more visuals that will reveal a little bit more about the subject or the scene will add a lot more to the photo applying filters and effects to your photos can make them visually more appealing but you can have too much of a good thing like too many bloody filters it affects whether it be digital or actual physical filters doing it digitally is fake it has to be done in camera with Instagram creative filters LUTS as well as the old-school filters it’s all too easy to go crazy with them got your filters? one or one hundred because you get an instant effect that is pleasing to the eye I quite like the green but it’s just the surface layer don’t get me wrong filters and effects are totally fine but it should be the icing on a cake you still need that moist spongy bit that is subject framing composition to make a nice cake I’m hungry now you can’t just have an image that’s all about that single layer or in this case 100 now the fifth mistake in this list is making images that are too soft now one big complaint I always hear from new photographers my image is too soft it’s not sharp enough it’s fuzzy now there are a couple reasons why you might be making images that are too soft number one you’re just too damn bloody shaky or number two wrong settings on the camera and there are a few potential causes of this number one shutter speed too slow and what you can do to try and minimise this is to use a shutter speed that is one slash and your focal length easy number two not in focus the fix is to focus it properly first number three definite large aperture smaller number small bit in focus so the other stuff is blurry looks soft number four diffraction opposite end of the spectrum small aperture large f-number it’s soft because all that light is trying to go through a small aperture I just realised how rude that looks yeah think of it this way if you go really squinty Mc Squinty with your eyes like this just look how crap the world is when you’ve got your eyes all like that but the big mistake is getting so wrapped up into thinking all my images too soft is not sharp enough and then you end up getting another lens a new camera do not buy new gear just to fix that focus if you excuse the lame-ass photography pun on making good shots first nobody cares about how sharp your images only yourself yeah so the last mistake is not so much that you’re making images that are too soft but thinking that you are it’s the feeling that your photos aren’t cutting it due to some technicality now your gear isn’t working well for you nobody’s going to look down at you for having a soft image but they will if the photo is ultimately lacking any substance so that’s it for this video another big you to the sponsor of this video skill share is great if you want to learn more stuff about photography content by photographers giving tips and a sneak peek into their work like this series about cityscapes the premium membership cost less than $10 a month which is cheaper than a lot of other online learning platforms and gives unlimited access to order classes so yeah check them out if you wanna watch more tutorials about photography or business or design or even knitting and what’s more there’s a special little promo right here Skillshare is offering a 2 month trial for the first 500 of you lovely people you can take advantage of that offer by using the following link which is in the description below okay that really is it thank you for watching please tickle with that like button if you really feel like tickling today and subscribe right I’m gonna go home now see ya