As with any skill or art in the world, people makes mistakes. No one starts off perfect and fine tuned crafts like photography take time and experience before you can master them. Becoming an expert requires making these errors, but it also requires the need to learn from them.
If you are looking to jump into the beautiful field of photography, these 10 very common beginner photography mistakes will be useful.
1. The idea that buying an expensive SLR camera will make you a pro
This is an extremely common fallacy. I’ve seen better pictures taken with an iPhone then with a $5000 Digital SLR in incompetent hands.
2. Owning a very expensive camera and not understanding it’s functions
Sometimes purchasing an expensive device can actually make you a worse photographer if you don’t know how to properly operate it with all it’s complex functions.
Anyone can point and click on automatic mode and get a high resolution photo. If you take the time to learn about things such as aperture and shutter speed you will be able to use the device more effectively.
3. Always centering your photos
Although this does have it’s time and place, it’s usually not the case. Especially in instances of landscape photos, beginners tend to senter the horizon. In fact, there is a “Rule of Thirds” that suggests you should always put the horizon on the top third or bottom third lines.
4. Not giving enough attention to the main subject in the photograph
Try not to include objects in your photograph that are irrelevant to the photo and will cause unnecessary distraction from the main subject. Some items will complement your focus, but some objects just get in the way.
5. Not looking behind the object of your photo
If there is an object right behind your subject (tree, light post) sometimes you can just move to the side a foot or two so there isn’t a large bush coming out of someone’s head.
6. Accidentally cutting off part of your subject
This is a very common beginner mistake and is easy learn to not do. Take your time and make sure the entire subject, whether it be a person or a mountain, is in the frame. It is very common in architectural photos because sometimes it is difficult to get the entire building in a shot from your angle.
7. Taking a photo of just the subject from a common and normal view
Going up to the front of a 16th century church and taking a photo straight at it isn’t very exciting. It comes out looking like a textbook picture and not a work of art. Use angles, crouch, step to the side, etc… Anything to get away from a straight view photo.
8. Not waiting for the camera to auto focus
This is a really easy mistake but it usually only reserved the complete clueless newbie. You could spend all day taking amazing photos and then realize they were all out of focus and completely worthless.
9. Not making sure the settings are changed for appropriate subjects
One day you go out shooting landscape pictures in the mountains and then the next day you decide to get some romantic shots of your significant other charmingly sitting on a park bench. Without the proper settings, you could have wasted a beautiful day at the park.
10. Always holding your camera horizontally
When you see someone taking a picture of the empire state building and not holding their camera vertically you need to question their sanity. It’s not always necessary, but taking photos of something tall and thin can benefit from a little 90 degree turn.
Finally, the most important thing to never forget while photographing is to enjoy yourself. Always admire the beautiful things around you and be thankful that you can capture those moments forever.