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Beginner Photography Mistakes to Avoid

April 7, 2016 10:17 am

When you’re new to photography and/or learning how to use a new DSLR camera, it’s common to make many mistakes until you figure things out. Even though you may read the camera’s manual word for word and study it, there’s a lot of useful information you’re missing if you don’t research beyond the manual. Making mistakes in early photography is one of the best ways to learn the right way to do things, but here are some tips on what to avoid when taking pictures.

Never using flash

If you have your camera on some sort of Auto function, the built-in flash will pop-up at some point, and you’ll discover that it creates flat, harsh light directly on your subject matter. This may convince you that you don’t like a flash when the truth is that you need an external, preferably off-camera flash to produce better lighting. Using an external flash, such as a speedlite, offers new opportunities and flexibility with lighting that a pop-up flash never will.

Wrong focus mode

Even today’s best photo editing software can’t fix out of focus pictures, so you have to get it correct in-camera while shooting. When you’re photographing a still object, and your camera keeps trying to refocus, you’re in the wrong focus mode, and you need to adjust your settings until your subject matter remains in proper focus.

Wrong ISO

In a camera’s manual, it usually states that a higher ISO creates more digital noise and lower image quality. However, if you always shoot in a low ISO like 100-200.1, you can end up with numerous underexposed photos. Adjust your ISO setting as necessary for the lighting conditions and experiment until you find the right ISO for each shooting situation.

Shooting JPG instead of RAW

It’s not unusual to shoot everything in JPG format when you start out, but you can greatly benefit by switching to RAW format. RAW image quality is far better than JPG quality, and it offers more editing options during post production. Shooting in JPG means that your camera compresses the image and applies sharpening, white balance, contrast and saturation, which may not be right for what you’re shooting. RAW files are much larger than JPG files, but external memory is inexpensive enough today to justify shooting in this higher-quality format.

Never backing up images

If you don’t regularly back up your images and your SD card or camera’s internal memory malfunctions, you could quickly lose all your work. Back up your images to your computer regularly and back those up on an external hard drive or flash drive just to be doubly safe.

Using free photo editing programs

When you’re first starting out, it’s okay to learn the ropes with free editing software, but you have to understand that it doesn’t have the capabilities of programs such as Photoshop or Lightroom. Adobe now offers their most popular programs for a monthly subscription fee, so you’re always up to date with the latest version of the software.

Another common photography mistake is trusting the printing of your photos to anyone but the experts at Baboo Digital. We offer a variety of printing, mounting and framing services to reveal the best in all your images.

Featured image by Thomas Hawk