5 Mistakes Vol. 2

If you missed the first 5 Mistakes No Photographer Should Make you can find it here.  Volume 2 of this list features mistakes that are a little less obvious but equally as important.

1. Never buy a camera right before going on vacation. Or before any event where you know you really want to get good photos.  I bought my camera right before a trip to Europe, because I was waiting for the newer model to come out which just happened to be just before I was leaving.  Not being familiar with the camera caused me to not get as good of photos as I would have gotten in a few cases had I been more familiar with the camera.  This also goes for your other photography equipment (lenses, tripod, etc.), it’s always good to be familiar with your equipment so that you can get the best possible shots when you really want them.

2. If you’ve got a really great photo, take a few. There’s nothing worse than taking a photo of something amazing and thinking you’ve got a great photo, then getting home and uploading the photo to your computer, only to find out that the scene was slightly out of focus or there was someone in the corner of the photo that you didn’t notice.  It never hurts to take a few photos, adjust the perspective a little, then choose the best one later on.

3. Don’t assume a photo can’t be fixed until you’ve tried. When you first view a photo on your computer and see that it has areas that are way too bright or too dark, or that the color looks completely wrong, don’t send it to the recycle bin until you’ve opened it up in your photo editor to see what can be done with it.  You’d be surprised how much a program like Photoshop Elements can correct.  Not that you want to get in the habit of having to fix things instead of getting it right in the camera but post-processing can fix photos that you might not have thought could be saved.

4. If you have someone else take a photo for you, always check that it’s good. I’ve been in plenty of situations where I was either out traveling alone and wanted a picture to prove I was there so I had to have someone take a photo for me or was out with friends and wanted a group picture with all of us and needed to have someone take the picture.  Always check afterward to make sure that the picture is composed properly, when you hand the camera over to someone else you never know what you’re going to get.  Also, make sure that the camera is set up exactly how you want it so that they don’t need to do anything other than press the button, and show them which button it is so they aren’t confused and can’t figure out what to push.   Lastly, I’ve found that if you can find someone who has a nice looking camera, they’re more likely to take a better photo for you than just picking any random person.

5. Put the camera down once in a while. This is something you’ll hear a lot of photographers say because they’re guilty of it, as I am.  While you want to get lots of great photos, you also need to balance being able to enjoy where you are and what you’re doing at the time.  If it’s worth taking a photo of it’s probably also worth enjoying while you’re there instead of spending the entire time with one eye in the viewfinder, whether it be spending time with family or seeing the most beautiful waterfall you’ve ever seen.

Again, I hope you find some usefulness in these tips and avoid making these mistakes yourself.  Until next time, happy shooting.

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