For some of us photography is a passion, for some a living, and for others it’s just a bit of fun. Whatever reason people choose to take photographs, the mistakes are generally the same - and whether you’re new to photography or not, it’s quite likely you’re going to make some.
Let’s look at some of the most common ones and see what you can do to prevent them.
1 - Objects growing out of people’s heads
It’s quite common to see objects ‘growing’ out of the top of a subject’s head. Trees, poles, antlers even (although that one could probably win a comedy photo contest!). The reason for this is because the photographer doesn’t look at what is behind the person or subject. This is also true for unwanted items in the front. Your first view and your first angle are often not the best available – so look all around the frame, take a couple of steps to the left or right. You’ll eventually learn to get the image that you want without too much effort.
2 - Items sticking in at the edge of a photo
“Oh, I didn’t even notice it” is a very common reply from a photographer when asked about an item just in the edge of a photo. It doesn’t matter if it’s half a rubbish bin or the back end of a bus, it’s still a distraction. The best way to combat this is to scan the whole frame, look at the edges, and notice everything around. Of course, you do have the option to crop things out later, but this will make your image size smaller.
3 - Focus point not in the right place
A focal point draws the eye of a viewer to the area you want to highlight. To achieve a sharp image, you must be precise with your focus; if you are taking a photo of a person and focus on an ear or nose it will be noticeable. You should always focus on the eyes since that’s where the viewer of the photo will look first.
4 - The Photographs are blurry
Some of the reasons your photos may end up blurred are;
Your own movements or the wind shakes your camera – the best way to keep a camera still is to use a tripod. However, if you don’t have one you could try bringing the camera closer to you, so it is steadied by your body, holding it with both hands and bringing your elbows to your side to turn your body into a kind of make-shift tripod or just before and during the shot, hold your breath.
Your subject is moving, and the shutter speed is too slow to freeze the action – The simplest way to combat this is to ‘tell’ your camera to increase the shutter speed. You can do this by either turning on the flash; this will give more light when the shutter is open, causing it to close sooner or you can increase the ISO setting. The higher the ISO, the less light needed and therefore, the quicker the shutter will close.
You haven’t focused on the right spot – Focusing on the wrong object can cause parts of your image to be blurry.
A dirty lens – Smears and smudges on your lens can give you blurry images. Make sure to give it a regular clean.
5 – The background is cluttered
This may well be the most common mistake of all. You see something beautiful and you MUST take a photo of it. You’re so overwhelmed by this beauty that in your haste to capture it you don’t pay any attention to the background, only to discover later that your photo is ruined. So, it’s important to be aware of what else is in the scene, making sure to only include things that complement your subject and remove everything else. The background makes the picture!
Don’t be disillusioned if you take some bad photographs, we’ve all been there. When it comes to photography you’ll never know it all, but if you can avoid these issues you’ll soon find your photographs are of much better quality.
Denise Brady is the Lux Magazine Global Wedding Photographer of the year for 2018 and an experienced boudoir and corporate photographer. If you’d like to speak to her about your upcoming wedding or any other event, you can reach her on 01502 218 828 or 07787 383 332, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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