Discover Photography

11 typical beginners’ mistakes that can easily be avoided
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Have you recently decided that photography is the perfect hobby for you, but then have you also noticed while you were arranging your photos, that many of them have not turned out well? The reason for this could be that you are making some typical beginners’ mistakes. There is no reason to worry about this, though, because these mistakes can easily be avoided. Here we will show you what you need to know, if you want to make some really amazing photos.

1. Relying on the camera’s functions too much

You have just purchased a brand-new mirror-reflex or system camera, and you are looking forward to taking some fantastic photos. However, when you return from your first photo safari, you discover that the pictures have turned out no better than the ones you used to take with your old camera. Even the very best cameras must be used correctly. You must get to grips with subjects like aperture, focal length, and light sensitivity. Spend some time studying composition and structure, and learn how to deal with flash photography. Trying these things out is a lot of fun!

2. Always aiming for the middle

One of the most common mistakes is placing the horizon dead in the middle, so that the picture is cut into two halves. If you look at this kind of photo, you never know which half you are supposed to be looking at and what the main theme of the photo is. Landscape photos, for example, should follow the rule of composition by thirds, with the horizon placed along the edge of one of the thirds in the photo. This is how you tell the viewer what to focus on in the picture.

Even when both halves of the picture are lovely, you should never photograph the horizon in the middle.

Even when both halves of the picture are lovely, you should never photograph the horizon in the middle.

3. Not having the main subject in focus

Another common mistake is this: the main subject is not in focus. The whole point of composition is to create something interesting for the eye to look at, without disturbing the rest of the picture too much. One main subject is usually enough. If your subject is in the background, make sure that there is nothing in the foreground to divert attention from the central point of focus. You can get closer to the subject, zoom, or trim the photo later when you are finishing it off, so that the main subject is placed in the right position.

4. Making blurry photos

A photo that is deliberately made to look blurry can have a lot of nostalgic charm. But the decision to make a photo sharp or blurry should be made by you, and not just left to chance. Here, too, the question of focus is all-important: for example, if you want to make a portrait, the part around the eyes should be sharp - because that is where the focus should be placed. You can increase the sharpness, by minimising the shutter speed, for example, and setting it higher in relation to the focal length. Higher light sensitivity can also help you to make razor-sharp photos, even during the daytime, when there are a lot of clouds in the sky. And if you want to be 100% safe, then you can use a tripod.

In practice, it’s not all that easy – a perfectly sharp photo

In practice, it’s not all that easy – a perfectly sharp photo

5. Forgetting about the background

It is especially important to think about the background when you are taking a portrait photograph. Sometimes beginners concentrate too much on the main subject, and they forget that it is embedded in a surrounding context. That’s why the subject of the portrait sometimes has branches growing out of her head, or a lamp-post sticking out of his skull. Pay attention to the background, and make sure that your perspective works with it. Walk around your model and find the best angle, so that you can make a harmonious photo-portrait.

6. Never switching perspective

Beginners tend to photograph everything from the same angle. They see an interesting subject, stand directly in front of it, and press the button. It is better to try taking one step to the left or to the right. If you are taking a landscape or architectural photo, you can concentrate on some smaller details, rather than trying to capture the whole picture – there are already millions of photos of Cologne Cathedral. If you are taking photos of children, it’s a good idea to crouch down, because this will give you a more natural perspective. Just go ahead and lie on the ground, to gain a frog’s eye view of the world.

Forex prints are incredibly light and the matt photo paper guarantees laboratory-standard photo production

Look at the world through different eyes – for example, try lying on the ground to take a photo from that angle

7. Being impatient

Do you wonder why so many of your photos are blurry? Very often the reason is because you haven’t given the camera enough time to get into focus. This is can be a problem, especially with informal snapshots. Even in bad light conditions, it can take some time for the camera to get into focus. If you are using an automated programme, the cameral also needs to calculate the correct lighting settings. No matter how spontaneous you want your photographs to be, you must have a little bit of patience if you want to achieve good results.

8. Not checking the settings

If you have already tried out some of the settings, and switched off the automatic function, then you should always check the settings before every new photograph to make sure that they are suitable for the situation that you now have in front of you. This is especially true if you haven’t used your camera for a little while. Check the aperture, the light sensitivity setting, and the shutter speed. You can’t take a night-time photo and then later take a daytime photo using the same settings.

Don’t forget that when the conditions change, you must change your settings too.

Don’t forget that when the conditions change, you must change your settings too.

9. Selecting low resolution

Choosing a low resolution naturally has the advantage of giving you space for more photos on your memory card. Nevertheless, you should choose a higher resolution and upload your photos often to your computer, or to an external disc, or to the Cloud, so that there will always be room on your memory card for new photos. This is because at low resolution the quality of the photos suffers. If you try to print out larger photos, they will be grainy. Also, the quality will drop if you store your photos in jpeg-Format. Then, when you want to edit the photos, or possibly take a section out of one of them, you won’t be able to do it, because the photo will be more and more grainy.

10. Taking pictures from a very great distance away

Every photo that you take has a main subject, or a theme that you want to capture. If this subject is too small, because you have not been standing sufficiently close to it, then it won’t have the desired effect. Use the correct lens, to zoom in more closely, or move up closer to your subject. Sometimes this will mean taking a bit of a walk, but it will certainly be worth it. If that’s not possible, you can bring the subject closer through the editing process. However, if you want to do this, the photograph should be takin with the highest possible resolution, so that the quality of the image will still be high.

It can be very helpful to take a few steps to get closer to your target

It can be very helpful to take a few steps to get closer to your target

11. Relying on sharp contrasts

A photo with contrasts that are too sharp can be identified by the huge differences between the highlights and the shadows. This effect is likely to occur on bright, sunny days. It can mean losing part of your picture. If you want to avoid having contrasts that are too sharp, you can do this by using a flash, to brighten up the darker areas. Alternatively, you can choose a lower light sensitivity setting, and underexpose your photo slightly. Take several photos and experiment with these techniques, to see what produces the best results.

And finally, when you have finished your next photo expedition, you can select your favourite subjects and then have them made into photo canvas prints by us!

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