Did you also start the new year with a handful of good intentions? And did you stick to them? Are you taking them seriously, or have you postponed “more exercise, more salad and less alcohol” to 2015?
Whatever your lifestyle is currently like, when it comes to photography you can definitely make progress this year. Just focus on getting rid of some bad habits that many photographers suffer from. As often in life, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, this is also true for handling a camera. What were once photographic virtues are soon a distant memory. If you want to take better photos in 2014 and become a happier photographer, then it’s time for you to give up the following five photographic mistakes once and for all.
Mistake 1 – Fiddling around for too long
How often have you pictured the perfect image only to miss the right moment to take the shot? Perhaps because you had to set the right aperture first, or because the ISO value was too low or because the cover was still on the lens. – Starting from now such excuses no longer count. Now when you see a good photo opportunity then as a hobby photographer you simply have to capture it on camera. And you use the means available to you at that moment. Set your camera to automatic mode and keep your finger on it!
Mistake 2 – Hesitating for too long
This is similar to mistake no. 1: Because you are inwardly hesitating – “Am I allowed to take photos here? Should I not compose the picture better?” – you miss out on the best opportunities. This is a mistake many hobby photographers make: all their qualms and ponderings means that they develop a real inhibition to press the button. What you can do about it: make a point of and get used to pressing the button quicker than your shadow. Don’t think too much before you do it. And it may sound paradoxical, but to take good pictures you have to first take bad ones (to make progress).
Mistake 3 – Not being close enough
“If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough.” This statement by the legendary Magnum photographer Robert Capa is as banal as it is true. The reason many photos are bad is because you can simply tell that the distance between the photographer and his subject was too great. Either literally (actual distance) or metaphorically (attitude). Really think about what you want to take a picture of and then make sure it fills the whole screen.
Mistake 4 – Looking through the viewfinder
Key phrase: filling the screen. This rule of thumb may sound like abstract theory, but for many photographers it really was the key to their success: “Don’t look through the viewfinder, look at it.” Imagine the viewfinder image as a focusing screen (which it in fact is). This way you prevent your brain from mentally zooming in to the subject and enlarging it and it appearing much too small and lost in the photo itself.
Mistake 5 – Not having your camera on you
This cardinal error is one that even happens to ardent photographers, and it really doesn’t need much explaining. It’s simply a question of laziness or carelessness. But the consequences are fatal: no camera means no photo. If you want to take better pictures in 2014, then make sure you have your camera with you. Always and wherever you go! Only if you actually take pictures, you have the chance to get better and be a truly happy photographer.
As you can see, our 5 photo mistakes are pretty easy to remedy. It’s basically all about just getting on with it and simply taking more pictures. Better photos will be the automatic result.
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