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    7 Mistakes Beginning photographers cannot blame the camera

    The Post 7 Errors Beginner Photographers make the camera can not be accused first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Kevin Landwer-Johan.


    There are many mistakes that starting photographers make. It is healthy to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. Be prepared to understand why your photos don’t turn out the way you wanted them. Don’t blame the circumstances or your camera equipment if you mess it up.

    Here are some common mistakes for beginning photographers that you cannot blame the camera for.

    1. Poor composition

    Poor composition is one of the most important mistakes that beginning photographers make. If you don’t get close enough to your subject, you get too much unnecessary space in your photos.

    Sometimes a composition can be ruined too close. Do you cut the feet off your subject?

    Pay attention to what is in your frame. Ask yourself if everything you see is relevant to the photo you are taking? If this is not the case, resolve the error. Get closer, zoom or change your position.

    Leaving excessive space above one’s head is the most common compositional error that I see photographers making for beginners. Often what is above a person’s head is not relevant to the photo. Get closer or tilt the camera angle down to minimize this space.

    mistakes beginner photographers

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    2. Hurry your photography

    Take your time and you will take better photos. Being impatient will never make you a fantastic photographer. Whatever style of photography you use, patience will benefit you.

    Grab moments do not often capture the best photos. Of course there are exceptions, but usually it pays to prepare yourself and anticipate action before it happens. By doing this, you can set your camera and align your composition.

    The use of manual mode will help you slow down. You will visualize that you are photographing differently. This is because you are forced to think more about every aspect of taking your photos.

    During our photography workshops I like to teach people how to slow down by using manual mode. Most people I teach develop their skills quickly. Their photos are well exposed and composed because they work slower.

    mistakes beginner photographers

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    3. Distracting backgrounds

    Having distracting backgrounds is another mistake that beginning photographers make. It’s easy to focus on your main subject and not see what’s behind it until you look at your photos later.

    If you see that you have a distracting background, there are several options to prevent this.

    • Use a lens with a longer focal length.
    • Move your topic somewhere else.
    • Change the camera angle or location.
    • Use a large aperture to blur the background.

    A longer focal length lens reduces the amount of background that you see. Go backwards from your subject and use a longer focal length. You see the background differently than with a wider lens.

    If you move your subject or your camera location, what is behind your subject changes. Sometimes you cannot move your subject. If you can’t do it, you have to move. This sometimes means that you have to compromise with the lighting or the composition.

    Blurring a background can sometimes be the best way to prevent distractions. You must open your aperture wide to achieve this, except when using a long lens or focusing very closely on your subject.

    Young woman in the park making mistakes beginner photographers

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    4. Not looking for alternative angles

    Taking a photo from the first corner that you think of will not always make the best photo. This is another common mistake that starting photographers make.

    Move around – even a little. Move your camera back and forth. Tilt it higher or lower. Pay attention to the relationships of elements in your composition. Sometimes even a very small change in the camera angle will result in a more striking photo.

    Always consider taking both a vertical and horizontal perspective with your camera. If you cannot make everything to your liking, use a Dutch Tilt. If you move your camera to a different angle to accommodate your subject, this can work very well.

    If you find something interesting enough to photograph, take more than one or two frames. If you view a topic from different angles, you can visualize it in a new way. I think that one of the benefits of using prime lenses is that you are more likely to change your composition. You cannot stand and zoom in the same place, so you are more likely to look for different points of view.

    Image: © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    5. Give people insufficient direction

    How often do you avoid giving people instructions and posing awkwardly? These are common mistakes that starting photographers often make.

    Communicate well with the people you photograph. Talk to them about what you do and how you want them to look in the photo. Start with a few simple, relaxed postures so that they have more confidence in you.

    If you let them pose alone, they might not be that interesting.

    People will feel better if you give them direction, especially if you do so with relaxed self-confidence. Be clear about what you want them to do and talk politely with them.

    Image: © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    6. No relationship with your subject, whatever you photograph

    When photographing people, it is important to develop an understanding with them. Give them instructions so that you can get the photos you want. In addition, connect with these people.

    If you spend your time looking at your camera settings, your subject will probably feel uncomfortable. You may want to adjust your camera settings so that they are technically perfect. But if you don’t relate to your subject, you won’t take the most interesting picture.

    This is most important when you photograph people, but not exclusively. Whatever your subject, you take more attractive photos when you add feeling.

    Think about why you are photographing something.

    What did you like to take these photos? How can you incorporate this feeling into the photos you take?

    Many starting photographers will find this a challenge. However, as long as you know how you relate to your topic and try to develop it, you will become better at it.

    Muddy female ceramic artist

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    7. Being afraid to take photos

    Many starting photographers will hesitate to go after the photos they want because they are scared.

    If you want to photograph something dangerous with a high risk, anxious is natural and healthy. For example, it would not be wise to get close to a bear cub or a poisonous snake. These situations require fear to motivate us to keep our distance.

    Not photographing people because you are afraid to impose is very different. You can only know how someone responds when you ask if you can take their picture. It took me years to learn this and yet sometimes I hesitate.

    Tame the negative, fearful thoughts in your head. If you see something that you want to photograph, consider why and how you can do it. Don’t be digested by thoughts and apologies of why not and how not.

    By sticking to the ideas you have about the photos you want to take, you can develop your personal photography style.

    Chiang Mai market porter

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan


    Mistakes made by starting photographers can be very frustrating. When you take the time and view the photos you take, you see how you can improve and not always make the same mistakes.

    In addition, view the photos you take every time you load them on your computer. This is especially useful if you have not removed the “duds” from your cards before you upload them.

    When you see your best and worst photos side by side, this can help you grow as a photographer.

    mistakes beginner photographers

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    Are there any other mistakes you made as a beginner photographer that you want to help others learn? If so, share them with us in the comments field.

    The Post 7 Errors Beginner Photographers make the camera can not be accused first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

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