5 Common Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make

Published on: January 20, 2021 (Updated on: April 22, 2024)

5 Common mistakes beginner photographers make

There a many people today involved in the world of photography either professionally, or as an amateur. But when handling the camera for the first time, there are 5 Common mistakes beginner photographers make.

It is inevitable that mistakes happen when learning to do anything, but mistakes are a part of the learning process. Thanks to those with years of prior experience, some of these mistakes have been identified and can easily be avoided, making the learning process much faster for newbies.

Below are 5 common mistakes beginner photographers make and how they can be easily avoided

1. Cutting with frame

Picture framing

One of the most common mistakes I've seen with beginners is cutting a subject with the edge of their frame. It is very common among beginner photographers. This doesn't only happen when shooting portraits, it can also happen when shooting landscapes, architecture or nature. A part of the subject is almost always cut off. This can be a style and make an image look great, but in most cases, the image will look terrible.

Always try to fit in the subject withing the frame of your camera. You can change the settings of your camera to show a grid format where the screen is divide into nine parts with two horizontal and vertical lines. Place your image withing this grid, and ensure that no part of your subject is outside the grid.

2. Bad focus

Bad focus in photograph

This is another common problem seen among beginner photographers. Many beginners tend to set their cameras to autofocus. While this is a good setting for certain scenarios, it can be a wrong choice for beginners. Autofocus will choose your focus points for you, and in many cases, the focus wouldn't hit your exact mark and might be slightly off.

When shooting inanimate or still objects, try switching to manual focus. This will ensure that you get the exact target you were aiming for.

3. Shooting in JPG

Many beginner photographers don't usually know the best format to shoot in. Many just shoot in JPG, but it is always better to shoot in RAW. The image quality is always better when shooting in RAW. Shooting in JPG isn't bad, but this format will automatically apply certain adjustments to your image, and compress your image. This would make it difficult to adjust certain things like contrast or saturation when doing your post editing.

Shooting in RAW ensures that your image can be easily edited in parts, instead of applying your adjustments to the general image like JPG will do.

4. Using digital zoom

When I first started shooting, I used to zoom in on my image all the time. Over time, I discovered that I was using the wrong zoom as my images were always dusty or pixelated. When shooting portraits, macro or nature, try as much as you can to get as close to your subject as possible. Doing so will ensure that the image is captured at the right lens quality.

If you must zoom in on a subject, ensure you are using the lens zoom and not digital zoom. The lens zoom is controlled by turning the lens of your camera, while the digital zoom uses the buttons on the camera.

5. Shooting in Auto

There are two basic modes on your camera settings, they are Auto and Manual mode. Both modes are good, but should be applied to the right kind of photography. Many beginners tend to shoot in Auto mode for any kind of photography they engage in. While shooting in Auto isn't such a bad thing, it gives your camera control over what your image should look like. Shooting in Auto evaluates the lighting, scenery and a number of other factors to choose what settings are most appropriate to use for your shot. While this isn't bad, you wouldn't get a satisfactory image quality.

Beginners should learn how to use the exposure triangle and shoot in Manual mode. This gives you total control over the quality of your image. You can also so get special effects like long exposure shots and a rich depth of field. Shooting in Auto is great when taking landscapes. This is where the accurate evaluation of environmental factors is needed and the camera is in the best position to determine that.

That's it! The above are the 5 common mistakes I personally made as a beginner photographer, and I've noticed many others make. Apply the corrections stated above, and you will notice a dramatic change in your images.

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