You own a new DSLR camera. Snap photos of everything that comes by. However, feel there’s something missing in your pictures. You are probably making some photography mistakes!

Here are the 10 common photography mistakes that every amateur photographer makes and should avoid.

Mistake 1: Using Auto mode

Not shooting in manual mode is the biggest mistake you could be doing. You own a DSLR. So why shoot in auto mode. Have a greater control on your device by using manual mode.

Professional photographers believe manual mode allows you to be more creative since it lets you control the three most important aspects of photography — shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. You can enhance your pictures drastically by playing with these aspects.

Mistake 2: Using the camera LCD screen

LCD and Viewfinder in DSLR are a kind of a visual guide during your shots. And who would not prefer a better guide!

Initially, using LCD may seem convenient to frame and view the shots. However, using LCD has its drawbacks, which become plain in the long run.

Not only it leads to blurry photos due to camera shake while holding, but LCD screens are also difficult to view in bright light. The screen glare becomes worse in bright sunlight. Another reason you should avoid LCD is that it kills your camera battery fast.

With an optical viewfinder, you can compose a shot by seeing exactly as the lens sees it. It gives better stability in your shots and drains less battery. The viewfinder provides high-speed autofocus, which is great if you are shooting sports, wildlife or trying to capture a moment in action.

All the pro photographers prefer viewfinder over LCD screen owing to significant advantages.

Mistake 3: Keeping ISO high

Amateur photographers usually make this mistake. They don’t understand how ISO affects their photos. ISO is the sensitivity of the camera’s sensors to light. Although higher ISO brightens the image it also lowers the picture quality.

If you are shooting during the day in bright light or have plenty of light indoor, set a low ISO whilst in dark consider increasing the ISO. Since high ISO produces noise in the photos, set it at an acceptable level of grains or noise.

Mistake 4: Keeping shutter speed too slow

Shutter speed affects the brightness and sharpness of the photo when capturing motion or action scenes such as birds’ flight, waterfall, skiing etc. Follow the simple rule to determine shutter speed by the focal length of your camera lens. For instance, if you are using 100mm lens, shutter speed should be set at least 1/100th of a second.

Keeping it too slow all the time can result in unacceptable brightness or white tones in pictures. Slow shutter speed is advised for night photography or low light while fast shutter speed helps in giving dramatic effect in your pictures by blurring or freezing the motion.

Mistake 5: Ignoring the White Balance

Do your photos have bluish or orange tinge? Do the colors in the picture are not exactly as you see them in real?

You are probably ignoring the White Balance in your camera.

White balance setting ensures that your camera works in accordance with the light source. Not every light source gives white light. Thus, the colors of the pictures captured by the camera in bulb light, fluorescent light, sunlight etc., are not as you view in reality.

You can auto set the white balance or manually set the color temperature in your DSLR.


Mistake 6: Shooting in JPEG

Do you know JPEG is not considered the best format when you want to edit or process your images?

Every camera brand has its Raw camera file format such CR2 in Canon, NEF in Nikon and so on. Raw format is uncompressed and not lossy. You can do much more with the Raw photo formats during editing without losing on the picture quality.

Prefer JPEG only when you want to save storage space or share files on social media. You can always convert Raw files to JPEG for transfer or sharing etc.

Mistake 7: No Subject!

Not having a subject is one of the most common mistakes made by a beginner photographer.

The subject of the photo is its soul. Do not randomly capture scenes, people, or objects. Make sure you have a subject whose story you want to tell through your picture. Like when you see a stunning landscape on the countryside, instead of just clicking, look for a tree, flower, field, animal, or hut, etc., to focus on.  Get closer, change the angle of view, keep the background simple, try all to focus and emphasize on your subject.

Mistake 8: Subject in the Center

It is the rule of thumb in photography to have the subject in the centre. But, why ‘always’ have your subjects in the centre?

Don’t be regular. It tends to be boring. Experiment by keeping the subject away from the centre. Who knows another person or an object in the background may create a surprise element or interest in your photos.

Mistake 9: Using the Wrong Lens

Are you using the right lens for your kind of photography? The camera lens does matter. It can enhance the quality of your pictures.

Different lenses have different focal lengths, thus give different results. Learn how different lenses affect the photos.

Like Fisheye or Ultra Wide Angle Lens with 8mm to 16mm focal length is best to shoot panoramic view while Wide Angle lenses at 16mm to 35mm are preferred for architecture, wildlife, landscapes, and sports photography.

Since Macro lenses capture details in objects, professionals use it to shoot wildlife and nature. Macro lenses are also used to shoot products like jewellery, clothes, etc., in the e-commerce industry.

Mistake 10: Don’t keep Backup of photos

You would never want to lose the precious photos and all the efforts put into getting that right shot. But, digital photos can get accidentally deleted or lost due to corruption, virus infection, formatting of the camera card, or other reasons. So inculcate the habit of maintaining a backup of your photos. Or else, a photo recovery software like Stellar Photo Recovery would be your only resort to get them back.

To Sum Up

We all mistakes — even the seasoned photographers. Doing away from the above common mistakes in photography will help you to take better pictures. Nevertheless, photography is all about continuous practice and experimenting.

Finally, don’t stop learning.

That’s the biggest mistake an amateur or a professional should avoid, is not striving to be a successful photographer.