What was your most common mistake when you were a beginner in photography? We all make mistakes, but fortunately – we learn from them, so we become better and better. Rachel and Daniel from Mango Studio point out three most common mistakes almost every new photographer makes, but also offer ways to overcome them. Did you make these, too?
Blowing out the highlights
If you don’t expose for the highlights, you won’t be able to post-process the image and bring back the information you lost from them.
When you shoot towards the light source (like the window), it’s better to set the exposure based on this bright part of the photo. Set the focus point to the object outdoors, and then refocus on the subject indoors without adjusting the exposure. The photo will be underexposed, but you can compensate the exposure in Lightroom without losing the details in the highlights. Oh, and you’ll need to shoot RAW.
There is a downside of this method, though. With some cameras and some settings, the shadows can get grainy when you boost the exposure. But in time, you get to use your best judgment and learn what works best for your photos. In some situations, a small amount of blown highlights is tolerable. As Rachel and Daniel seem to have some blown highlights in the last step of the tutorial, it seems this approach doesn’t always work for them.
Posing instead of directing
When you photograph people, it’s easy to get in a rut and stick with the “safety poses”. There are time and place for posed photos, but the best result comes from eliciting the natural response from your subjects.
So, instead of directing your subject where to look, how to tilt their head or where to place hands, try making them bring certain emotions in the shot. If you’re photographing a couple, find ways to make their love for each other truly visible in photos. Some suggestions: play music and let them dance, have them whisper something highly inappropriate in each other’s ears, or have them deeply sniff each other’s hair.
Disregarding your light source
Photography is all about right light, and that’s something most newbies forget. It was my most common mistake when I was a beginner, and I think it mainly happened because of impatience.
Before you take photos, it’s important to check what kind and amount of light you have available. Depending on that, you need to find the best location for the photo shoot. If you hunt for natural light, timing is also crucial.
Most natural light photographers love golden hour, as the lighting is even and the shadows are minimal. And, well, the light is golden. But it’s very short-lasting and you can’t always shoot at that time.
So, if you find yourself shooting in midday sun, find some shade where the light will be even and shadows won’t be harsh. You can also extend your hand out and rotate in place to see how the light hits your hand. Look for the angle where your hand is most evenly lit and place your subjects there. To avoid “raccoon eyes”, make your subject tilt his/her head up.
It takes only a few extra seconds to think about these techniques and implement them, yet they are all powerful tools to make your photography better. I think it could be useful to all the newbies out there and help them raise their photography to a new level. And even for those more experienced ones – it’s not bad to have a reminder like this from time to time.
[3 Mistakes All Beginner Photographers Make | Mango Street]