If you are even remotely interested in photography, I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of tips about how to improve at it. Some of them are truly golden and helpful, but there definitely are some that we should disregard. In this video, James Popsys shares nine of these photography tips he has been given, but which he believes you should ignore. So, have you also been given these tips? And do you follow or ignore them?
1. Always shoot wide open
Many beginners I know (me included, back in the day) want to buy an interchangeable lens camera so they can vary their depth of field. James says that the worst tip he was given as a beginner is to always shoot wide open. And when you’re a newbie who has just bought their first fast lens, this can be a pretty tempting thing to do.
However, first of all, shooting wide open isn’t suitable for all situations. Also, you may notice that even the sharp part of your images is a bit soft when the aperture is fully open. And finally, if you just slightly misfocus your image, it will be pretty noticeable. So, the bottom line is, don’t always shoot wide open.
2. “Pick” a style
Another bad tip James mentions is that you should pick a style, with an emphasis on “pick.” Of course, you should have your own style and preferred genres. However, it shouldn’t be a rushed decision or something you just “pick.” Instead, it should develop with time, after lots of learning and experimenting.
3. Always use a tripod
Of course, there are situations when you’ll need a tripod. It will either help you get sharp images, or you should use it for shooting long exposures, timelapse and so on. However, those who tell you that you should always use a tripod are simply wrong. If you do prefer using one, great, go for it. But there’s absolutely no need to do so in every situation. James admits that he’ll do anything to avoid using a tripod, and I can totally relate.
4. You need to use filters
Okay, to be fair, there are situations when you do need to use filters because the look can’t be recreated in post. You need a polarizing filter if you want to remove glare, or an ND filter if you want to shoot long exposures during the daytime. However, you don’t need to use a filter for everything. Again, it’s a personal preference if you want to do it all in-camera, but keep in mind that you can recreate many looks in post.
5. You need expensive cards
If you shoot hi-res videos, you need fast and expensive SD cards. But for photography, especially if you’re a beginner and on a budget – no, you don’t need the fastest and the most expensive cards on the market.
6. Nail your composition
The composition is important, there’s no doubt about that. And you should definitely pay attention to it when shooting. However, James points out that you shouldn’t obsess about getting it perfect in-camera. He prefers going a bit wider so there’s the opportunity to change it in post. This is because you may come home with the photos and realize that you’d like to change something after all – so you should allow yourself this freedom. Also, obsessing about “perfect” composition while you’re on location can take up too much of your time, or it may cause you to miss a moment.
7. Only shoot in the golden hour
The golden hour is beautiful and you certainly won’t be wrong if you aim to shoot at this time of day. However, as James puts it, stories happen at other times of day, too. So, rather than waiting for a particular time of the day and particular weather, you should learn about different kinds of light and how to make the best of them.
8. Always shoot raw
This is a tip I’d probably give you myself, since raw images give you so much more to work with and preserve way more detail than jpg files. However, there are situations when shooting raw simply isn’t necessary. For me personally, this is when I’m taking casual shots at parties and gatherings with friends. There was also one situation when I was on a hiking trip, but hadn’t brought a big enough card. Everything around me was so beautiful, o, I switched to JPG at some point to allow me to shoot more photos. It’s better to have them in jpg only than not to have them at all!
9. Sensors are everything
“Image quality is all about sensor,” you may have heard. But this isn’t entirely true. A lot depends on the sensor, but you should find a sensor that fits in a camera which suits your preferences and fits in your workflow. I’d also add that your lens plays a huge role when it comes to image quality. Finally, “quality” isn’t just about the technical side of photography, but also about the artistic one. And no sensor can help you recognize and capture a perfect moment, or master lighting, composition and every other element of photography.
Have you heard these tips, too? I have heard some of them, but I mainly don’t follow them, just like Jamie. Although, I do try to get the composition right in camera, and I shoot raw 99% of the time. What about you? Do you follow these tips or do you ignore them as well? What are some of other the tips you’ve received that you find useless?
[9 Photography Tips you should IGNORE! | James Popsys]