Seven beginner landscape photography mistakes that pros make, too

Jul 31, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Seven beginner landscape photography mistakes that pros make, too

Jul 31, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Whether we’re new to landscape photography or we’ve been doing it for years, none of us is infallible. We’re all going to make mistakes. And we’re going to keep making them even after we’re more experienced.

Nigel Danson has spotted some mistakes that he sees beginner landscape photographers making regularly. But he also still sees pro landscape photographers doing it, too.

Nigel’s list covers things that I’ve dealt with throughout my life holding a camera in multiple genres. Beginners often make these mistakes because they’re things they’re still yet to learn about. When experienced photographers do it, it’s just a bit of a brain fart, but it’s good to see a reminder now and again.

  • 01:16 – Trusting your gear
  • 02:15 – Not checking your images
  • 03:08 – Using the wrong focal length
  • 05:07 – Wasting the foreground
  • 05:53 – Not knowing your camera’s features
  • 07:30 – Always shooting at low ISO
  • 08:49 – Over-editing images

The first one is a mistake I see beginners and professionals making regularly. They buy some new shiny piece of kit and just expect it’ll work as intended. It’ll just know what you want it to do and you’ll hold it up and shoot with it and it’ll all be magical.

Well, that rarely happens. Don’t test new and learn gear on important shoots or worse, on paying jobs. Go test and learn it on a nothing subject. That way, you know how to use it effectively when you actually need it.

While the rest of these are mistakes, they can also become bad habits, too, if not kept in check. It’s comfortable to be lazy sometimes and make these mistakes. And before you know it, you can be doing it out of habit, rather than just a lapse of judgement.

I’m guilty of all of these at some point. How about you?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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