We all make mistakes, and that’s fine because we can learn something from them. In this fun video, Tony and Chelsea Northrup talk about some common blunders that have most likely happened to all photographers, no matter if they’re newbies or pros. In this video, you won’t hear about common lighting, composition, or editing mistakes. It’s about those silly mistakes we all make from time to time, which can be funny, but sometimes also pretty frustrating. How many of them have happened to you?
Tony and Chelsea share the mistakes they’ve both made during their photographic career, and I guess we can all recognize ourselves in some of these.
Forgetting batteries and/or memory cards – been there, done that. Chelsea admits she once packed up all her gear, went to the location, and figured out she didn’t bring memory cards. It happened to me when I traveled to Athens, but luckily, I was able to buy a new one.
Leaving the diopter on the lens – Tony says this happens to him sometimes, and then it takes some time to figure out why the camera won’t focus and everything is blurry. I’ll add leaving the lens cap on and wondering for a second why everything’s dark.
Tripod struggles – Chelsea admits that she always looks clumsy when extending tripod legs. I can imagine how I look with a tripod that has one broken, and one jammed leg. Tony says it has happened to him that a tripod has tipped over a couple of times. It happens, especially if you shoot near a pet or outdoors when it’s windy. And sometimes, it can be a costly mistake.
Leaving certain settings on and taking photos with them in different circumstances – bracketing mode, exposure compensation, long exposure, high ISO… Personally, it has happened to me plenty of times to leave the camera at ISO 400 or 640 after shooting something close-up in the forest, and then go and shoot a sunset.
Leaving image stabilization off and then shooting at low shutter speeds
Not looking twice after editing – does it happen to you: you spend hours editing a portrait and it looks awesome after you’re done? You feel thrilled and post it online immediately, step away from the computer for a while, but when you return – it suddenly looks horrible.
“Two bars of battery should be enough” – nope, it shouldn’t. I learned it the hard way, it seems Tony did too.
Too much or too little gear – you pack tons of gear into your backpack, and end up using only one lens. Or, you try to spare your back and pack light, and you realize you need that lens you left at home. Chelsea has been through this a couple of times, as she says in the video.
Shooting JPEG instead of RAW – oh, I’ve been there too. I shoot a friend’s home party in the evening, so I shoot in JPEG because they’re just snapshots of us goofing around. I go for a photo walk the following day, and halfway through taking photos, I realize they’re all in JPEG instead of RAW. Good to know I’m not the only one.
Accidentally pressing buttons and flipping switches – this happens to me sometimes when I shoot in the dark and try to press the right buttons only by guessing where they are.
Miscommunication – Tony says sometimes he tries to make his subject smile by bringing up a certain topic, and it turns out to be counter-effective. I can imagine the awkward feeling.
Wrong clothes or shoes – you’re in your flip-flops and it turns out you need to walk for a couple of miles and shoot in a swamp. Or you wear shorts to a 7,600 ft high mountaintop. This happens to everyone, I believe, whether you’re a photographer or not.
Printing in the wrong format – you have a frame intended for the photo, and it turns out you printed it in the wrong format. Hopefully, you won’t have to cut anyone out of the photo, but you’ll have time to make a new print and do it right this time.
These are only some of the mistakes we all make from time to time. Some of them are harmless and easy to correct, while the others can be seriously frustrating and even costly. Personally, I’ve been guilty of a few of those more than just once. How about you? Do you make these mistakes from time to time? Would you add any to the list?