Bad habits. We all have them in many aspects of our lives, and photography is no exception. In this video, Mark Denney shares the nine worst habits a landscape photographer can have. Of course, these behaviors are something Mark points out as his own bad habits. However, I believe that many of us will be able to relate to them, too. Do you have any of these bad habits?
1. Quick edits
The first mistake Mark mentions is editing your photos too quickly. By this, he doesn’t mean rushing through the edit itself. Instead, it’s about editing your photos as soon as you return from a trip. It’s better to transfer your photos from your SD card to your computer, but then have some rest and let the impressions from the trip settle a bit. Only after that, choose your favorite images and start editing them.
2. Single lens shooting
Another mistake Mark makes is, as he calls it, “single lens shooting.” This s about choosing a good spot, setting up a tripod, and then taking too many images that all look almost the same. This doesn’t mean you should jump from one place to another either, but using two different lenses at the same spot could be a good idea to provide some variety.
3. Not chimping enough
Wait, isn’t chimping a bad, bad habit which you should drop right now? Well, not necessarily. It all depends on your genre. Sure, moments fly by if you shoot sports, street photography, events and the like. But in landscape photography, things unfold a little more slowly, and chimping lets you review the composition, sharpness and other important aspects of your images. So, if you’re a landscape photographer, chimp away!
4. Avoiding “bad” weather
This is something many of us do: we see a weather forecast telling us it’s going to rain, and we just give up going out. Sure, it’s a bother to shoot in wind or rain, but on the plus side – bad weather provides opportunities for dramatic, moody images. So, we should go out and shoot even when the weather’s far from ideal, at least occasionally.
Another mistake here is shooting only in “good light.” In other words, you want only the “perfect” conditions at a location when you take photos. The truth is that it will often be far from perfect, so you should just go out and shoot.
5. Lazy lens changing
This is probably the only of these bad habits I can’t relate to, mainly because I’m too terrified of cleaning my camera sensor by myself. This mistake is about leaving your camera on a tripod while you’re changing lenses. While you’re putting the first lens in a bag and grabbing the other one, your sensor is exposed to the wind, dust or moisture – so don’t be lazy and switch your lenses properly.
6. Sleeping in
Now, this is something I can totally relate to: sleeping in. I’m really not a morning person, and I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve missed photographic opportunities because I simply couldn’t wake up. However, dawn is the most beautiful part of the day, so it’s worth the effort whenever you can to make yourself wake up before sunset.
7. Pixel peeping
When you open your images in Lightroom, you may be tempted to pixel peep. I think that it’s okay to zoom in a bit to see if they’re sharp or if there’s anything that should be removed. But what Mark refers to is zooming all the way in so you can almost see individual pixels. First of all, it’s not helpful at all. And second, no one will look at your photo that way, so why should you?
8. Fix it in post
Another big mistake is assuming that you’ll just fix something in post. Sure, it works sometimes, but at other times you’ll come home and realize that some errors are impossible to fix. So, if making an extra effort at the location will lead to better composition, then make that effort. It will save you time in front of the computer and leave you with more usable images.
9. Sensory overload
This is the last, but for Mark, the biggest mistake – sensory overload. And once again, I can totally relate. When I come to a new location, I just rush around like a maniac and don’t know where to start when it comes to photographing it. I do it when I shoot landscapes, but for me, it’s even worse when I visit a new city.
Mark tries to fight this by first just walking around with his camera or smartphone and planning possible compositions before he sets up his camera on a tripod. As for me, I usually try to focus on details such as textures or plants first, in order to chill out a bit. And then I also walk around with my camera, exploring possible compositions and planning shots.
As I said, we all have bad habits, but there’s nothing wrong with this as long as we’re aware of them and we work on changing them. I can relate to many of Mark’s mistakes, and I have a couple of my own, too. What are the biggest photography mistakes that you still have? And how do you try to beat them?
[9 WORST HABITS In Landscape PHOTOGRAPHY | Mark Denney]