As I often mention, we all make mistakes and it’s perfectly fine as long as we learn from them. But nevertheless, some mistakes are still better to avoid and to make them as rarely as possible. In this fantastic video, Mads Peter Iversen shares five mistakes that are crucial to avoid in landscape photography. They aren’t strictly composition or gear-related, but they rather refer to our habits that could be harmful to our growth as photographers.
1. Not getting out
When the weather is bad, overcast, and gloomy, you certainly don’t feel like going out. I can totally relate to this one, not just as a photographer. However, if you are a landscape photographer, staying in even in bad weather is a big mistake. The thing is – sometimes even the gloomiest of the day can work great in photos.
Then, you never know: you may go out while it’s cloudy, and the weather may become better later. But even if it doesn’t and even if you don’t get photos, you still get to scout and explore the location. You can plan out some shots, revisit it later, and get some awesome photos. Mads has some tips for shooting in bad weather, check them out here and on the next overcast day – go out and shoot.
2. Not learning from mistakes
As I said, we all make mistakes and we should see them as an opportunity to learn. But if you keep making the same mistakes and don’t fix them with time, it will significantly slow down your improvement. Be aware of your mistakes, analyze them and think about how you can fix them. This doesn’t mean you should dwell on them, but keep them in mind so you don’t repeat them all the time.
3. Misleading lines
Leading lines is one of the commonly used composition techniques and it can work wonders in landscape photos. But if you want to use it, pay attention that you don’t have any misleading lines in the frame. They could draw the viewer’s eye away from the subject or from the leading line you planned to incorporate.
4. Not “testing” your photos
When you finish editing, check your photos on different devices. Your monitor, even if it’s calibrated, might not show you the photo as other viewers will see it. Look at your photo on a computer screen, but also on your smartphone and tablet. You will likely see a difference.
In my opinion, it’s best to edit the photos on a high-quality, calibrated monitor. You can’t affect how other people will see it, but I think that you should simply be aware of how it will look on different devices.
5. Not photographing with intention
You don’t need to shoot and edit your photos so they fit Instagram’s standards. But if that’s your intention, then go for it. Otherwise, think about what you want to achieve and how you want the viewer to feel. Think about your own preferences, ideas, and message, and build your style around them. Even though trends can dictate popularity at a given moment, they come and go. And your unique voice and style remain, and I believe it’s something that’s valued and recognized beyond and current fad.
I must say that I enjoyed this video and it reminded me of some really important things to have in mind. Make sure to watch it if you want to hear more, and also to see some amazing examples from Mads. Along with his words, his photos will also definitely inspire you to go out and shoot. Even in bad weather. : )