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Up for Discussion – Common Newbie Mistakes

Leading on from the post last week about critiquing I thought this week we could have a look at common mistakes that people make when they first start taking photos.  Of course not everyone does these things, but some people do.

I just thought of something new to do with a post like this, I think it will work, let’s give it a try.  I know a few things that many people do when they start, but it has been over 20 years since I started, so what if I start the post and you guys finish it. edyarra0014 What I mean is, I will list a few things, and you will see what I do, and if you can think of additions to the list, then tell me in a comment, after I publish the post, I will leave the post in edit format on my computer and as you think of things to add I will add them and continually update the post.  I am home today so I should be able to do it when they come in.

Common Mistakes People Make When They Start Photography

The horizon is always smack bang in the middle of the image. 

It is something we all do, it is funny because it is the natural thing to do, but then in photography it is consider a big no no.  I think sometimes it should be in the middle, and I put it there, but I do think that it isn’t always good in the middle.

Don’t Put objects you are photographing in the middle.

I see this a lot, people taking a photo of something, like a tree, and it is right in the middle of the image, I think it does work best having on the third lines, though like everything there are always exceptions.

Cut off peoples feet when you are taking their photo.

edmaldon0028I do see this a lot, the perfectly composed shot, but the feet of the person has been cut off, or a hand, and it usually means that the photographer hasn’t taken in the whole scene, which is common. I tell my students it is best to cut off around 2/3 of a limb, then it looks deliberate, and not because you didn’t look properly.

Give the whole scene enough space.

This one is a bit like the feet one above, where the photographer gives the scene at the top lots of space, but doesn’t leave any at the bottom.  I have a friend who does this all the time, and I have told her to make sure so looks at the bottom of the image as well and not just the top.

Laura has pointed out, “the biggest mistake I used to make when I first started was framing my subject to tightly. I’ve learned to back up just a bit to make sure I get all I want in the frame plus a little bit of breathing room to allow for proper cropping in LR or PS.”

Things are sticking in at the edge of a photo.

This is one of the most common things I see, something just jutting into the edge of the photo, and it can be distracting, like half a rubbish bin and when you ask what it was, the person will often say, I don’t know I didn’t notice it.  One of the first things I was taught was to scan the whole frame, the edges and look for things I don’t sctheatre-0007want in the image.  I know you can crop them out later, but that reduces the size of your image, and then it reduces what you can do with the image later on.  It is always best to get the best image when you click the shutter button.

Looking at what is behind or in front of your subject.

mzklever just reminded me about another very common mistake which is taking a photo of someone and not looking at what is behind them or in front, so you get the photo on the computer and realise that a tree or pole is coming out of their head. Or something else looks like it is in the wrong spot.

Making objects in the image too small.

“I took a photo of a fountain, with my wide angle, can you see it in the image.” Taken from too far away so it looks small.  There are no rules about having to stand so many feet from an object, you can walk up to something and take a photo.  Zoom in, zoom out, work out what you think is the best one.  If you don’t know, it is digital so take lots at different zooms.  One will stick out.

Take more than one photo of something.

You go somewhere, there is something beautiful in front of you and you take one photo, then you get home and it isn’t as good as you thought it would be, and you wished you had move around a little more.  I know it isn’t always possible, but you can take a photo standing up, or kneeling down, there are lots of ways of changing your position.

Consider different angles.

edwalhalla0077Melbourne being a town with lots of tourists, you see it all the time, oh Flinders Street Station, they walk up to it point the camera and take a photo.  They don’t move to the right, or to the left.  They don’t walk right up to it and photograph looking straight up at it. Trying taking photos from lots of different angles.

Also Papict, has added that you don’t have to take things at your eye level, like if you are photographing kids, get down to their level.

Using the Flash on Automatic.

Andre just said that when he started he would use “just flash people in the face, then wonder why their eyes are closed”. That is a common thing, people not understanding how their flash works.  I usually recommend that people learn how to take the their flash off auto.  You see people taking photos and the flash pops up, and it won’t do the image any good.

Buying a DSLR and never learning how to use it.

This happens a lot, people spend a lot of money on buying a DSLR and then use it on auto all the time, which in the end means it is a very expensive and large compact camera.  It is best if you buy one that you do learn how to use it to it’s best ability, really see what you can do with it.  If you don’t want to learn to do that, then consider getting a compact camera that would be perfect for what you do, and possibly give you better shots.

Chillbrook has something to add to this as well, “I think the biggest mistake beginners make is not learning the exposure trinity from day one – apeture, shutter, ISO. It’s the basis of all photography. DSLR’s with all their automatic settings are all very well but it really isn’t difficult to master the basics of manual exposure. All modern DSLRs have a light meter, learn to use it.”

sctheatre-0004Horizon lines that aren’t straight.

I have to say, I am terrible at getting a straight horizon line, but I do always straighten it in post processing, so if you can’t take straight horizon lines, then it is something you need to learn how to do in editing.  If you are going for that look of an uneven horizon line then it should look obvious, like that is what you intended.

Not waiting for your camera to expose correctly or focus.

Pamela has commented, “I’ve noticed that with so many light weight cameras (and phones) in this fast paced age, many people forget to take the few seconds needed to hold the camera still and often missing the opportunity to do many of the tricks you’ve noted.” I just wanted to add it often means getting images that are out of focus.

Maxine wanted to add that people tend not to hold the shutter release button half down to let the image get in focus, so they end up with out of focus images.

Not checking the settings on your camera before you take photos.

This is from Nelson, “A mistake that I was making when I started was not taking the time to look at the adjustments of my camera before taking my first shot ( shutter speed, ISO, f stop, white balance). If the conditions were the same as the last time I took photos there was no problem, but if the conditions changed ( sunnier, fast moving object etc) then there was a problem”.  I want to add that I still do this, drives me crazy, I am getting better at it though.

“digital is cheap, I can delete my mistakes,” mentality

Jeff has added this, “Another rookie mistake is to take the “digital is cheap, I can delete my mistakes,” mentality too far. They shoot a million photos with no consideration of composition, lighting, etc, in hopes that some will turn out good. I see so many people who just show up, point their camera at something and blast off a few dozen shots.”

Stay focused on what you choose as your subject.

Jill has added this, “I think the biggest thing is focus. Stay focused on what you choose as your subject. Lots of times I’ve had a hard time getting my camera to focus on what I want, especially on close ups or when there’s something moving.”

Taking attention away from your main focus.

Here is a great point from Alex,  “I see a lot of potential great compositions with a interesting subject, but then there is a bush in the foreground, or a lamppost somewhere, or a person somewhere, and the image loses its balance. Your eye is drawn away from where you want it to be. I guess this gets into composition and their are situations where it can work creatively, but I would say as a rule of thumb for starting out, if you have a subject or set of subjects you want your photo to focus on, make sure the rest of the image compliments them.. I think visual weight and balance is so interesting..”

What is your point of focus.  

Adding on from Alex, a lot of people take photos with no idea what their point of focus actually is, so it is good to know you are trying to achieve with your image.

Learning the numbers, what they refer to.

Damo was explaining how when he started he thought the higher the number for ISO the better, and I am sure many of us have done the same thing.  Of course it is the opposite, the lower the number the better quality.

Keeping early images.

Agarrabrant just pointed out that when you start don’t throw away all your images, especially as you start improving, as you will enjoy looking at them again in years to come, it helps you to see how much better you have gotten.

I have one suggestion: Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Sarina has offered this bit of advice, “When people start out with photography most people say: “Ah photography is not so difficult. I can figure everything out myself.” I think to some extent this is true but you should also try to find other, more experienced Photographers that can help you in the early days. And it is not always about giving you input but also about having company and someone that you can watch and learn from. And if you don’t know any experienced people it also is nice to just have a photo buddy that has the same level or even less knowledge. You will grow together and figuring something out together will make a great experience.”

Turning the Camera up on its Side.

Infraredrobert has just pointed out that many people when they start, just use landscape mode, and they never turn their cameras up on the side to get portrait mode.

Don’t Panic.

Jeb has added, “I think the most important lesson is not to panic and try to relax (I was in utter fear of my camera when I got it, never used one before other than take the odd snap). I make bag loads of errors, I can’t say I am bothered it is how I learn to do things. Despite the myth of artistic genius these things are a craft and we learn them slowly through trial and error.”

Take a Course.

Norm has suggested that when you first start, take a course, “If you’re able to spend $500-$1,000 on a camera, a few hundred more spent at a reputable school will only pay dividends in the long run.”

Expensive Equipment doesn’t Necessarily Mean Great Images

Sally has pointed out “another common mistake is reliance on expensive equipment to “make” a good image. Today there are so many choices. More and more attention should be “paid” to the “seeing” and looking at works by well-known photographers. It’s also important to understand light. So many people do not understand the relation between lighting and the differences between artificial and natural lighting.”

Victor just send a link to this, Top 15 Photography Clichés Everyone Hates.

That is about all the ones I can think of, so let me know what to add to the list.  I would also like to hear about camera mistakes too, my first camera was so basic, that you couldn’t make mistakes, or wrong settings, not really, but I would love to hear from people about ones that people do, if they do, what you have done or someone else you know.  Also if there are any more composition things that people often do.

The images I have used for this post are ones that were taken with black and white film and I have scanned them.  They are some of my earliest photos when I first got my Pentax K1000 back in the early 90’s.

 

 

 

174 Comments
  1. Some people just have an eye for taking photos…you clearly do.

    November 28, 2014
    • Thank you, that is lovely.

      November 28, 2014
  2. I know when I just started I used to take picture in jpg format and just flash ppl in the face, then wonder why their eyes are closed.

    November 28, 2014
    • Shall I add that?

      November 28, 2014
      • Sure

        November 28, 2014
      • I didn’t add the jpeg, as I think many people who start, should use jpeg, it is good for beginners, but the flash thing is perfect, so many people don’t know how to use the flash, so that was a good point. Thanks Andre.

        November 28, 2014
  3. Auto mode is somewhat valid because it lets you think about angles/composition while letting your camera approximate the lighting, but my photos didn’t start getting really good until I started learning about & using manual mode. I’m not sure that’s exactly a “newbie mistake” but it’s good advice for newbies that learning to use manual is incredibly valuable!

    November 28, 2014
    • It’s funny, I don’t teach manual when I am teaching people photography, I teach aperture priority, I teach them what they need to be able to use manual, but I rarely use manual, and do nearly all my photography in AP mode, but you do make a relevant point, so many people buy DSLRs and never take them off auto, it makes them an expensive compact camera. Thanks Sabina.

      November 28, 2014
      • That’s fair–I shot in AP for a long time before shooting in full manual. It’s a good way to begin thinking about settings more, which is the whole point of having a DSLR!

        November 28, 2014
      • I am too lazy to use manual, I use it when I have to, when I want to do something that the camera won’t let me, but other than that, I let the camera set the shutter for me all the time.

        November 28, 2014
  4. Christine wilson #

    Not Straighting horizons is something I see from time to time especially on seascapes

    November 28, 2014
    • Oh yes, a great point, though I can’t take a photo with a straight horizon if my life depended on it, but I do straighten them in post. Thanks Chris.

      November 28, 2014
      • Christine wilson #

        Yes I’m the same ,I swear it was straight when I took it, but more often its not, but yeah straighten in post 🙂

        November 28, 2014
      • I know exactly what you are talking about, I try so hard to get it straight, and then sometimes I go too far and it is even worse. I have given up trying to make it straight in the field, no I go for close enough, concentrate on what I am doing and then fix the horizon later. 😀

        November 28, 2014
  5. I’ve noticed that with so many light weight cameras (and phones) in this fast paced age, many people forget to take the few seconds needed to hold the camera still.

    November 28, 2014
    • So their photos are out of focus, is that what you mean?

      November 28, 2014
      • Yes…..besides often missing the opportunity to do many of the tricks you’ve noted.

        November 28, 2014
      • Yep, I will add that, it is a good one.

        November 28, 2014
  6. Nelson #

    A mistake that I was making when I started was not taking the time to look at the adjustments of my camera before taking my first shot ( shutter speed, ISO, f stop, white balance). If the conditions were the same as the last time I took photos there was no problem, but if the conditions changed ( sunnier, fast moving object etc) then there was a problem

    November 28, 2014
    • OMG I still do that Nelson, I will forget something, like yesterday, that I had the exposure compensation down 1.3 stops, I usually work it out so it isn’t a total disaster, but, well, one day. thanks Nelson, great point.

      November 28, 2014
      • Glad to hear others make this mistake! But perhaps this is a DSLR design flaw: wouldn’t it be better is all settings returned to “neutral” when the camera was turned off?

        November 28, 2014
      • Now wouldn’t that be a great idea, or have it so that you can decide what the basic set up is and each time it turns off it defaults to that, I like the way you think, lot of merit in that. 😀

        November 28, 2014
      • Nelson #

        I am glad to know that I am not the only who still does it and that is also why I ALWAYS shoot in RAW

        November 28, 2014
      • Oh no, I’ve thought about making myself a little checklist, I think I should. Though, the more I do this, I do notice a lot faster these days.

        November 28, 2014
  7. Great post – can I add focusing on the focus of your image – holding the shutter release half way and then moving the camera to frame the shot?

    November 28, 2014
    • Of course you can Maxine. someone else just pointed out something similiar, but it was with phones, but might add that to it.

      November 28, 2014
  8. Another rookie mistake is to take the “digital is cheap, I can delete my mistakes,” mentality too far. They shoot a million photos with no consideration of composition, lighting, etc, in hopes that some will turn out good. I see so many people who just show up, point their camera at something and blast off a few dozen shots.

    Another, especially in landscape photography, is showing up at noon and wondering why “my shot doesn’t look like that.” Which goes hand in hand with buying a high end DSLR and using it as a point and shoot. Again wondering why their shots don’t come out like the ones they’ve seen online.

    November 28, 2014
    • Oh yes, I have see those people too Jeff, and if they get a good one it is more luck than because they knew what they were doing.

      So the second point is more about wanting to take photos like they see online, but not researching how they were done??

      November 28, 2014
  9. I think the biggest thing is focus. Stay focused on what you choose as your subject. Lots of times I’ve had a hard time getting my camera to focus on what I want, especially on close ups or when there’s something moving.

    November 28, 2014
    • Oh yes, that can be a hard one, and people do tend to have the subject out of focus, I’ve seen that a lot. Thanks Jill.

      November 28, 2014
  10. Great Post Leanne! I think for me on the first two and the horizon line issue, I usually but not all the time am so used to painting in watercolor when I look through the view finder, it looks like what I see when painting (the rule of thirds) for one which actually puts the horizon line not in the middle. and also in basketry I use the Fibonacci equation and sequence of numbers also in painting using the golden mean or ratio when you start looking through the viewfinder that way it helps not to place focal objects in the middle. I love the post. Great work Leanne!

    November 28, 2014
    • Thank you, it came from a discussion on last weeks post. It sounds like you have worked out the best ways to get good shots for you.

      November 28, 2014
  11. I used to cut part of people’s heads off which is part of the reason I got an SLR because what I saw in the viewfinder would be what I got. Interesting that you talk of getting the image right rather than cropping. I always do that because I was used to film but had thought these days you were supposed to have extra round the edge and crop later. Not that I don’t crop sometimes or rotate for a squiffy vertical/horizontal.

    Only other thing I can think that might count as a newby mistake is not correcting exposure when photographing with water in the background like someone coming out of the sea.

    November 28, 2014
    • Oh yes, I guess that comes under the cutting feet off, do you think? I agree, I think it is a film thing, but I still stand by it, I know you will lose some things when you have to straighten horizons and such, but not much.
      Not sure what you mean about the second part, do you meant because the light is so bright in the background?

      November 28, 2014
      • Yes! I can never remember if it is +1 or -1 off the top of my head but I try to remember to adjust it if the background is very bright though it works the other way as well. Its called ‘exposure compensation’. My camera goes between -3 and +3.

        November 29, 2014
      • I bracket my shots, so it takes care of that for me, I can usually use one of the shots. I love exposure compensation and often have my camera set for a 1/3 or 2/3 thirds under exposed. So much to think about these days, and I think once you get into it, it only gets worse, you start seeing more things to play with on your camera, and more things to stuff us. LOL

        November 29, 2014
  12. Alex Roan #

    Hi Leanne, good topic for a post 🙂 I would like to suggest adding, ‘taking attention away from your main focus’ I see a lot of potential great compositions with a interesting subject, but then there is a bush in the foreground, or a lamppost somewhere, or a person somewhere, and the image loses its balance. Your eye is drawn away from where you want it to be. I guess this gets into composition and their are situations where it can work creatively, but I would say as a rule of thumb for starting out, if you have a subject or set of subjects you want your photo to focus on, make sure the rest of the image compliments them.. I think visual weight and balance is so interesting.. 🙂

    November 28, 2014
    • Great point Alex and I added something similar, or something that goes with what you were saying as well. Thanks for contributing.

      November 28, 2014
  13. I think the biggest mistake beginners make is not learning the exposure trinity from day one – apeture, shutter, ISO. It’s the basis of all photography. DSLR’s with all their automatic settings are all very well but it really isn’t difficult to master the basics of manual exposure. All modern DSLRs have a light meter, learn to use it.

    November 28, 2014
    • So very true Chillbrook, thank you.

      November 28, 2014
  14. I really like this post Leanne. I feel really embarrassed saying this, but when I first started taking photos I used to think that the higher the ISO, the better, so would always have the camera on the highest level. I think it was 800 back then. Ignorance! haha! But then it was a 110 film camera! Yes I am shaking my head and chuckling at myself! But you know, I still feel like a complete beginner with so much to learn. One love 🙂

    November 28, 2014
    • I think that would be an easy mistake to make Damo, very easy. I had one of those 110 cameras, an old boyfriend bought it for me for my 21st birthday, showing my age now, haha. I think many of us feel the same way. 😀 Thank you for sharing your experience, think I will add it to the post about understanding what the numbers mean.

      November 28, 2014
  15. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    My friend that identifies things… her horizons were always off so I mentioned it to her and I noticed she has improved greatly. These are excellent tips.

    “Buying a DSLR and never learning how to use it.” I recently bought a DSLR camera with different lenses and things… I want you to kick my behind if I don’t learn SOMETHING! I look at the manual and my brain sizzles. 😀 I could never be good like you and the other photographers are but I intend to have fun with it until the end.

    November 28, 2014
    • I think it is something that all of us do, not many people can get the horizon line straight, but it is good to recognise it and fix it.
      Glad you like the tips, and I hope you do learn your DSLR, I wrote some things for people who wanted to learn. I use them in my classes. I’m sure you could be, it is all about dedication, or obsession my husband would say, haha. thanks Jackie.

      November 28, 2014
  16. All sound advice. Perhaps it would help if I listened to it. Miracles may happen.

    November 28, 2014
    • I’ve seen your photos and you do very well, but glad you think it is all sound advice. Thank you.

      November 28, 2014
  17. Then there are “advanced” like overshooting sol you have far too many photographs all of which look so so similar that you can’t tell one from the other. And trying to make your lenses do things they cannot do … focus too close, shoot when there’s hardly any light at all … I think I make MORE mistakes now than I did when I was starting out because I’m always pushing the limits to see how far I and my equipment can go. We never stop learning 🙂

    November 28, 2014
    • We might have to leave this one for the mistakes that seasoned photographers make, I could add heaps, haha, like forgetting that I had the focus on manual instead of autofocus, or taking a whole weekend of images of cycling races and not realising that the reason some images were too dark and other too light was because I had the camera set to do bracketing, thankfully it doesn’t take me long to work that one out now. LOL. I think the more experienced we get sometimes Marilyn the more we relax too much. I have a little checklist that I give students, and I have considered doing one for myself, one that goes through all the things that I might have changed on the camera previously. Thank you, I enjoyed reading your comment. 😀 very close to home.

      November 28, 2014
      • I know JUST what you mean. I usually shoot on “Program,” but sometimes, I shoot full manual, or change my spot meter setting to something else … and forget to check. Fortunately, our cameras are forgiving these days and a lot of errors can be fixed in Photoshop — if the picture is basically well composed. The ones I can’t fix are when I’m determinedly shooting with insufficient light, so nothing is in focus and everything is grainy. I forget to consider the real, physical and optical limits of lenses and sensors and the results are … well … unprofessional, to say the least. It keeps me humble.

        November 28, 2014
      • They certainly are, though I think I’ve come to expect stuff ups so I do look for them, haha. I think making mistakes is a good thing, and you do learn. I’ve made some shockers over the last 20 years.

        November 28, 2014
  18. I’m still a newbie when it comes to photography and I definitely made the mistake of not learning how to use my DSLR camera. I’ve had it for nearly 2 years and have only just (mainly through photo101) stared experimenting with the settings. I still need to play around with it a lot to fix in my head the different effects changing things has! The numerical nature of it has always scared me somewhat – numbers and I do not get on.
    I think I’ve managed to avoid most of the other mistakes – though the odd midway horizon line may have slipped past occasionally. I didn’t know the rule of thirds but I often placed things kind of in those positions. A little bit of trimming is needed occasionally, but not too much. It’s nice to know why things ‘work’ in a composition.

    November 28, 2014
    • I think the best thing you can do is learning how to use it, you can get much better results when you do. I love using mine and I like it when something happens that I don’t like, that I can usually figure out how to stop it from happening, and you can only do that if you understand how your camera works. Sounds like you are a natural with composition, people said the same about me, so that is great for you, I hope you do learn to get the best out of your camera, and get some amazing shots. Thank you so much for sharing.

      November 28, 2014
  19. Ailene Rhea #

    I’m guilty of a lot of these haha Thanks for sharing & I’ll definitely pay a bit more attention to my photos.

    November 28, 2014
    • That’s good to hear Ailene, they are all part of learning photography, some of us are still making some of these mistakes, please don’t tell anyone, LOL. Thanks

      November 28, 2014
      • Ailene Rhea #

        Haha I won’t I promise =)) I’m always on the lookout for tips & tricks so keep them coming! And love your photos btw.

        November 28, 2014
      • I will do my best Ailene, thank you.

        November 28, 2014
  20. I would add always shooting from your own eye level as a common mistake. I’m prepared to crouch down to get eye level with kids, kneel or lie on the ground to get a macro shot, lie flat on my back to take a worm’s eye view shot or climb on something to get an overhead shot. People, including other people taking photos of the same subject, often look at me like I’m a wingnut but sometimes (often actually) the right composition, angle or light does not align with your natural eye level,

    November 28, 2014
    • I might add that to the bit about not always taking photos standing, could be good there, if that’s okay. I don’t quite go to the same lengths, well not a lot. thanks for that.

      November 28, 2014
      • True. It is an off-shoot of that. I’m always embarrassing my husband and kids by getting into weird positions just to get a photo.

        November 28, 2014
      • Haha, my husband and kids rarely come out with me anymore, not because of that, but because I want to take photos all the time.

        November 28, 2014
      • Mine just tolerate me – to a point. I am into photography in order to document our lives, experiences and travels so they are forced to participate – whether they like it or not.

        November 28, 2014
      • Haha, I can imagine, sounds like a great project and I am sure they will be so happy you did it one day.

        November 28, 2014
  21. Ailene Rhea #

    Reblogged this on INCURABLE WANDERLUST and commented:
    As an amateur (hobby) photographer, this post is definitely very useful.

    November 28, 2014
  22. This is such a great post, Leanne. Embarrassed to say that I nodded my head (yes, I have done/still do that) on so many of these topics. Keep these tips coming!

    November 28, 2014
    • Oh yes, I did too Lois, it is embarrassing sometimes. I will try to. thank you.

      November 28, 2014
  23. I think my worst newbie mistake was not leaving enough room above people’s heads. I’ve made some hilariously bad frames, such as having a flower seemingly come out of my mom’s boob, poles out of people’s heads, and trees springing from between a subject’s legs. Photoshop can usually come to the rescue, but you’re right, it is much better to take the right shot than to fix the wrong one!

    November 28, 2014
    • Actually that is a great point, I forgot about that one, looking around a person or subject for things like poles or trees coming out of their heads, thank for that.

      November 28, 2014
  24. How about never throwing out your mistakes. Some of my best art has come form really horrid photographs! Post production is almost a separate art in itself! I am mixed about the “Digital is cheap” argument. On the one hand, cheap can lead to sloppy composition and In attention to the basic mechanics of focal length/aperture/”film”speed. On the other hand, cheap means there is no reason to avoid taking 45 shots of the pampas grass by the river playing with f-stop and depth of field, and ISO, and fill flash, and angle. Plus, with digital info metadata attached to the image, it is pretty easy to figure out what you did to get “that, just perfect, image that you love.” All things considered cheap is great! I would never have gone to the Oceana Naval Air Station and shot 1350 frames with a pre-digital Hasselblad.

    November 28, 2014
    • I think that is the argument that the person was trying to say about digital is cheap, that people just think they can keep shooting, and it doesn’t matter, but the fact that most of the shots are the same is kind of pointless. I think that is what I like about digital, that you can take lots of shots, different angles different settings whatever. I don’t think cheap is the right word, digital is cheap if you use it to experiment. I saw this photographer once who was photographing cycling, while everyone was wait for the bell to sound, he took, I swear a hundred photos, he stood in the same place and just kept clicking, it seemed really pointless, I think that is not good. I do agree, I love that digital cameras can take so many photos. I will add your other things about keeping some early attempts, it is good to see how you improve. Thank you.

      November 28, 2014
  25. Great topic Leanne and so much good advice.

    I know this is not always practical but whenever possible I use a tripod to setup my shots. It slows me down so that I’m forced to consider composition, AP, ISO and SP. I take the time to use manual focus and I use my timer or cable shutter release…takes care of the blur problem. Learning to use manual mode (and I’m still learning) is the best advice I could give….and learning how to use RAW format…but that may be a topic for a future post. ~ Dave

    November 28, 2014
    • Thank you. Yeah, a lot of newbies don’t have tripods, some do some don’t, so that is a hard one. I don’t recommend manual for new people either, I recommend AP, I’ve had so many people in my classes saying that they went to a class and they learned manual, and when they got home they got so confused so went back to auto, so I try to start with aperture priority, show them how they change things for manual, but recommend they work their way up to manual. thanks again Dave.

      November 28, 2014
  26. lensaddiction #

    I still have to remind myself to check the edges of the frame to make sure I dont have distractions there.

    Probably my worst mistake is not allowing myself enough time – ie time to get into the moment, walk around the landscape, check out the different viewpoints, see the big things and the small things.

    Turning up, snapping away in a hurry from only one viewpoint and leaving is not really conducive to creativity and great images 🙂

    Also when I am on a road trip I am terrible about stopping and taking shots, partly because I want to get to my destination on time. I need to allow more time on my travelling.

    November 28, 2014
    • I must admit that is one thing I seem to do automatically now, there are other things I still need to work on.
      I’m okay with the time thing, and never feel rushed, well, unless I am with my family, but the last thing you said, that is me too, I always think, I will do it on the way back, or the lighting isn’t right, always some excuse. It sounds like something we both need to get better at. Thanks Stacey.

      November 28, 2014
  27. Pretty interesting read. I’m teaching my 13 year old how to take photographs and we just had a discussion about some of your topics. Fun stuff

    November 28, 2014
    • That’s great Luis, it seemed like a good thing to do and great that you are teaching your 13yo, I wish my daughters were interested.

      November 28, 2014
      • He loves it. Just bought him an old Nikon D40. He is using an old af lens of mine.

        November 29, 2014
      • That is fantastic, I thought my youngest was interested, but she was more interested in playing the role of being a photographer, and didn’t want to learn to actually use the camera.

        November 29, 2014
      • Maybe later. Kids change.

        November 29, 2014
      • Nah, she is 19 now, wants to be a writer/editor. She has this thing about playing roles, must be the writer in her.

        November 29, 2014
      • That’s funny. My 16 year old does not like to take pictures either. He did when he was younger. My 13 and 11 do, at least for now.

        December 2, 2014
      • They can be so funny, though it sounds like your son is really into it, so maybe the passion will stay with him and you will become his biggest influence.

        December 2, 2014
  28. I am a bitch for wonky horizons. No matter how many times I screw it up, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get them right. I wonder if this says something worrying about my view of the world. Do I have one leg seriously shorter than the other and no one’s told me?

    November 28, 2014
    • If it says something about your view of the world then it is saying it for most photographers, we all stuff that one up. Thank you goodness it is so easy to fix in post.

      November 28, 2014
  29. On a more serious note, as a rookie myself with a brand new DSLR, this post is invaluable. I’ve been using programme mode on a friend’s recommendation while I practice manual focus and play around with ISO, f stop etc. under the guidance of YouTube tutorials. Thanks to you for the post, and all these comments for further nuggets of wisdom.

    November 28, 2014
    • Can I suggest you use aperture priority, that is the best one to use. There is a myth that professional photographers use manual, they don’t, they use what is convenient, and for most photography, you want to control your depth of field, therefore your aperture is often what you want to control, and when you are learning, it means there is one thing less you have worry about. You can set your aperture, your camera will set you shutter speed, and then the only other thing you have to worry about is your ISO. Learn all about aperture, then go from there. Good luck.

      November 28, 2014
  30. I have one suggestion: Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
    When people start out with photography most people say: “Ah photography is not so difficult. I can figure everything out myself.” I think to some extent this is true but you should also try to find other, more experienced Photographers that can help you in the early days. And it is not always about giving you input but also about having company and someone that you can watch and learn from. And if you don’t know any experienced people it also is nice to just have a photo buddy that has the same level or even less knowledge. You will grow together and figuring something out together will make a great experience. I hope that is somewhat clear… ?

    November 28, 2014
    • That is great advice Sarina, think I will just put the whole comment in the post. Thanks.

      November 28, 2014
  31. Hi Leanne, I am not a professional, only an amateur for some 64 years. I noticed you did not address the rule of thirds. I find many people are aware of it and stick to it very rigidly instead of applying it it in a versatile manner. Maybe you could post on the rule as you see it some time in future.

    November 28, 2014
    • Oh yes, I hinted at it, yes, maybe we can do something on it in the future. Thanks for the idea.

      November 28, 2014
  32. Coming to the end of a roll of film and discovering you didn’t feed it in properly so no exposures were recorded.

    Forgetting to put film in the camera.

    Opening the back of the camera to see if the film is OK.

    OK, maybe not so common now.

    Forgetting to put an SD card in the camera.

    Forgetting to have the battery charged and a spare battery.

    But the main one is taking what you want to see, not what’s there. Not seeing the final image as you look through the lens.

    November 28, 2014
    • Or taking lots of photos of your children using the flash and when you get the film back you realise you forgot to set the flash sync speed.
      YOu have some great points, funny, a lot people won’t understand the ones about film, I do and probably did many of those things. Thanks Murray.

      November 28, 2014
  33. This is great and all the points well stated. I agree about your comment using aperature priority – I use it as well most of the time. For myself it has been a great learning tool (and most comfortable for myself as well) where I have learned quite a bit regarding light – too much and too little. I even have a progammed button that I programmed which allows me to shoot in black and white in aperature. Thanks for this great post!

    November 28, 2014
    • That is great to hear Debby, I use it too, I love aperture priority, I find it easy and makes it so much easier to take photos. You can often just set the aperture and just go for it. I find manual a pain, what are you going to do, set the same shutter speed as the camera would. I think it is important to know how to get around it when you need to. thanks Debby, great to hear from you.

      November 28, 2014
  34. I agree with all your ‘faults’ and am guilty of quite a few 🙂 Horizons! Don’t ask…

    November 28, 2014
    • Haha, horizons, still happening, thank goodness it is easy to fix them. 😀

      November 28, 2014
  35. Hi Leanne, I love the post and the idea. I’ve been guilty of many of the blunders, and sometimes when in a hurry, still do. One item that I suspect we’ve all seen and tried to find a nice way to explain is the tree, telephone pole, whatever growing out of somebody’s head. This is part of good composition and seeing the whole image, but an often performed newbie thing.

    Love reading your posts.

    :{)

    November 28, 2014
    • Thank you John, I loved asking people to contribute, though I think we have just about hit them all now, but you are right, we have all done the pole coming out of the head, or pot plant. Very definitely a newbie mistake, I hope.
      That’s great to hear John, thanks again. 😀

      November 29, 2014
  36. I’ve been seeing a lot of FB posts from yesterday (Thanksgiving in the U.S.) which reminded me of another pet peeve, newbie folly…tacky pictures of what you are eating! Most people have no idea of what it takes to present food in a photo in an appetizing way. Most food shots I see hit on many of the items that have been mentioned, plus if the shot is from a restaurant, it likely will scare people away!

    November 28, 2014
    • I think that is more iphone folly, it seems to have given rise to this thing about posting photos of your food, I don’t like either. I agree, and most of them use the artificial light which turns the food a horrible yellow and it never looks appealing.

      November 29, 2014
  37. Excellent tips, even if I’ve made most if not all the mistakes you mentioned. 🙂

    November 29, 2014
    • I think the same can be said for many of us, sadly, some I still do, but I am working on that. 😀 thank you.

      November 29, 2014
  38. Truly excellent advice. Pit is tempting me to break out the DSLR Nikon manual again and learn more features!

    November 29, 2014
    • Sounds like a great idea, you can never go wrong with going through your manual. Thank you.

      November 29, 2014
  39. Great post. I am (was) guilty of some of these for sure. My current biggest struggle is learning the big 3 of exposure. I am a third of the way there. LOL

    November 29, 2014
    • Thank you Mary, and I think most people struggle with that, it just takes time to get there. Though there are times when the camera just can’t do it, no matter what settings your use.

      November 29, 2014
  40. Two additional things that beginners do: always shoot horizontals images (the camera will “turn” 90°) and shooting everything at eye level – Thanks Leanne.

    November 29, 2014
    • Oh yes, I am always telling people that they can turn their camera up the other way, I will add that, thanks Robert, and we have got eye level I think.

      November 29, 2014
  41. Jeb #

    I think the most important lesson is not to panic and try to relax (I was in utter fear of my camera when I got it, never used one before other than take the odd snap).

    I make bag loads of errors, I can’t say I am bothered it is how I learn to do things. Despite the myth of artistic genius these things are a craft and we learn them slowly through trial and error.

    Its certainly good to learn from others but it is also important just to get up on you’re feet not worry and just experiment and have fun. If it all goes horrible wrong, so what, always another day and the chance to learn more.

    Relax into the folly of it all and try to see things for what they are. First day I shot on the street at the end I felt like I wanted to purchase a chain saw and seemed to be developing an irrational hatred of poles, traffic lights etc. I now like photographing them.

    November 29, 2014
    • I think a lot of people get a new camera and just want to take amazing photos from the start, you can do it so why can’t I, but as you said it is a craft too, it is like painting, you have to learn how to do it first before you will paint a masterpiece. Thank you Jeb, great point.

      November 29, 2014
      • Jeb #

        In my former craft where I am professionally trained standard public response.

        “I have always wanted to do that. It must be a very easy life.”

        Indeed!

        With photography I just want to have fun and not get bogged down in the very technical aspects and self criticism that working to pro standards in the arts requires.

        I have no expectations other than to enjoy and relax when I pick up my camera. Its rather fun, that’s all that matters.

        November 29, 2014
      • I want to have fun with it too, though I like playing around with images, but I like the idea of teaching, so I don’t have to worry about doing images to someone elses standard, I like that a lot. Thanks Jeb.

        November 29, 2014
      • Jeb #

        You do it well (teaching). I was sort of speaking to myself before I bought a camera so it did not reflect, how I approach learning to use the machine now ( a year in so taking baby steps awkwardly).

        Over inflecting and running with the type of advice I would have wanted to hear. Don’t panic you will be fine.

        November 30, 2014
      • Thank you Jeb. Not panicking is great advice, and I think a lot of people do that, I’ve been known to do it as well. It is good to just go with it.

        November 30, 2014
  42. Great post Leanne and so much good advice!
    I’d strongly encourage beginners to take a course and start by learning the technical basics of photography and of their camera settings. As you said, having a DSLR and using it only in auto mode just makes it a very expensive point-and-shoot.
    If you’re able to spend $500-$1,000 on a camera, a few hundred more spent at a reputable school will only pay dividends in the long run.
    It can be intimidating at the beginning because it seems like there’s so much technical information to absorb. However, once you understand the basics of exposure and how the settings on your camera work, the doors it opens for creativity are endless.
    Then you can truly begin to shoot with a purpose and go from just taking pretty pictures to actually creating images.
    The best part is that the more you understand the technical side, the easier it becomes to allow your creative side to take over. And that’s when photography really gets fun!

    November 29, 2014
    • Great advice as well Norm, I’ve added some of that to the post, thank you.

      November 29, 2014
  43. If I can flip the Auto discussion a bit:
    When I first started using Manual I would shoot a scene as I thought it should look and then take the same shot on Auto and let Nikon tell me what it thought was right. When I would get home and open the images on the computer, I was right much of the time BUT Nikon did better than I did much of the time as well. I would study the pictures side by side, read the metadata, see what the camera had done. I learned a lot, especially about exposure/ISO this way.
    Not quite germane to the mistake theme but perhaps useful to someone.

    November 29, 2014
    • Yes perhaps Robert, it is not something I can do, my camera doesn’t have an auto mode, so I have to be the judge all the time. Though I have never minded what I do, and think that I still know what I want more than the camera, well I like to think so. Thanks for that.

      November 29, 2014
  44. I thought I’d chime in here. The biggest mistake I used to make when I first started was framing my subject to tightly. I’ve learned to back up just a bit to make sure I get all I want in the frame plus a little bit of breathing room to allow for proper cropping in LR or PS.

    November 29, 2014
    • Great point Laura, I’ve seen that a lot too, it can also mean the subject is very squished in too, if that makes sense. Thank you.

      November 29, 2014
      • Glad i could contribte. I still make this mistake sometimes along with all the others!

        November 29, 2014
      • I think we all still mistakes, I make lots with my camera, forgetting what settings I previously used and not changing them back.

        November 29, 2014
      • Totally!

        November 29, 2014
  45. I admire the professions when it comes to photography. While capturing the subject for ‘balance’ and appeal has never really been a problem for me, I don’t have a clue as to how to adjust all of those little buttons for light, etc. Thank God, for those wonderful little point and shoot cameras that allow for novices such as myself to take some memorable shots in spite of our lack of training.

    You have some lovely examples and wonderful pointers. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    November 29, 2014
    • Compact cameras can be great for people who just want to take photos and don’t want to learn what everything does, I agree, and many people are very happy with them. Thanks for sharing that Orples.

      November 29, 2014
  46. robert87004 #

    Wow, I think I still do all of these bad things on a fairly regular basis. 🙂 What comes to mind for me is learning to recognize what you want as an end result before ever pointing your camera, but not so sure that is a mistake as much as an acquired skill.

    November 29, 2014
    • I have learned to never do that, I always end up so disappointed, I tend to take photos with the idea that I will play with them, and then see what happens when I get them on the computer. Though I still make mistakes, it is usually with camera settings, I forget what I have got set on my camera. Thanks Robert.

      November 29, 2014
      • robert87004 #

        That makes sense, Leanne, as we process photos very differently. Good that you pointed that out, as I try to do only the minimum, crop and adjust exposure mainly. Of course your end result is trending towards art and mine is looking for solid lines, color contrasts,posture, like that. I guess our individual approaches are crucial to both our styles of photography. So maybe the lesson is to learn what type of photos you want and adjust your approach to shooting.

        November 30, 2014
      • That is a good point Robert, I usually know when I go out whether I will be doing minimal processing or hoping to get something I can do a lot more with. Thanks Robert.

        November 30, 2014
  47. Another common mistake is reliance on expensive equipment to “make” a good image. Today there are so many choices. More and more attention should be “paid” to the “seeing” and looking at works by well-known photographers. It’s also important to understand light. So many people do not understand the relation between lighting and the differences between artificial and natural lighting.

    November 29, 2014
    • Great point Sally, I just added that to the post. Thank you.

      November 29, 2014
  48. Great post and comments. I’ve bookmarked it for ref. I think I’ve done all of these things. Oh dear. 😉

    November 29, 2014
    • I wouldn’t about that Elen, we all have, which is why the post keeps growing. Thank you, and I hope it helps. 😀

      November 29, 2014
  49. Lee #

    Leanne, I think I have broken everyone of these “do nots” 🙂 When I am birdwatching, I am after the bird and trying to find it in a tree, so, in the center it goes so I can find it later at home in the photo to help ID it. Then again, I am not the photographer in our family. Thanks for stopping by so often, but don’t be toooo critical of my photography.

    November 29, 2014
    • LOL, shhh, I think I have too Lee. I do the same thing when I’m trying to photograph birds, so I understand that, it makes sense. Never Lee, I don’t get critical. Thanks for stopping by to chat.

      November 29, 2014
      • Lee #

        🙂

        November 29, 2014
  50. 3 things: When inside, move to a natural light source like a window rather than relying on flash or a high ISO. Shoot kids and animals on burst! Also, when folks tell you that you are getting nice pics because you have a good camera, let them know that you as a photographer also have a little bit to do with it. 🙂

    November 29, 2014
    • I have covered the thing with the good camera, though burst is hard, I don’t have that on my camera, and I am sure many don’t, I do have it on my phone. The one about natural light is a good suggestion, we should do a separate post on lighting. Thanks.

      November 29, 2014
  51. WOW! These are great dear leanne Cole, I can see my mistakes too now 🙂 Thank you, I will note all these items. Love, nia

    November 29, 2014
    • Thank you Nia, glad you liked it, I think many of us have made many of these mistakes. Take care. 😀

      November 29, 2014
  52. Great list, Leanne! I’ll be linking to it from my blog very soon. One suggestion, though – Most of the headers are indeed mistakes but a few of them are suggestions, or the opposite of the mistake you are trying to highlight. When you wrote “Take more than one photo of something,” for example, I was a bit confused until I realized that wasn’t the mistake, the mistake was “Taking only one photo of something.” Thought you’d want to know – From your faithful reader who “loves, loves, loves” your blog – Susan

    November 30, 2014
    • I hadn’t noticed that, I will try and remember to fix it up. Thanks Susan.

      November 30, 2014
  53. Argus #

    I never understood why the manufacturers tell us to switch off the stabiliser if using a tripod. Sure, one of them is redundant, but who wants to be forever going through endless screens of endless menus when one could be shooting?

    As for shots—if the moment is fleeting (and the little buggers are) Auto will capture it. Often I auto first, then tweak and fiddle and look wise with knobs and buttons and wheels and menus and stuff after I’ve got the shot. Often that first hastily snatched shot is the best.

    And I’m still learning the camera—a Boeing 747 or a Space Shuttle manual would be easier reading. In the end I toss the books aside and just fiddle. And tweak. Brought up on film and having loved for years a Yashica Electro 35 and an Olympus OM2n I knew the basics of film speed and shutters and apertures, but having a short attention span and only so few years of life left use auto too often.
    My effort goes into composition; and has done since I experimented and found that although doubling the aperture and halving the shutter should produce the same shot … they don’t. Theory and fact clash, so I let the camera sort it out for me in auto whilst I carpe the diem.

    (Dammit, my first camera—never been surpassed—was a Brownie 127. We’ve gone backwards since then …)

    November 30, 2014
    • I have to admit, I really don’t have lenses with the stabiliser, so have never worried about it. I do have it on my new macro. I think they tell you to turn it off when you use a tripod because it keeps trying to stabilise, or something like that and gets confused.
      I don’t use auto, but I use aperture priority a bit like auto, so I nearly always have no trouble getting a shot. My camera doesn’t have auto as a function, so I can never use it.
      I’m still learning photography too, after 21 years, but there you go, I hope I will see be learning things in another 20 years.
      Good luck with it all Argus. Thanks

      November 30, 2014
  54. Have the courage to break a rule to realize your initial vision. This is only an intelligent decision when all the rules have been memorized so you know what rule is being broken and understand why you are breaking it. Use this sparingly, and only when you feel it is essential to your vision. Rules make the rules list by being correct at least 95% of the time.

    December 2, 2014
    • I think this would be a good one for when the newbies aren’t newbies anymore. It is a great one though, learning when it is appropriate to break them and when it is best to stick with them. Thank you.

      December 2, 2014
      • No problem Leanne. As always, you are right. Love your blog!

        December 2, 2014
      • Oh no, I’m not, wish it were true but I am often very wrong, remind me to do a post later on about this, I think it is a good idea. something like now you’ve learned the basics, what to do now.

        December 2, 2014
  55. Very interesting post. Thank you Leanne and all contributors.

    December 4, 2014
    • That’s great to hear Cara, and you’re welcome. Thank you.

      December 4, 2014
  56. I’m very late, Leanne – it’s been a very busy week. Two thoughts: Don’t crop too tight – One of my worst mistakes. Leave enough room so that converging verticals and tilted horizons can be corrected without losing something vital that is on the edge of the image.
    Second – those dreaded Settings. The first time to check images is when you get home from a shoot. What did you change? Maybe you were out late at night and wound the ISO up? I try always to return the camera to a sensible default then. And before I go out, I try to remember to check settings, again. I also ‘try’ to remember to check settings before I shoot an image, and then think ‘settings’ again after an image. I often change something for a particular one-off image. Re-set the settings for the likely ‘default’ for subsequent images at that point. If your camera always has a sensible ‘default’ set-up when it is switched off, then the chances are that when you switch it on for that ‘instinctive’ next image it is more likely than not to have the right settings you require. That’s a lengthy comment – but I would guess that more images are lost or ruined by a failure to think ‘settings’ and plan ahead, than for any other reason.

    December 5, 2014
    • Oh yes, someone else said something similar to that, about leaving enough space around an image, though for a different purpose, but works the same sort of.
      Oh yes, those settings, I am thinking of doing another post later on, about the mistake more seasoned photographers make, and this would have to be the biggest one I make. I always forget what I have set on the camera, then I start taking photos and can’t work out what I have done wrong, it usually doesn’t take me long to work it out, well now it doesn’t.
      thanks Andy, I think a further post on this would be a good idea. sometimes sharing the silly mistakes we make helps other photographers realise they aren’t alone.

      December 5, 2014
      • Oy yes, we all make the same mistakes, and keep making them. I think I’m a lost cause!

        December 5, 2014
      • I think I might too sometimes. LOL

        December 5, 2014
  57. I’m wondering how you feel about the new wave of compacts out there, cameras like the Sony RX100 MK3 which has many of the features of a DSLR but you can stuck it in your pocket. I got rid of my DSLR a few months ago and intend just to use high spec compacts now, much less hassle and it means I can (pretty much) always have a camera with me, something you really cant do with a DSLR. I’m sure most remember how awful digital cameras were when they first came out, and no-one thought they would ever replace 35mm, but they (largely) now have, so given the constant leaps in technology, and the abilities to make electronics smaller and smaller, do you see a day where lugging a big lens around being a thing of the past? Btw i only have the RX100 MK1 as i can’t afford the MK3 yet lol.

    December 10, 2014
    • I don’t think they every will, that is my opinion, I can’t imagine a professional photographer showing up with a compact camera and being taken seriously. It isn’t just the things the camera does, it is the lens and the quality of the sensor. I don’t know. I love my DSLR and take it with all the time, I’m rarely without it.

      December 10, 2014
      • I guess thats what many used to say about any digital camera versus 35mm, and it is still early days, but the sensors are getting much bigger and much better in these high-end compacts (they cost as much as a DSLR), so maybe everything will come in a smaller package one day? Ive read a few stories already of DSLR professionals moving to these state of the art compacts, and i guess the proof is in the pudding, but one of these in the hands of someone who knows what theyre doing (i dont yet) is said to be comparable to an SLRs output. Of course youre never gonna get a cheap, auto focus, compact to compare, but these high level gadgets are something else.

        December 10, 2014
      • For me they would be for fun, and stuff, I don’t like that you can’t change the lenses, which is where most of my money has gone, into high end lenses, I don’t like that you can’t do a lot of stuff on them that I can use my DSLR for, if they could fit all that into a compact, okay, but I can’t see it happening, well not any time soon. I like to be able to change my focal point, or do spot metering, I like bracketing, there are so many things that you just can’t do, so it will be interesting. Then again, I thought DSLR would kill medium format, it hasn’t, many top professionals still use medium format.

        December 11, 2014
  58. There were two of the things I struggled with when I began several decades ago. One was backgrounds. I was so focused on the subject I was shooting that I paid no attention to the background until I saw the end results. Eventually I learned that a step or two to the left or right could make a huge difference by changing what was behind the subject.
    The other thing was what I call ‘unfortunate mergers.’ You have no doubt seen images where you have a beautiful photo of someone’s face, but there is a tree growing out of their head. This is a variation on the background theme, and it is amazing how an otherwise great shot can be ruined this way. I finally made it a habit to check all four corners of the frame before pressing the shutter. It’s not foolproof, but it helps.

    December 14, 2014
    • I think they are very common ones Lee, I struggled with it as well, I think these are already listed in the post, but it is good to hear from people who had the problem, I think it makes people new to photography realise that they aren’t alone in silly things like that. I remember taking some photos of little girls and one of them had a pot plant coming out of her head. You are right, you should always look around the frame of your image, just to check there isn’t something weird there. Thanks for sharing your common mistakes Lee.

      December 14, 2014
  59. Not to be afraid to fail! Experiment with ‘crazy’ ideas like super cropping where you zoom in so close that the object is obscured to the point of abstract. Some newbies just take things too serious and are afraid of what others may think!

    December 14, 2014
    • That is great, though I think that is more for the people who have been taking photos a little while, sometimes new people who do this can end up with bad habits or do some really weird things that aren’t really good. I am hoping to do another post in the new year on mistakes that people who have been doing photography for a while, would be good. Thanks for this.

      December 14, 2014
  60. Hi Leanne,

    Interesting post. I think I’m beginning to get good at photography. I had to complain to my local paper about stealing my photos! I need to take more time for a copyright notice; but under English law, I don’t actually need one. I have originals with all the photo properties. The ones they stole were part of sets too. I do write for them, anyone else would get sent a bill!

    December 24, 2014
    • I think that is something that has happened a lot to many people, I often hear of people doing it, you are within your rights to tell them to stop and that they are breaching your copyright. Though it is a tricky one.

      December 24, 2014
  61. Those are your early photos?? They are so gorgeous and professional looking, they don’t look like early efforts at all (to me)! I especially love the one of that wooden plough thingie (sorry I’m not too sure what tool it is).

    January 25, 2015
    • Thank you, they were among my first ever photos with a SLR, and it was with film, most of them I developed and printed myself as well. I don’t know what that wooden plough thingy is called either, LOL.

      January 25, 2015
  62. Some very useful tips for beginners. I remember when I first started out I was obsessed with shutter speed and ISO, but never considered aperture to be that important. Fortunately, I learnt from that mistake and now carefully consider all three parameters (I mostly stick to aperture priority these days).

    March 11, 2015
    • I mostly use aperture priority as well. I always teach about aperture first, so I am so glad you discovered it in the end. Thanks for sharing that Stevie.

      March 11, 2015
  63. I think, I’ve been doing every mistake on this list! lol Thankfully, I have a great teacher who pointed them out to me so I can work on them 🙂

    April 4, 2015
    • I think we all have Kirsten, LOL, aren’t you lucky to have a good teacher, I hope she is helping???? 😉

      April 4, 2015
      • Yes, she is helping me way more than she knows! The mistakes listed stay in the back of my mind as a checklist more and more as I try to slow down and think before I get snap happy! 🙂

        April 5, 2015
      • That is great to hear Kirsten, good when you are learning a lot. I love it when it happens. I know what you mean, I have a similar checklist in my head, though I still make some doosies sometime. 🙂

        April 5, 2015

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