Every photographer, no matter how great, started small at some point and everyone made mistakes at the beginning. Anyone who claims the opposite is lying. In our early days as photographers, we also made many, many mistakes.
And of course we still make mistakes today. It would be boring if not.
You just never stop learning and that’s a good thing!
Fortunately, we put the typical beginner mistakes behind us relatively quickly and you should do the same for us.
So today we will tell you 6 typical beginner mistakes so that you can avoid them in the future.
Because if you don’t pay attention to these things, you won’t be able to take good photos.
So, try to memorize the 6 rookie mistakes so you can make sure to do better in the future.
#1 Only shoot in automatic mode
Mistake #1 is one of the classic beginner mistakes. You buy an expensive SLR camera and just start taking pictures, in automatic mode of course. It’s really easy and the pictures even look pretty good.
Of course, we did it exactly the same way for a while and we were also satisfied with these automatic images for a short time. But that didn’t last long, because you quickly realize that you need more than just the automatic mode to take good photos.
After we started to deal with topics like aperture, manual exposure and white balance, the ice was broken for us and we fell in love with our cameras and photography all over again.
Of course, our pictures also got better quickly. If you want to take good photos, you will inevitably have to deal with how your camera works and with the manual settings. From your feedback on our photography articles, we have learned that many fail precisely because of this camera technique.
The technology is actually not that complicated and can even be a lot of fun. Incidentally, this also gave rise to our 22places online photo course, in which we explain the technology in simple words and thus give our participants back the fun of photography.
And since that works, we can take away your fear of technology with a clear conscience. Dare the manual settings, explore your camera and you will see that you will see a development very quickly.
Our tip: If you’re just starting out, get to grips with the technical basics and don’t put it off. The result is that your camera will soon be gathering dust on the shelf and that would be a real shame. Understanding the technology of your camera is not as difficult as you might think and you will not regret it and you will soon have even more fun taking pictures.
#2 Taking photos without thinking
Many beginners tend to just start taking pictures with their new cameras without thinking about how the picture should look in the end.
No thought is wasted on what the optimal background for a subject looks like or what the best composition is.
When sorting things out at home, the rude awakening often comes when the pictures don’t look the way you imagined.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to crop the image to get more out of it. Most of the time you can just throw the picture away.
The image below is a wonderful example of a “just shoot it” photo. The thought here was probably, “Ooooh, the TV tower. Photo!” and then the shutter button was pressed without rhyme or reason.
You can see the result: no composition, the power line of the tram goes across the subject and to top it all off, the tower is crooked.
Our tip: Once you have found a motif, think about what you want the finished picture to look like. Move around with your camera in hand to find the ideal frame and don’t rely on the computer to get much more out of it.
Familiarize yourself with the rules of image design. If you want to take good photos, composition is a very, very important topic that you should not ignore.
#3 Boring composition
Overcoming Mistake #2 doesn’t guarantee great pictures. Very often we see pictures of really beautiful subjects that are not badly photographed, but are still incredibly boring.
Especially when you photograph well-known sights, you have to come up with something special to give the motif a personal and new touch.
Most photographers are aware that the main subject is not placed in the middle. Nevertheless, from time to time it takes a little more finesse to take a good picture.
The two pictures from the television tower in Berlin show quite well what we mean. The first photo shows a simple shot of the tower. The picture is just boring and can actually go straight to the trash. The second picture, on the other hand, is more interesting. Only a section of the motif was photographed here and the airplane gives the picture a special touch.
Our tip: Look for extraordinary perspectives. Lie on the ground, climb up somewhere, work with reflections, photograph a detail or look for an additional element that enhances your photo.
More interesting shot of the TV tower
#4 Keeping too many pictures
Who does not know this: You come back from a photo tour or a trip and have a mountain of hundreds or even thousands of pictures in front of you that need to be viewed and sorted out on the computer.
Now is the time to radically sort out. Again took 20 pictures of the TV tower, which are all quite similar and only differ in nuances? Then away with 18 and only keep two pieces. Everything else is unnecessary ballast and only uses up memory space pointlessly.
Even if it may be difficult at first, it will bring you a lot in the long run. We always get annoyed when we open a folder with pictures from a long-ago trip and find 3,000 pictures in there.
If only we had sorted out the 300 best pictures back then.
Our tip: be radical Delete images that aren’t special or don’t have any emotional value for you.
If you can’t bring yourself to do it, at least make a selection with the best pictures and create archive folders where you store all the other pictures. You’ll never look at them again, but you don’t have to take the difficult step of deleting them.
#5 Too much photo editing
Photoshop already does that. This is the attitude of many photographers and beginners in particular are very receptive to it. Photoshop, Lightroom & Co. are undoubtedly great tools, but you should use them with caution.
Just tweaking the Photoshop controls or taking HDR images without rhyme or reason won’t get you anywhere and unfortunately quickly looks embarrassing.
Our tip: First work on the technical basics and your image composition before you deal intensively with the possibilities of image processing.
Editing images isn’t inherently bad, but it’s not a panacea either. We import, sort and edit our pictures with the program Lightroom and can only warmly recommend that you take pictures in raw format and edit them in Lightroom.
We even dedicated an entire chapter of our photo course to the topics of raw format photography and image processing.
So we’re not joking here, but the topic of image processing is really very important to us. Starting with finding the right photo editor for you.
Incidentally, another typical mistake is to sharpen blurred images afterwards with the help of an image editing program.
However, this function is not intended for this.
It’s better to take the time and get to know your camera well so that your pictures don’t get blurry in the first place.
By the way, we explain the causes of blurry pictures in our article: 13 reasons for blurry photos! Our tips against blurry images.
#6 Flash at all costs
Uncontrolled flashing mainly occurs with photographers who have never left their camera’s automatic mode. After all, the flash comes on automatically.
It’s just stupid that a flash is absolutely counterproductive in most situations and completely destroys the lighting atmosphere.
Our tip: Always turn off the flash on your camera. In low light conditions, it is better to increase your ISO or shoot with a tripod. Only when you know the manual setting options on the camera inside out can you use the integrated flash or, alternatively, an external flash.
Taking good photos is not that difficult! What tips do you have?
What mistakes did you make when you started taking photos? Did you recognize yourself in the post? Do you have any questions you would like to ask us? We look forward to your comment