The Biggest Mistake Any Level Photographer Can MakeFeb 21, 2023
Why do you enjoy photography?
This is a question I like asking photographers. I find I get a variety of different answers, some of which include, "I enjoy spending time in nature, "Photography allows me to bring home my memories from vacation and travel," "Photography is my opportunity to unwind from everyday life," "Photography feeds my creativity."
I bet your photography pursuit probably falls into one of these categories too. My reasons for picking up my camera are a combination of all four.
Throughout a photographer's journey, there are many lessons to learn. Mistakes along the pathway to becoming the photographer you want to be are inevitable. However, there is one mistake that all levels of photographers are susceptible to making, and it's one of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make.
This mistake is not giving yourself enough time to capture an image.
When you purposefully allow yourself time, here's what you'll avoid:
1. Poorly composed images
Composition choices can make or break a photo's visual impact, primarily if you aim to take better photos. Therefore, I always recommend that you allow yourself enough time to explore composition possibilities upon arriving at a location you intend to photograph. Paying attention to your surroundings and creating an image with intention instead of rushing out into a landscape scene in haste will almost always result in a stronger photo.
ISO 64, 33.5mm, f9, 1/100 ss
2. Camera settings mistakes
Rushing through your settings is the surest way to make a mistake. I've been there and felt disappointed when I failed to plan appropriately. Because I was rushing, I didn't have the correct settings dialled into my camera, and I missed out on capturing the image I had hoped for.
Too high an ISO because settings were previously dialled in for landscape photography at night, too slow a shutter speed for a windy scene or a poor choice in white balance settings are all mistakes that can easily be made when feeling rushed.
When you have a few extra moments to think thoughtfully about the environmental conditions you are faced with and your overall intention for the outcome of your photo, you'll make wiser and more attentive decisions about your camera settings.
3. Frustration and Disappointment
At the beginning of our conversation today, I noted four reasons photographers enjoy this craft. Notice how the responses are all positive in nature? (Pun intended). In my own experience, photography and being in nature give me nothing but those good feelings one can only get from watching beautiful light hit a mountain peak while birds chirp in the nearby trees.
Rushing to capture an image can leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed. This is the opposite of why you pick up your camera and venture out in nature. Don't negate the goodness being behind a camera can bring into your life. You deserve the rewards of creating photos that you love and reflect who you are and how you see the world around you.