5 Common Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make

We are all unique people, but there are some mistakes that almost every new photographer makes at some point. Here are five common mistakes to watch out for in your own work. 1. Over-EditingThis is something I am pretty sure 100% of photographers have been guilty of at some point. I know I certainly did this quite a lot of the time when I was first starting out, and I still catch myself taking things too far sometimes. The problem often arises simply because beginners have not yet developed a refined eye for edits, so it is hard to dial in subtle adjustments. That ability is something that just comes with time and practice and looking at a lot of photos — a lot. This sort of over-editing often crops up in a few common ways, most of them having to do with saturation, HDR, and skin editing. It is very common to see photographers really over-crank the saturation, use extreme HDR, or blur skin to oblivion. Instead of cranking up the saturation, try using a touch of vibrance and spending time with the HSL sliders to dial in specific colors so you are not just turning all the colors way up. Also, remember that HDR is a technique for getting around the limited (as compared to the human eye) dynamic range of camera sensors. The truth is that with modern sensors, you truly do not need HDR very often at all. And remember that skin is supposed to have texture; rather than getting rid of every last blemish, focus on just the blemishes that are most prominent. Regarding the three aforementioned items, it is always better to err on the side of under-editing than over-editing. 2. Ignoring the Edges of the FrameThere are a lot of compositional tools and heuristics, but at the end of the day, composition is generally about leading the viewer’s eye toward the subject and avoiding things that lead the viewer’s eye away from the subject or out of the image, all while keeping everything in the frame in balance. Remember that in general, our eyes are drawn to the brightest part of the frame along with major changes in color, texture, or content. It is, in general, fairly dangerous to place anything novel, bright, or overly colorful near the edges of the frame, because it not only distracts from your subject, it pulls the viewer’s eye out of the frame entirely.

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