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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photography for Dummies, By Dummies: Episode 10

Ever had a question about photography you wanted to ask, but felt it was too stupid? Now you can feel stupid in private instead!

Bad Habits of Photography

Bad habits can be found in everything we do. Moreso with photographers, many of us start developing terrible photography habits early in our 'career', and often, these are most difficult to change. But change we must! Let's start with a healthy dose of awareness. These bad habits usually include….

1.         Not checking the completeness of the equipment

It’s no doubt that usually photography equipment is stored in a single all-in-one camera bag. However, it never hurt to make sure and double-check the contents of your bag at least a day before a shoot. You probably won’t forget your camera (if you did, perhaps there is another forum for you other than photography!) but there is a strong possibility that you might forget your vital accessories – such spare batteries/memory cards tripod/ monopod/ diffusers/flash trigger/etc. Forgetting these may not break a shoot, but it sure as hell makes it more difficult.

Usually stuff like this happens when you back-up your memory card and leave it on the table, or you’re charging your batteries and you leave your batteries in the charger. Shit happens. Don’t let it happen to you.

2.         Not double-checking the camera settings

This can be a fatal mistake. In the fast paced world of event photography, any failure to check settings could mean the difference between getting the money shot, or getting a crappy shot. Imagine your camera was set to the settings you used the night before (high ISO, off White Balance, low-image quality settings) and unknown to you, you proceed to shoot an afternoon shoot on the same settings. Epic fail.

3.         Overly dependant on Photoshop

I am not against digital photo-editing. In fact, as long as I’ve been shooting, Adobe Lightroom has been my best friend, with Photoshop a close second. I’ve lost count of the number of key shots that were saved because of these amazing editing programs.

However, digital editing should never, never, never, ever cause us to stray from the path of developing photography technique. To give the excuse of  Nevermind, I can photoshop it later…” is just what it is – a lousy excuse.

Instead, we should be focusing on strengthening our basic technique on photography to make sure the focusing is spot-on, the exposure is correct, etc. After all, not EVERYTHING can be fixed in Photoshop. Trust me on this. If it’s out of focus, then it’s out of focus. Photoshop cannot help you with this.

4.         Easily mesmerized by new camera models

I want new stuff too. But don’t let this want, pull the shade over your eyes. As we all know, digital technology is evolving every 12 hours on average. That means you could well have new models of your favorite brand out months away from each other. Besides having spanking new tech, what’s the problem with this? You’re going to be straining your budget incredibly, plus there is certainly no guarantee that your photography skills will improve with more expensive stuff. Personally I think not, but perhaps that’s just me.

Alternatively, if you’ve got money to burn, I’d suggest you expand your equipment instead of upgrading your camera body constantly. After all, lenses have a higher resale value rather than camera bodies. Plus, higher quality lens often yield better quality pictures!

5.         Blaming equipment, photo objects and conditions

When photos don’t turn out the way we want them to, its usually easier to blame the equipment, object or conditions. Common gripes include, “My camera isn’t good enough”, “My model does not know how to pose” and “The sky is too dark for the picture”. Get a grip, man! Learn how to use your equipment better, learn how to artistically direct your models better and learn to be better aware of surrounding conditions, instead of merely complaining about what is in fact, your lacking!

There are probably many, many more bad habits, too much to list them all down. However, if we start with these 5 short ones, I'm sure we will be taking great strides towards being a better photography!

To view other post in the Photography For Dummies Series, please click on the hyperlinks below

Episode 7: Lighting technique and methods

Episode 8: Photography myths

Thanks for viewing!

For those of you who like statistics:
Vital Stats for November: 7 posts 585 pics
Vital Stats So Far: 123 posts 5,180 pics

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