The 5 Worst Habits of New Photographers

Photography | October 6th 2010

Photo by Naughty Architect

Photo By Naughty Architect

Photography is a fun and exciting hobby, and for many of us a job too.  Once only seen as a hobby that took a lot of money and some proper schooling to enjoy, the continuing price drops in gear that consistently gets better each year combined with the wealth of information online has seen a surge in the photography industry like never before.  With the surge comes lots of new photographers, and that means lots of bad habits can be formed.  Avoid these 5 habits that could negatively affect your photography and photos and enjoy the hobby so many of us love.

Shooting RAW means we don’t need to expose everything perfectly.  We’ve covered this over and over again, but RAW is not an excuse to be a sloppy, lazy photographer.  Shooting with the intention of fixing the exposure after the fact makes you a poor photographer and a decent post-processor.

Not taking the time to learn how to properly set a custom white balance.  I’ve shown you how to do a custom white balance, not doing so is the same as shooting RAW with the anticipation of fixing it in post.  All you’re doing is creating more work and losing the ability to have the correct color the first time, in camera.

Overshooting. Digital means that every frame is essentially free.  No film costs, processing or print costs – just lots of free photos, right?  Not really.  If you overshoot because you’re sloppy with framing or composition, you’re creating more work in post production to narrow down your keepers and not learning as much of your craft as possible.  Starting to see a trend here?  I’m not saying that one photo of any given situation is all you should ever take, there’s a time and place for bracket exposure shooting and high-speed burst shooting.  What I’m saying is, take a few seconds to think about how you want the shot to end up before you shoot it.

Deleting photos in camera too fast. I strongly urge you to never delete photos in your camera, it can cause memory card corruption and you may miss out on a great shot.  Cards are cheap, buy a few large ones and you’ll never have to delete to make room.

Blaming the gear you use for the lack of quality you’re producing.  Photography is an interesting hobby, one that anyone can get into with a limited budget and one that new photographers often assume the more you spend the better your photos.  The person holding the camera is vision behind each and every photo and composition and exposure choices are made by you.  Sure, there are better lenses and bodies that meet special needs, like faster frames per second and full frame for wide shots, but in the end, your call to push the shutter release with the settings you have is all you.  Some of our favorite photos were taken on a point & shoot camera, there’s nothing wrong with that – a camera is simply a tool.

Avoid these 5 bad habits when you start shooting for a lifelong hobby you’ll love and enjoy.  If you’ve been shooting and currently do any of these, consider stopping and see how much more fun you have.

Read more great articles by Christopher O’Donnell at his blog


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