Low light photographer Serge Ramelli shares some elementary beginner photography mistakes that most photographers tend to make at some point:
1. Shooting at the Wrong Time of Day
Well, you probably know where this is going. Light. Shooting at the wrong time of day means not utilizing the sensational golden light at the golden hour or the deep colors of the blue hour. You can get away with shooting during the day, but if you make it a point to come back during sunset or sunrise, you’re practically guaranteed much better imagery.
2. Shooting Without a Neutral Density Filter
Without an ND filter you get shots like this:
Flat water, everything frozen in time. With an ND filter, you can get potentially mind blowing shots like this:
The moving water and clouds create a foamy effect when you use a long exposure.
Ramelli recommends an exposure of at least one to two seconds. Yes, you may be able to replicate some of the effects in Photoshop, but nothing beats the convenience of getting most of the final shot in-camera.
3. Shooting at Night Without a Tripod
Shooting at night without a tripod is a recipe for disaster. You won’t get a sharp photo. And you’ll overcompensate for the lack of light by upping the ISO, and in the process you’ll get a lot of digital noise.
The simple solution is to use a tripod. With a tripod you can shoot at ISO 100 and get a sharp noise-free photo. Plus, with a long exposure you can make people in the frame vanish.
4. Not Using Composition for Storytelling
We’re all guilty of not putting much thought into composing our images sometimes. The result is that our images are too cluttered—too busy to decipher any serious meaning.
Ramelli used an alternative approach. He walked around and found an angle which conveyed a more meaningful representation, focusing on the architecture rather than the people around it.
Here’s another example:
5. Shooting in JPEG Rather Than RAW
For one reason or the other, a majority of beginners prefer to shoot in JPEG mode. A RAW file is a digital negative and that means it gives you more options. You can make more adjustments to your RAW frames, including color balance, contrast, and tonal adjustments. A JPEG file limits your post-processing choices.
Here are the comparative results:
What other mistakes do you see photographers making?
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