Even the best photographers start out as beginners. And, even as technology becomes more intuitive and resources become more plentiful, there is still quite a bit that new photographers can only learn through firsthand experience.
Toma Bonciu realizes this more than most. As a landscape aficionado, he frequently leads workshops in addition to creating video tutorials of his own. In this segment, he pulls away from his usual tips and tricks for fine tuning photographs to instead discuss a few of the most common misconceptions he comes across in his interactions with beginners:
Myth #1: File format doesn’t matter
Most DSLRs offer photographers the option of shooting images in RAW or JPEG formats. Each has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages that are far from being minute technical distinctions.
Almost universally, professional choose to utilize RAW files. For some, the thought of learning how to use RAW processing software can be intimidating. However, it always proves to be a worthwhile endeavor. The sheer amount of information a RAW image contains opens up new doors in terms of what can be done in post.
Myth #2: Expensive gear makes better pictures
Gear and accessories matter quite a bit to photographers. They are the tools that make it possible to capture and create images. However, they do not make the photographer. A camera is not going to take photos for you. An individual’s vision and creativity are what makes a photograph great—not the materials that are used to make it.
In short, “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a blurry concept.”
Myth #3: Lighting isn’t a priority
No matter how advanced technology gets, light is the backbone of photography. Even post-processing wizards can’t quite recreate what comes from sunlight in its natural state.
Take the time learn about how different types of light and angles impact photographs. Experiment, and pay close attention to tonality and color. At the end of the day, lighting is the element that will separate a spectacular photograph from the rest of the pack.
Myth #4: Anything you see is a subject
A common mistake that many beginners make is to “spray and pray.” That is, they’ll opt to take thousands of consecutive photographs in hopes that just one of them will turn out well. Though statistically this may seem like a sound option, more often, the best results come from careful consideration.
Instead of shooting aimlessly into the open, step back for a second. Focus on framing and composition, and consider whether what you’re looking at is worth photographing.
Myth #5: More followers means better photography
One of the most important things a fledgling photographer must do is find what they’d like to aspire through their imagery. It’s easy to become disillusioned by photographers who are knowledgeable about the latest gear and raking in a large following on social media. However, while those qualities can be impressive, the trendiest and most popular work isn’t always the best work.
Define what quality means to you. And then chase after it without inhibition.
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