Avoiding Detail Overload as a Photographer

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or someone who’s just starting out, there’s no doubt you’ve made some mistakes along the way. But of course this is normal, and making mistakes is actually an indication that you’re trying out new things. Take it as a sign of progress. That said, there seem to be a couple of mistakes that we tend to make over and over again. In today’s video, photographer James Popsys discusses some of these mistakes that won’t simply go away whether you’re taking photos or editing them:

What do you do when you’re presented with a scene that appears like a wonderland? You’re probably tempted to photograph all that you see, capturing everything in one frame, right? Well, as Popsys puts it, this is pure greed. A better approach would be to be selective and compose in a way to include only the things that are unique to that location. This draws the viewers’ attention to the unique qualities of the particular place, making the image more interesting. And no, this doesn’t mean that you should never take wide shots. Opt for wide-angle shots if the subject in itself stands out from its surroundings. This could be due to lighting, color, contrast, or any other factors.

“By including too much, you actually weaken all the other elements that could stand out if you focused on them more.”

And when it comes to editing an image, we’ve become used to recovering the shadow and highlight details too much. While doing so isn’t essentially a bad practice, keep in mind that sometimes an image can appear better if it doesn’t reveal everything. Take for instance silhouettes. In this case, you improve the image by not revealing all the details. Even an overexposed sky can look natural and give the image an ethereal look.

When you’re learning to edit your images, make sure that you pay enough attention to local adjustments as well. While global adjustments are far more easy to learn, the results are not always natural and flattering. This is especially true when applying details adjustment such as sharpness, clarity, dehaze, and texture.

To know about all the other mistakes that we tend to make in photography, be sure to watch the complete video. And if you feel like owning up to any of these mistakes yourself, let us know in the comments.

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