To improve ourselves as photographers, we invest a lot of time trying to dissect and understand what the right things are to do. But, in reality, there are also many things we should also not be doing. Many photographers have been following some practices that are essentially dragging us and preventing us from going forward. In today’s insightful video, photographer Alex Kilbee talks about some of these bad habits that could be potentially hurting our photography.
Some of the mistakes that Kilbee talks about seem to be exclusive to digital photographers. For instance, we’re used to deleting photos that we don’t feel are keepers. A flip side of this behavior is that if we want to review where we went wrong, we won’t have any evidence. This also means that we cannot map our own progress as creatives. So instead of deleting those photos, consider archiving them instead.
Similarly, digital cameras let us have unlimited frames at our disposal. Many photographers thus simply “spray and pray”. You cannot expect these photos to come out any better while you’re just standing at the same spot and pressing the shutter button. Make the habit of ensuring every frame counts. Every push of the shutter release should be meaningful.
While many analog photographers are acquainted with contact prints, many digital shooters are not. Having contact prints in your hand makes you look at and consider your photos as a body of work and not just a single image. You can easily glance over your images and conveniently decide which images stand out from the rest. When we use photo browsers, on the other hand, we just look at individual images in isolation. If you’re curious about contact sheets, as Kilbee mentions in the video, you can make one using Lightroom as well.
“Do the exploring in your own photography. It’s there!”
And towards the end, Kilbee highlights what we have been missing by not printing our photos. He encourages viewers to make flat prints of our images to help us easily catch our “mistakes”. Later, by printing the final photos, we can also see how the different images talk to each other. We can identify some pattern going on when we have a bunch of prints—but that can be easily missed when looking at individual images.
Have you been making any of these mistakes? Let us know in the comments.
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