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05-16-2011, 07:53 AM   #1
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Common mistakes made by beginners ?

I was thinking it would be nice to have a topic where people share with others the mistakes that they used to do as beginners so that we all know that we're not alone and maybe cut off the frustration some of us might be going trough .As we are all humans i am sure we all make the same mistakes at first .I am an amateur but i like to think i am aware of some common mistakes that i still make ,even though i like to think i am aware of them .I own the k-r + the 16-50 da f2.8

So ,what are the most common mistakes beginners do ? Please add

1.Not being aware of the big,sometimes huge dynamic range in a scene often resulting in fried highlights or pitch black shadows .I mean ,we see a scene ,it looks great in our eyes ,we want to capture it but the thing is the camera does not have the sensitivity of our eyes ,it needs more balanced light

2.Not setting a custom white balance often resulting in ugly color casts and unnatural looking subjects

3.Not looking for a background or a foreground for the subject ,often one sees something nice and just shoots away to capture it ,and if it does ,and i often do that ,i am not fully aware of how that background of foreground will interact with the subject ,i often find it that that background or foreground steals the attention away from the subject

4. Not focusing properly ,i often want to apply the rule of thirds but i forget to lock the focus on the subject so i get the focus somewhere in the middle

5.Choosing the worst moments of the day to shoot pictures ,most people go in the middle of the day instead of early mornings or late afternoons

6.Not keeping things simple ,always adding a lot of stuff in the frame

well i still do all of this things unfortunately ...

please add mistakes that you used to do or still do ,i am sure we'll all benefit from being aware of them

05-16-2011, 12:11 PM   #2
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Use flash on inanimate objects that do not move...
05-16-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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Boresighting. That's the thing most beginners seem to have trouble with: treating the viewfinder like a gunsight instead of a frame.

(One thing that these little point and shoots and EVFs seems to improve, actually: pre-flattened, the view looks more like a *picture* to begin with, and it's more natural apparently for them to compose when they hold the camera up in front of them like a little frame, which is exactly why I used to send my students walking around with empty slide mounts to hold out in front of them and 'see photos.' Of course, those EVF's and LCDs can also mean no one develops the skills of seeing photos *without* such a camera, but it's interesting to see the change.)

And camera-handling. Holding, stance, steadiness, situational awareness, proper release: ...people can get a head full of tech and gear (or art theory) and skip the basics, basics, basics. Even people sporting 'degrees in photography' often need remedial lessons in the very basics of what you're doing with your eyes and body.

Basically, if they try to automate it in a point-and-shoot camera (Which, don't get me wrong, makes people happy, is very nice, gets them their photos, etc, etc,) ...it's *probably* working around something *you* want to know, for the benefit of those who may not much care.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 05-16-2011 at 12:34 PM.
05-16-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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I have seen it so often: (if one could call it a mistake?)

> Taking a shot of a distant sporting event, or landscape, building etc, and engaging the in-built flash. WHY???

05-16-2011, 12:52 PM   #5
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+1 boresighting, but with different interpretation what is that:

The 'bullseye' composition, with subject centered but not filling the frame, seems very common among beginners, yours truly included! Learn the simple rules of composition, at the very least, the rule of thirds!

edit: an obvious tip for beginners is to practice seeing through the viewfinder, a LOT!

Last edited by rhodopsin; 05-16-2011 at 01:00 PM.
05-16-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bramela Quote
I have seen it so often: (if one could call it a mistake?)

> Taking a shot of a distant sporting event, or landscape, building etc, and engaging the in-built flash. WHY???
There's a story floating someplace here in cyberspace about a photographer attempting to get a photo of the Seattle Space Needle from a well-positioned hotel could not because of numerous continual flashes from all the other hotel windows!
05-16-2011, 12:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bramela Quote
I have seen it so often: (if one could call it a mistake?)

> Taking a shot of a distant sporting event, or landscape, building etc, and engaging the in-built flash. WHY???
I once saw a guy use a flash when taking a picture of the moon
05-16-2011, 01:03 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Some of the things I caught myself doing:

- Too slow shutterspeeds. Relying too much on the SR.
- I shot with the aperature wide open a tad too many times. Simply kept forgetting to change it.
- I shoot a lot with manual focusing but sometimes forget to re-focus. Doh!
- Ignoring/underestimating a tripod. I'm currently at the turning point though

Probably more, but these are the most obvious ones.

05-16-2011, 03:54 PM   #9
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Just to add to this...

IMAO, the most common mistake beginners make is not reading their camera manual...
05-16-2011, 04:12 PM   #10
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When I teach beginners, one of the first things I have them do is take a shot like they normally do, then close half that distance, recompose and take another. Then close half that distance, recompose and taken another shot. Compare all three exposures.
The most common mistake of beginners is standing too far away.
05-16-2011, 04:17 PM   #11
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1. Forgetting to turn filters or HDR off and ruining a picture.
2. Making aperture the highest it can go for that blurred background
3. Flashing when turning up the ISO is a perfectly fine option.
05-16-2011, 06:02 PM   #12
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Turning (or leaving) Shake Reduction on while taking a tripod shot....
05-16-2011, 06:17 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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--Spending too much time on forums, camera/lens reviews, shopping sites instead of going out photographing.
05-16-2011, 06:22 PM   #14
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One of the dumbest things I've done is take a whole lot of long exposure shots with my tripod mounted camera. Only problem was I was on a floating wharf, so while my camera was rock solid compared to the wharf, the waves were moving the wharf up and down resulting in dozens of blurry images You only make that kind of mistake once.
05-16-2011, 08:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
There's a story floating someplace here in cyberspace about a photographer attempting to get a photo of the Seattle Space Needle from a well-positioned hotel could not because of numerous continual flashes from all the other hotel windows!


Amateur. That's what the *bulb* setting is for, if someone could *really* paint the Space Needle with all those little flashes. You couldn't *pay* for that.

I do doubt the story, though.
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