Last Updated on July 9, 2021 by PixelPluck
Photography is one of the most popular forms of art. A decade ago only the rich and professionals could afford a decent camera. With the advent of smartphones, the rules of the game have changed. Now a mid-range smartphone carries decent enough optics for anyone with a keen interest in photography. Smartphones have completely changed the way we perceive photography. However, not everyone understands the art part of photography. In this blog post, you will find the 15 Common Beginner Photography Mistakes – Myth vs Facts.
There is a clear difference between a snapshot and a well-thought-out photograph. Back in old days, photography was one of the most expensive hobbies. Now taking photos has become as simple as touching the screen, everyone has started to refer to themselves as a ‘Pro Photographer’. However, with due respect to their love for photography, we would like to tag them as ‘Newborn Photographers’.
What about all those who invest so much time and money over the years to earn the tag of being called a Professional Photographer? So where is the difference?
Just because you know how to touch or press a button (which is called shutter) you should call yourself a Pro Photographer? Just because you can take a photo (mostly food and selfie), apply few filters, write your name on it along with a BIG UGLY COPYRIGHT LOGO you should call yourself a photographer? Oh, wait! You also have a Facebook and Instagram Profile with a few hundred and in some cringe-worthy cases, a few thousand followers, so you should call yourself a professional photographer?
Avoid these signs to become a better photographer and differentiate yourself from newbies. Common Beginner Photography Mistakes – Myth vs Facts.
Myth: Megapixels matter more than any other specification. The more megapixels the better the photo. This is the most common myth and misconception among wannabe photographers.
Fact: Megapixels are only important if you want to get large prints of the photograph or crop a section out of the photo. Megapixels alone are not important. A 12megapixel camera may perform better than a 48megapixels camera because of better optics.
Myth: Zoom is an important factor. Give them a camera with 100x zoom and they will guarantee you photos as good as that of Ansel Adams, Steve McCurry, and the many other legendary photographers.
Fact: Zoom has a specific use and telephoto lenses are useful for wildlife and sports photography. You don’t need 100x zoom for street photography.
Apps and Filters
Myth: Just click any photograph and apply filters to make art. Filters can improve any photograph and make you look like a professional photographer.
Fact: Pure photography has been infested by a bug called filters. Filters are for fun, not for photography. Most apps come with inbuilt glitter and color filters which modify the image to an extent that it becomes a new image in itself. Worse, some new photographers are applying these filters to landscape and wildlife photographs. Imagine a photo of a tiger with a ‘make-up filter’! Here are some helpful photography apps.
Myth: Cameras with flexible LCD screens will take better photos. Never use the viewfinder, they are so small compared to the LCD screen. Viewfinders are fancy items.
Fact: Viewfinder is always better than LCD screens for getting the perfect focus and reproduction of the scene. LCD screens are surely useful but they aren’t better than viewfinders except for angles where you are unable to use the viewfinder. Using a viewfinder brings the camera closer to your body and establishes an improved center of gravity for a sharper image.
Myth: Modern phone cameras and some entry-level cameras come with a default setting where the time and date of the photograph are stamped on all the images. Keep the date and time-stamp on. People should know the camera brand and the exact second the image was clicked. Also, let there be the big logo of the camera manufacturer.
Fact: This is a clever marketing technique used by the smartphone industry to advertise their phone. By setting to show the time stamp along with the brand logo you give them free publicity while destroying the aesthetics of photographs. If you need a timestamp for documentation purposes then you can add it in post-process. Turn it off in settings.
Myth: One of the common misconceptions among newcomer photographers is the size of the lens is directly proportional to the quality of the photograph. Beginner photographers assume that the bigger the lens, the better will be the quality.
Fact: The size is of the lens increases because of the complexity of optics. It’s pure physics. Many optical and electronic elements inside the lens make it function properly. All these elements make the lens bulky. That is why zoom and telephoto lenses are so expensive.
Myth: You must have a worldwide presence. A website, Facebook business page, Instagram business account, WordPress blog, 500px portfolio page, Getty contributor, Reddit presence, and basically wherever there is the presence of humans in the digital world.
Fact: A real professional photographer will have more of a physical presence than their digital presence or showcasing their printed work in galleries. Surely it helps but most professionals are out in the field on assignments or execution projects. You need not flood your work on every digital platform and judge yourself by the number of likes and views. Invest more time building client relationships than scrolling through the likes and comments on your Instagram account.
Black and White
Myth: Turn every photo into black and white to turn them into a timeless masterpiece. Once they are black and white they will go down registered into the history of great photographs. Black and White are better than Color Photography.
Fact: Black and White are timeless because they came before color photography. If color photography was invented before B&W photography then probably B&W would have just been an analog to modern-day fancy filters. All modern cameras shoot color photographs and you need to apply filters either in-camera or in post process. B&W photographs represent the style of the old classics. Both B&W and color photography are good as long as it fits the theme of the project and you execute them well. Just don’t destroy the photos with glitter effect filters using crappy apps.
Food, Flowers and Selfies
Myth: Photograph food, flower, and selfies to become a pro photographer. There is no better subject than these three. Keep posting the mirror selfies with your new DSLR, mirrorless, or smartphone. Then apply filter and flood the social media with them announcing your designation as a Pro Photographer.
Fact: There is no harm in photographing food and slower in a creative way. Take selfies too. But just clicking photos without any thought process behind it will not impress anyone. People may appreciate the beauty of flowers or the presentation of the food but it will not reflect well on the art of your photography. Be creative and widen the range of subject that your shoot.
Likes and Views
Myth: Beg for Likes. Hey, I posted a photo so like it, please. Hey, I have a Photography account so follow it, please. Getting likes and views is a validation of being a professional photographer. So start investing in adverts and promoted content to get more likes and views.
Fact: Likes and Views don’t indicate the level of photography. They only indicate how well your content is being judged by the algorithms of social and internet media companies. Don’t fall for the bottomless trap of social media and try pushing for more likes and views. Just focus on improving your creativity and learn photography techniques.
Myth: Go to the random public photographs on social media and suggest how they can take better photos. This will make appear as a professional.
Fact: If you are not a professional in a real sense, you better concentrate on learning than offering unsolicited advice and criticism.
Myth: Instagram is the only photography software in this universe. It instantly turns snapshots into works of art.
Fact: Instagram is not even software. It’s just a social media tool. The filters are not what real photo processing software is limited to. Any software that does not process RAW images is just a basic tool.
Myth: Taking photos in portrait mode turns your smartphone camera into a DSLR. The blur in the photo is what makes it professional.
Fact: The blur that is created artificially using camera software can never match the quality of a DSLR or better optics. There is a significant difference in the transition in natural bokeh and smartphone portrait mode blur. An experienced photographer will immediately differentiate between the two.
Myth: Taking photos in HDR mode will make it popular. HDR has better colors and it pops out to make it look professional.
Fact: HDR photography is a specialized process. A shoddily done HDR photograph will turn a nice sunset into a piece of colorful vomit. HDR is needed only when there is a need for a higher dynamic range, better contrast, and bring colors that are beyond the range of normal human vision.
Myth: Add a Giant watermark to the photograph. This is the most important thing. This ensures that the masterpieces are never stolen and reused.
Fact: No one is going to steal your image and reuse it on social media to promote themselves. You can always file a DMCA complaint when anyone infringes on your artwork. Big ugly watermarks destroy the aesthetics of a photograph. Try to keep it to the minimum.
We hope that these Common Beginner Photography Mistakes – Myth vs Facts helped you to come to a better photographer somehow. What do you think about these myths and facts about photography? Get involved, comment below. Let us know if we should include more.
Also, read our Tips for Improving Photography.
If you want to upgrade your kit lens then here are some good lens recommendations.