Photography: how to avoid beginner mistakes

Every photographer makes mistakes. Here are some tips for identifying and solving some common problems that might happen to novices

Mistakes are learned, but you should never get discouraged because the solution is always just around the corner. Photography is an art. Some people are born with the photographer's eye, others improve shot after shot, but knowing how to handle a digital camera is a must for everyone.

The world is beautiful because it is varied. And it's a lucky thing: any time is a good time to take a photograph. As in all things, even in photography, experience is acquired in the field, but with a bit of effort and know-how that gradually increases, rest assured that the day will come when you will emerge victorious from every circumstance, environment or subject to be immortalized. But, with a few tips you could speed up the learning curve. For example, why are your photos sometimes faded, unclear or blurry? Or maybe they lack color, or the lens you use introduces "noise"? There's an explanation for everything, so make good use of the tips and tricks we've selected especially for you.

"Shaky" horizon

You're standing in front of an enchanting sunset and you shoot without thinking. But in the euphoria of the moment you forgot to check that the horizon was straight, so the photos are all crooked. What to do? Use a photo editing program, such as Adobe Photoshop, to straighten them out. And next time check if your camera has the "virtual horizon" feature in the viewfinder and turn it on.

White balance is wrong

Do you feel that your photos look a little too warm or cold? It is possible, sometimes, that the cause is a suboptimal white balance setting. This function is used to ensure that the colors are always perfect, i.e. that the nuances of the photo are exactly as your eyes see them. You can adjust the white balance manually, but if you are a beginner it is advisable to set it automatically and let the camera do all the work.

Distortions caused by lenses

Some lenses may not capture a subject well or introduce unwanted elements into the photo such as vignetting, color loss, chromatic aberrations or brightness around the edges. Wide-angle lenses, for example, may distort perspective or ruin a portrait by giving the impression that the subject is protruding from the photo. Each lens has its own focal length. Always try to use the one that is most appropriate for the situation.

Careful with focusing

When you rely on autofocus, it is possible that the camera will make a mistake. Il sistema AF, a volte, potrebbe concentrarsi su qualcosa dietro o davanti al soggetto desiderato. Per fare in modo che scelga la messa a fuoco più appropriata per i soggetti statici, impostate l’AF singolo punto. La scelta di un punto AF singolo dipende da fotocamera a fotocamera, quindi controllate il manuale per maggiori dettagli. Durante la ripresa di un ritratto, a meno che non vogliate cimentarvi in effetti artistici, puntate la vostra attenzione sugli occhi del soggetto.

Immagini poco nitide

Avete scattato una bellissima foto, ma non è così nitida come speravate. Il problema potrebbe essere causato da vari fattori: avete mosso la macchina durante l’esposizione oppure è stato il soggetto a muoversi, o ancora la fotocamera ha scelto una messa a fuoco automatica sbagliata. A meno che l’effetto non sia voluto, ecco qualche consiglio per foto sempre nitide e perfette:

  • Aumentate la sensibilità ISO.
  • Aumentate la velocità dell’otturatore che dovrebbe essere, idealmente, di almeno 1/125s per evitare movimenti indesiderati.
  • Attivate lo stabilizzazione dell’immagine sia per la fotocamera che per l’eventuale obiettivo.
  • Utilizzate un cavalletto quando è possibile.
  • Evitate di scattare con aperture molto ampie come f/1.8 perché potrebbero influenzare la nitidezza della foto, soprattutto se la messa a fuoco non è perfetta.

Foto scure e sbiadite

A volte le vostre foto possono apparire molto più scure della scena reale. Questo inconveniente è di solito causato dalla sovraesposizione della fotocamera alla luce ambientale. The solution is called "exposure compensation," which you can adjust manually or set it to work automatically.

Improve Composition

Composition is an important way to balance your photos, helping to improve image quality using some tried-and-true rules. One of the easiest composition methods to get started with is the rule of thirds, which divides the image into thirds both vertically and horizontally using two lines. The subject, or subjects, can be placed in the intersection of these rows, or along these rows, to achieve a more engaging image. Some cameras display the grid of thirds on the image to help with composition.

Over-processed photos

The secret of good photo editing is all in the subtlety, in enhancing rather than enriching an image. Too much contrast, exaggerating or decreasing the brightness too much, adding an HDR (High Dynamic Range) effect can give the shot an overly garish and flashy look. Every photograph is different, so try to avoid applying the same filters or effects to a group of images. Boosting the saturation on a landscape, for example, might be a good idea, but doing the same to a portrait would degrade its quality.

Are you in control?

You have your composition, exposure and focus under control. But have you also remembered the pre-photo routine? Before you dive into your next photo adventure, get in the habit of always recharging your batteries and changing them if necessary. Back up, format memory cards, and make sure there's a memory card in the camera before closing the front door.