There are some very common habits that we develop as photographers. Especially in the beginning when there is so much to learn! It’s important to address these habits early on to avoid any embarrassing mishaps in the future.
A habit you may find yourself in is hesitation. Hesitating too long in a situation can prevent you from getting that perfect shot.
Fear of what people think
You may be concerned about what people think. Are you feeling the urge to take a shot of your crying child? Those are completely valid moments that need to be captured from time to time. Or perhaps it’s a street shot of a perfect stranger and you hesitate just a split-second too long because you’re feeling vulnerable and on-stage.
Not being ready
Not having your camera ready can make you hesitate. You may not have it up and ready in shooting position or you may not have your settings right. Set your camera for the situation so you’re ready to shoot.
Getting Lazy with White Balance
It’s amazing how many people don’t know the importance of white balance or even how to use it. It’s vitally important to adjust your white balance throughout the day.
3. Not Pushing Your Camera’s ISO
Even though today’s cameras have tremendous high ISO capabilities, many of us are still terrified of pushing the ISO too far. The fear of noise is strong! But that fear leads many photographers into the trap of using vastly inappropriate shutter speeds that result in blur or soft photos when neither one is appropriate for the scene. Instead of toiling away with the wrong shutter speed when using your long lens or when you’re creating long exposures, try bumping up that ISO. Go beyond 1600. Try 3200. Or 6400. Just keep going to see how the quality changes from one value to the next. You might be surprised at how far you can push it without getting a lot of noise.
A grainy photo is way better than a blurry one
4. Standing Still
Keeping your feet still when you’re shooting is a surefire way to limit your creative potential. But it’s an easy habit to fall into, especially if you use a zoom lens. Instead of shooting a scene from just one perspective, get into the habit of walking around, moving closer and stepping back. Don’t rely on the zoom! Use your feet, and see how quickly you start getting way more interesting perspectives.
Note: If you’re shooting a 2 min long exposure you can completely ignore this advice. In that instance, standing still is a very good thing.
5. Stop focusing on the gear
It certainly is fun to spend time reading about gear, talking about gear, and thinking about buying gear. But if we’re honest, all you need for a good photo is one camera and lens. Once you have a decent setup, it’s probably not your gear that is holding back the quality of your photos. So if you’re a photographer whose house is stuffed with accessories and you’re waiting for the next paycheck to splurge on more, maybe it’s time to take a break from your gear obsession. Try to go this year without buying anything new (unless something essential breaks). You’ll probably discover that you have plenty of gear already and will end up with some extra cash on hand. More importantly, you now have time to master the gear you own.
Best camera is the one you have with you