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As a fashion and Advertising Photographer, I come across several assistants and my own students who are learning photography from me through my online and Practical Photography courses in Delhi. Some of the common mistakes these beginners make as a photographer are listed below. These are very simple yet very significant aspects of Photography which most of the amateurs ignore or overlook.
While I am not advocating that you should shoot with the wrong white balance but if you are not too sure about it, it's better to keep it at AUTO or DAYLIGHT.
If you have shot in RAW, you can certainly fine tune the while balance on your computer at a later stage as well. "Daylight" is closest to shooting on Film and AUTO works quite fine in most of the situations.
This image has a warm cast all because it has been shot during the Golden hours of the evening. It is desirable to keep this warmth instead of opting for a technically perfect while balance.
It should not appear to be imbalanced except when you intentionally due to compositional reasons deliberately keep the camera at an angle for impact. However, it should never be off balance accidentally.
All modern cameras now have a balancing scale on the LCD screen or in the viewfinder itself to help you balance the horizon. The cameras also have the option of using the grid which is quite helpful in shooting interiors and if you are shooting stuff like paintings and carpets where you need to align both verticals and horizontals.
The Horizon occupies a very small portion of the Photograph but it's extremely important to keep it straight.
It's just not fine to shoot a blurred or an out of focus image. It simply can't be corrected at a later stage so it's very important to ensure that you shoot it right.
Make sure that you have selected the correct focusing point when shooting. The focusing point must overlap the main subject and not somewhere in the background.
If you are focusing too close make sure that your subject is at least as away as the minimum focusing distance of your lens.
And focus on the eyes, when shooting a portrait especially at a very close distance.
While the Aperture is quite open so as to get the Bokeh Effect, the eyes are where the focus is.
Both Tripod and Image stabilising modes help to avoid camera shake if you are not shooting at 1/60th of a second or higher.
The face is absolutely clear even though the rest of the body is blurred.
It's not an easy skill to master and the rules are very relative at times from shot to shot. Follow the rules, till the time you have gained enough experience to understand the situations in which you can override the rules and the photographs still look great and in fact sometimes the photograph is good and unique because it does not follow a conventional rule.
The composition is not restricted to a photograph with a number of elements. Even a simple macro shot requires the Photographer to use his compositional skills.
Many beginners miss the shot because they are aiming at getting a perfect exposure right there in the camera. Once again, there is absolutely nothing wrong in getting the right exposure to begin with but it's also not a crime if you did not get it absolutely correct and you were a bit on the under or overexposure side.
It was often said that a self-respecting photographer while shooting on film would take out several test prints before deciding on the final print to get the right tones, colour and exposure.
Ideally, there should have been detail in the background grass as well but then that was not the Priority in this Photograph of a Model, shot in a monument. When one shoots modelling Portfolios, it's the model who is expected to get all the attention and the detail of the other areas is not really very relevant.. I am sure, unless this is pointed out, no one is going to notice it.
Shooting on APERTURE PRIORITY lets you take care of lot many other aspects of photography besides exposure. With exposure compensation, you still have all the control over perfection in situations where the camera's metering has a potential of going wrong.
The NOISE in good cameras these days is almost negligible and the higher ISO lets you shoot at a relatively higher shutter speed in low lighting situations.
She was photographed next to the lights of the makeup mirror at ISO 1600.
The Two girls on a Phuket Beach were photographed at ISO 3200
This candid image in Dubai was photographed at ISO 5000
You may also like to check out some of the Youtube tutorials on Photography.
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