5 Common Digital Photography Mistakes To Avoid

Love Those Great Pictures? Learn From Your Mistakes

Fill the frame - portrait
A cute subject usually helps with the “WOW” factor

Every one of us who own a digital camera wants to be able to use it to get the “WOW” pictures. The ones that cause viewers’ jaws to drop and exclaim the brilliance of the photographer (you).

Digital SLR cameras are an important factor in the equation to get consistently good photos, but they do not guarantee great results.

It’s true. While we would love to think that plunking down a few hundred in cash to buy that amazing DSLR will guarantee our status in the Hall Of Fame Of Great Photographers, it takes more than just a good camera.

There are some steps you can take toward getting better pictures more often.

In fact, if you just know some of the major mistakes that are made.. some of the things you should avoid.. you will be much better off. With that in mind, here are some of the mistakes to be aware of as a digital photographer.

Common Digital Photography Mistakes

  1. Not knowing how to use your camera. It’s very easy to skip the learning curve that comes with every digital SLR. In most cases, you will be impressed with the performance of a new camera even if you don’t know all of its capabilities, but think of how much more you can do if you actually do know where the settings are and what they do if changed. The easiest way to do this is to read the manual. It’s boring at times, but maybe download it onto your phone or tablet and read it while waiting on an appointment. Having it on your phone will also allow you to read it when you want to refresh your memory just before a photo shoot, too.
  2. no flash
    Turn off the flash when possible.

    Assuming you have a steady hand. To put it another way, you don’t use a tripod. It does not take much movement at all to ruin a photo. Blurry photos are actually the number one cause of poor pictures. Use the tripod when possible. If it is not available or not convenient, find some other way to steady your camera, like bracing it against a solid structure. Figuring out how to steady your camera will be a major step toward getting better pictures in terms of avoiding blur.

  3. Forgetting to check your camera settings. Unless you are always shooting in the Auto mode, you will want to remember to check the settings before you shoot your pictures. The last thing you want to happen is to miss a really important shot because your camera was on a 10 second timer instead of instant shutter release. You press the shutter button and the camera starts to beep. Your heart sinks as you see the shot dissolve into history in 10 short seconds. Check the settings. Actually, it would be best to return the camera to normal settings when done shooting so this does not happen the next time you pick up the camera.
  4. Relying too much on flash. One of the most helpful things you can do is figure out how to disable the automatic flash. If you are in auto mode, the flash may pop up any time without warning. Sometimes this is fine, but the Flash-off setting will give you many more pleasant exposures. The camera’s pop-up flash usually has a tendency to produce less than stellar pictures because the flash flattens the photo and produces an unnatural looking picture.
  5. Leaving the camera at home. Yes, it’s sometimes a hassle to carry the big bag with you wherever you go, but you really need to figure out a convenient way to do it. Once you get the photography bug, there are photo ops at every turn. You know this is true! Carry that digital camera with you. If you are a real photo nut, you will even have a small camera that you can slip into your pocket or purse when the “big boy” is too much of an inconvenience.

Truth be told, I am personally guilty of each one of these mistakes.

What about you? Is there something that you think is a common digital photography mistake you have made as a new photographer that may help others to become better photographers?