Just like learning in any practice or aspect of life, the more you learn, the more you realize what you don't know or haven't learned. It's natural; it happens. There's so much for all of us to learn. Here are a few mistakes that I couldn't believe I was making during my photography career.
1. Fix That Chromatic Aberration
Ever zoom in on your photos and see those cyan-ish and magenta edges fringing along your photo's subject? This is called "chromatic aberration." Don't worry, this is very easy to fix. What chromatic aberration actually is, to put it simply, where contrasting areas of the image meet and a lens is unable to bring all wavelengths of color to the same focal plane. In turn, this causes purple or cyan "fringing." Removing chromatic aberration is one of the first adjustments I make when editing a photo. Here's a quick fix for this issue below:
2. Adjusting Your Lens' Fine-Tune AF
After purchasing a brand spanking new lens back in my amateur years, I could not wait to try it out! I mean, it was new so there shouldn't be any issues out of the box, right? Wrong. I kept finding my photos "front-focused" on my subject's hands instead of their eyes. After becoming frustrated, I began to research and figured out that this is not uncommon. In fact, it's rare to find a lens fine-tuned out of the box. Here is a simple way to properly fix your "Fine-Tune AF" setting for your lens using a ruler:
3. Auto-Saving Your Photoshop Files
You save your precious Photoshop files every five minutes while retouching in case it crashes, right? Nope, me neither. While we should all make a habit of this, we do get into the zone while editing at times, and it'd be nice for Photoshop to have our back in case our computer crashes. Luckily, they do with their automatic file recovery feature, but you must activate it. Here's how:
4. Retouching Using a Wacom Tablet
If you haven't picked one up yet and intend to step up your editing/retouching game, you need to today! I used to dodge and burn with my mouse (yes, my mouse). No, I will never make that mistake again; I picked up my Wacom and never looked back. Retouching is an art form in itself; a Wacom tablet is an essential tool needed to get the job done. While it may take a week or two to get used to, it will eventually speed up your workflow twofold. Thousands of photographers and retouchers would concur; it's simply a tool they cannot live without!
5. Remove 'Banding'
Banding in photos is a common nuisance that is found in images where the transitions between colors are not smooth; this is often found in images that include the sky or a gradient from lighting in studio. Some people won't even notice, but some will, and if you're like me, this will drive your OCD or the perfectionist in you nuts. So, how can this be fixed? There are many different ways to accomplish this. However, I have found that adding noise to your image renders the best results.
6. Backing Up Your Files Using RAID
Beyond that expensive camera, lens, or that speedy desktop,your images are priceless. You can replace equipment; what you cannot replace are your images. Simply backing them up to an external hard drive is not enough. There's a chance that your external hard drive will fail, which can leave you in a messy situation that could be avoided. This is why using a RAID hard drive in RAID 1 gives you peace of mind when backing up your data. RAID 1 is where you have two copies of the same file; therefore, if one of your hard disks crashes, your data will still be safe in the other.
These are mistakes that could be quite easy to overlook, or you simply may not have discovered yet. There's so much to learn as you grow as a photographer. I am guilty of discovering these mistakes during different points of my amateur years and even some professionally. With that being said, are there any easy mistakes that you took a while to realize? Let us know in the comments!
Lead image courtesy of Jason Vinson.