A lot of things are said about photography that are not always correct. Many photographers might get the wrong idea about a lot of things. Are you one of those photographers?
Do you read discussions about equipment, about old technologies and how the newer types of cameras are supposed to be so much better? Or perhaps you believe manual mode is the only serious way of setting up your camera. Maybe you are one of those photographers that is convinced shooting JPEG without editing is the only real truth. Or do you think shooting in raw is scary?
If you do, you are not the only one. I believe, no I am convinced, a lot of these things are not the truth. Perhaps it is based on something real, but slowly grown into something completely different. I believe these things will prevent you from growing in photography, or at least build some barrier that makes it difficult to grow. I have gathered six wrong ideas that will prevent you from improving your photography in some way or another.
1. Thinking Post-Processing Is Not Necessary
Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people that think a photo can be produced without post-processing. Some even refuse to believe a photo cannot exist without some kind of post-processing. Because if you don’t do it yourself, the camera you use will do it for you with the settings that are programed by the camera manufacturer.
When you let the camera do the post-processing, you will end up with an average image that often has no punch or too much punch. The standard post-processing programed in a camera is only optimized for a very limited amount of average photos.
By post-processing the images yourself, you can optimize the settings with every image and with every light situation. Perhaps the most important of all, you can compensate for the limitations of a digital sensor, making the image more like the human eye will see it.
2. Thinking Shooting Raw Is Too Difficult
Shooting raw will give you the flexibility to improve your images a lot. Small mistakes in exposure, white balance, and a lot of other things can be corrected without a loss in quality. And with software like Lightroom and Luminar, it is very easy to make the perfect JPEG image from your raw file.
3. Being a Natural Light Photographer
Are you only shooting with natural light? In that case, you might call yourself a natural light photographer. It means you will rely on high ISO values when light is not present and ugly shadows when the light is not good.
Or are you shooting as a natural light photographer because you don’t know how to use flash? In any case, you are limiting yourself and not able to produce the best photos in every light situation.
Often, the excuse is about unnatural results with flash. But if you practice and even take courses, you will find out that flash is very versatile, and you are able to blend the flash with the ambient light. That way, you are a natural light photographer and flash photographer at the same time.
4. Believing a Good Exposure Is Only Achievable in Manual Mode
I do find this one of the strangest beliefs among photographers. Some even believe a photo will be more beautiful when shot in manual mode.
When shooting in manual, you need to have an idea of what settings to choose. You rely on the exposure meter inside the camera, looking at the scale that indicates how much stops you are away from the correct exposure. You have to dial the settings in until it is okay. Did the light situation change? Then you have to correct again. When shooting in aperture priority or shutter priority you let the camera take care of one of the settings, making it very easy to adapt to changing light situations.
Or course, there are situation when shooting in manual has its benefits, but semiautomatic modes can be beneficial too. A good exposure is a good exposure, regardless of how the settings are made.
5. Shooting Too Many Photos of the Same Subject
Do you take a lot of photos? Well, I do. But after importing all those images into the computer, we need to sort them out, select them, and choose the best out of… well, how many did you take?
Just look back to those images, and discover how many are exactly the same or almost the same? Could you have sufficed with just one or two images instead of 10 or 20?
Shooting too many images is like prize shooting. The more images, the greater the chance there is also a good one. Photographing is not about quantity, but about quality. Perhaps you should have looked at the subject a little bit better. Perhaps you could have looked for the best composition, the best angle, the best moment, instead of shooting with the hope you would capture the perfect shot.
Some kinds of photography do benefit from shooting a lot, but not always, and not every kind of photography needs a lot of photos. Just take your eye from your camera more often. Perhaps you end up importing just a couple of pictures that are really good, instead of many photos that are nothing but mediocre.
6. Publishing Too Many Photos Online
The last thing relates to the previous one. I see a lot of photographers publishing a batch of images online that are practically the same. The differences are in the details that are not always obvious. Sometimes, these photographers even ask your opinion. They want you to decide which is the best.
Consider this when you take the best photo ever, a perfect shot with amazing light and a composition that is really amazing. When posting this image online, it will become an unique image. It will be one of a kind. Imagine, when you take the same image five times, with some small, insignificant differences in focal length, composition, or exposure. Suddenly, that unique image will become not so unique anymore. It is one of many, and thus become mediocre.
My advice is to just show the world your best work, not the second best, or third best, not even different versions of a perfect shot. If people only see your best work, they will be amazed by your work and tell everyone how good you are.
What Do You Think?
Perhaps you can think of a few wrong ideas yourself that I did not mention. Please leave a comment with your wrong ideas that can prevent you from improving your photography. I love to read what you come up with.