Common photography problems and how to fix them

So what are the most common photography problems and how to fix them?

Sometimes novice photographers can get easily frustrated with their photography without realising that most of the small issues they encounter have can be easily fixed. Every photographer makes plenty of mistakes, especially when they’re just starting out.

There are a lot of things to learn and understand and the small mistakes along the way are just part of the growing and learning process of how to be a better photographer.

Your photos are not perfectly sharp. If I have to pick one issue that comes up every time I speak with beginner photographers it is this one. It is very frustrating to come home from vacation and find out that most photos you took are blurry and out of focus. They might look relatively sharp on the back of the camera, but seeing them on your computer screen is painful. I know this, because it has happened to me as well. Just like it has happened to anyone who has ever picked up a camera. So, how can we fix that? Take a look here: Why are my photos not sharp?

You can’t get a beautiful blurry background in portraits. This is a very close contender for the first place of the most common photography problems. If you look at portraits like the one above and wonder how to achieve the same blurry background, what you need to do is learn about depth of field. In a nutshell, depth of field refers to the area of an image that’s in focus. But how do you manipulate depth of field?

  • Distance to the subject – the closer you are to the subject, and the farther the background is from the subject, the blurrier that background can be.
  • Focal length of the lens – the longer the lens, the shallower the depth of field (for example if you are using a 200mm lens to photograph a person from a few meters distance, it will produce a shallower depth of field than if you are using a 35mm lens on the same person from the same distance).
  • Your camera sensor size – the larger the imaging sensor in the camera, the shallower the depth of field will be (the easier it is to blur the background).
  • Aperture size – the larger the aperture opening on your lens, the shallower the depth of field (for example using aperture F/1.8 will produce a more blurred background than F/5.6).

Your photos never look as colourful and punchy as the photos you see online. You can be sure that 99% of the photos you see online are edited in one way or another. If you don’t edit your photos, they will never be close to looking at their best. But don’t get frustrated, editing is easy when you know how to approach it. Learn how to edit your photos here.

You bought your camera with a kit lens and after some time you want to upgrade and get a better quality lens, but you have absolutely no idea what to buy. There are plenty of options for lenses in all available camera brands. This makes it super frustrating to try and decide which lens would suit you most and which lens to get next. Wide angle lens? Telephoto lens? Prime lens or maybe a zoom? This is usually one of the questions students always ask during my workshops. The answer is very easyif you can’t answer this question yourself, you almost certainly don’t need a new lens! I am a strong believer that less is more and simplifying your photography kit and process of taking photos will ultimately produce better results. Sometimes we are presented with a photography situation that we simply can’t overcome with the gear we have. This is a situation when buying a new lens or camera would be the solution. My advice for novice photographers is always the same: if you are looking to buy one lens to complement your kit lens get a cheap 50mm F/1.8 lens. You can’t go wrong with a cheap prime lens!

You often take photos indoors and your pictures are always blurry. Your first stop should be here: Why are my photos not sharp? After you have fixed the most obvious mistakes maybe it will be time to invest in a dedicated flash head for your camera. Using an external flash head is easy. Would you like to learn how to do that?

The colours in your photos look all wrong. The straightforward solution to this very common photography problem comes down to finding the correct white balance setting for both camera and subject. Most of you will not be aware, for example, that tungsten lighting tends to give a warm orange glow to photos when you’re shooting indoors without flash and high ISO. You’ll find settings on your camera for a variety of artificial and natural lighting conditions. Another way to fix white balance problems will be to take photos in RAW format and learn how to edit them.

Common photography problems and how to fix them part II is coming soon! Add yourself to my mailing list to never miss a new article. I hate spam, so only real news will be emailed.

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