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Most common mistakes new professional photographers make

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Here are the top 3 most common mistakes new professional photographers make.

1. Images that aren’t sharp
Ensure you are always controlling your sharpness. The main causes for lack of sharpness include poor focus, subject movement, camera shake and noise.
To avoid camera shake, hold your camera well or use a tripod. Ensure that you are using the correct shutterspeed, aperture and ISO. ISO also has a direct impact on the noisiness of your images. The quality of your lenses could also have an impact on the sharpness of your images. Lastly, ensure that your equipment is clean. Dirty lenses en image sensors can produce noticable blotches in your end images.

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2. Poor composition
Composition is everything, especially now that there are so many digital photographers and ‘experts’ showcasing their photos on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Good composition helps to create compelling photographs. Every image needs strong underlying compositional order so that it grabs the eye.
Some composition guidelines to keep in mind are the rule of thirds, balancing elements, leading lines, symmetry & patterns, viewpoint (ie. bird’s eye views, close up, eye level etc.), background, depth, framing & cropping. But it’s always important to experiment with different compositions – you never know whether an idea will work until you try it.
Click here for more on compositional guidelines

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3. Photos lacking “oomph!” 
Most photographers just point and shoot, and hope something turns out, regardless of how advanced their equipment, how exciting the subject and/or how amazing the location is.
A good photo starts when you get the feeling to take a picture. You’re walking around, and come across something that seems worthy of a photo. If you can emphasize whatever it was that stopped you, the photo will be far more likely to stop others and make them say WOW!

Ask yourself, what excites you about the scene? Is it a weird texture? If so, be sure to show that texture as boldly as you can. If it’s the colour, make sure that’s the focus of the image. If there is an interesting relationship between two things/people, be sure to do everything you can to make sure that that is what takes over the photo. Get rid of everything that isn’t directly related to whatever it is that made you want to take the photo.

We’re all guilty of making mistakes and, after all, how would we learn if we didn’t make mistakes. Keep these basic common mistakes in mind to fine tune your photography and work towards being a better professional photographer.

Nikon School offers various affordable photographic workshops every month, from Wildlife, Fashion, Wedding & Portraiture to Newborn photography. Book online at www.nikonschool.co.za and improve your photographic skills.