Top 3 Mistakes New Digital Photographers Make

Photographic Equipment

New digital photographers often make mistakes that can result in discouragement or even failed careers. Here are 3 of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1 – Over Reliance on the “Latest Gear”

There’s often the misconception that having the latest and greatest in digital photography equipment will make or break you. The reality is, many great photographers are using cameras that are quite “old” and don’t have many of today’s fancy features.

A good camera is important to a photographer. No mistake about that. But a good camera will not make you a good photographer.

A great photographer generally has a camera that they’re intimately familiar with, that they know how to use inside and out. It may not have all the fancy new features, but it does what it needs to do reliably and quickly.

Taking a great photo depends a lot more on your understanding of photography than the equipment. Get a good camera, but don’t put the responsibility of taking good photos on your equipment.

Back up your photos

Mistake #2 – Not Backing Up Photos

This is a lesson almost every beginning photographer will make – and learn from the painful school of hard knocks.

In old school photography, you would always, always, always keep a copy of your old negatives in case you wanted to produce any more copies of your photographs. These backups were the lifeblood of any photographer.

Yet with digital photography, photographers don’t think about backups at all. Internal hard drives have a failure rate of 3-5 years, external hard drives often fail in 1-2 years. That’s the average – but digital photos can be corrupted at any time, due to a number of reasons.

Computer viruses, drives failing early, stolen computers, etc. are just some of the ways you could lose your photographs. The long and short of it is this: If you don’t back up your photographs on a regular basis, at some point you will lose all your work. Don’t make this mistake.

Know Your Camera

Mistake #3 – Deleting Photos Too Early

One virtue and downfall of digital photography is how easy it is to take photos and to delete photos.

New photographers will often take many photos, then go through their photo libraries and delete out the photos that they didn’t think looked good to clear up clutter and save space.

This is a mistake!

The reality is, you cannot judge the quality of a picture on the small screen of your camera. You shouldn’t delete anything until you get home and have a chance to look at it on a larger screen, a high resolution monitor or an LCD TV screen.

There are often great photos that you might miss if you just deleted them from your camera. An ordinary looking street shot might have an incredible detail in the corner. What might look like mist covering the main shot in a camera might actually contain a slight rainbow in a sheen of see through clouds – Creating an incredible shot after all.

You really can’t tell on your camera if your shot is junk or if you captured magic. Don’t delete anything until you get home.

These are 3 common mistakes that beginning digital photographers make. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll become a great photographer much faster.

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