The big mistake that all beginners make

Lumix-GH3-Lens-cropBeginner photographers think that a new camera, or a better camera, will solve all their photography problems. But that’s not usually true.

There’s a learning curve when you get new gear. And if you’ve come from iPhone photography, or a fully automatic point and shoot camera, then that learning curve will be steep.

I’ve been coaching beginners a lot this year. The number one mistake I’ve noticed them making, is that they shoot under horrible lighting conditions.

What do I mean by horrible?

Shooting in low light situations. For example, indoor dinner parties in darkly lit rooms.

Why is this a problem?

Because, most entry-level cameras have entry-level lenses and those lenses are not the best choice for low light situations. They are great for outdoors in the daytime when there is a lot of light, but indoors, they are the pits! Unless you use a flash — but that’s a whole other learning curve!

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How to add light when there isn’t enough to take a good photo

  • Use a flash – use the built in pop up flash is okay, but a larger external one will give much better results
  • Use high ISO – This might add a lot of noise to your photos
  • Get a fast lens – By fast I mean a lens that has a wider aperture – like f1.8 – which will let more light into your sensor. A typical starter lens only opens up to f4.5.

But, I tell people to avoid low light situations when they first get started with a “big” camera because it usually frustrates them, and then they give up.

You need to have some “wins”. Start taking photos outdoors instead.

Take a photo walk on a nice day. Go to your favourite part of town, or a park — some place with lots of character and variety. Make sure you stop for coffee or a bit of window shopping too. Just worry about composition and learn to see the light.

psw-icon-80If you’re not into all the technical mumbo jumbo, but you still want to take better pictures, check out my online course for total beginners. It’s called Point. Shoot. Wow!

And if you want one-on-one help, we can do that remotely or in person. Rates can be found here.

Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!



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