7 Bad Habits of Digital Photographers

This is a special guest-post from a new friend of mine, Antoine Khater. Check the bottom of this post for his bio, and don’t forget to visit his photography blog!

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I have been taking pictures seriously for about 5 years and been around major photography forums for about the same time. Here are, compiled in one post, the 7 bad habits of digital photographers…

1. NOT DOUBLE CHECKING YOUR GEAR BAG

It never happened to you? It sure did to me! I can’t remember how many times I went shooting just to notice later on that I forgot the CF cards at home. Just a few months ago my wife and I took a photography trip to Croatia and I totally forgot to pack the battery charger with me! So if you are as clumsy as I am, maybe you should trust your wife in packing things up for you.

2. NOT DOUBLE CHECKING ISO SETTINGS

This is surely one of the most common post subjects you will find if you linger long enough in Digital Photography forums. We are all somehow used to reaching for our ISO settings button just when we need to go “higher” and we too often take it for granted that the camera is set to the “correct” one every time we take it from the bag. And that is why so many people are asking for the ISO setting to be displayed in the viewfinder, until then and to avoid surprises, good or bad, make sure to double check that ISO setting every time you turn your camera on.

3. I’LL GET THIS STRAIGHT LATER

Let me first say that I have nothing against Photoshop or any other kind of photo retouching I even pointed out some times ago an easy way to correct tilted pictures in the digital dark room. However I believe that if you can get it right on the field it is better. So if you have the bad habit of tilting your pictures, here are 6 tips that will hep you get them straight next time.

4. I SHOOT RAW, I DON’T CARE ABOUT EXPOSURE

RAW is wonderful tool and gives us, photographers, a great deal of flexibility during post processing. The ability to tweak the exposure in RAW should be used ONLY within limits — blown highlights and and underexposed shadows can’t be recovered. So make sure to always get the exposure right.

5. DELETING PICTURES TOO FAST

Well I’m writing this specially for myself! I delete pictures faster than I take them sometimes… Here is a recent article from LightChasers explaining why we should never be doing this.

6. BETTER BODY INSTEAD OF BETTER LENS

I guess it is just a human nature but every time a new camera is released we have all tendency to become green with envy and deep down we should know that we would be much better investing in a better lens than in a better camera.

7. BLAMING THE MATERIAL

And, of course, on the TOP of the list “Blaming the material”! When we do not manage of getting a decent picture we go like “AH if only I had that lens!” but if someone looks at a nice pictures of ours and says “Wow you should have a nice camera!!!” We go crazy… Anyway, remember folks, it is always the photographer never the Camera.

Again, I’d like to thank Antoine for this wonderful guest-post he’s written for us, and remember to check out his website: All Day I Dream About Photography.
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71 thoughts on “7 Bad Habits of Digital Photographers

  1. Michael S.

    Number 3.only applies to a photo you intended to have straight. A great way to spot a good photographer is a great eye for “tilt” and angles. I often add tilt in photoshop the create a more dramatis photo.

  2. Web Designer

    I just got my wife a new digital camera for Christmas. I am forwarding your post to her as I think you raise a number of valid points, especiially the one about ISO settings. The new camera has like a dozen settings that she needed to play with to make her photos look somewhat OK. Thanks for this information.

  3. Maureen Bond

    Lately, I have been shooting with a better lens and I tell you it sure makes a difference. Many friends are all getting the new Canon 5D Mark II thinking this will make all the difference but they don’t know how half the camera they have now works. Something to think about.

  4. ADD

    I used to wonder how trolls found time to annoy people who actually care, and then I realized, they take time other people would use shooting, and use it criticizing.

    There are three things that set great photographers apart from the rest of us.

    1. They make a LOT of mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone forgets simple things. Any troll who claims not to is lying. It’s human. Since the greats shoot a lot more than most people, they make more mistakes. A written checklist, like this one, helps; this has been proven time and time again in many fields.

    2. Pros don’t disparage any equipment. Real pros, the ones who make their living at this, may not choose to use digital or whatever, but they don’t criticize it, because they know that it’s not the medium, it’s the person behind the lens.

    3. The greats don’t have to resort to personal insults, because they know (unlike trolls) that their images speak for themselves.

    As for trigger-happy shooting, I shoot a lot, and I get a lot of surprising images. NOT shooting enough is a bigger mistake than shooting too much when the shots you don’t keep cost nothing. Being afraid to make a mistake is a mistake in itself.

  5. Brian Auer

    I love the insights you’ve brought to the discussion! I’ve always felt that there are two good ways to learn: make mistakes or teach… haha, bonus points if you make a mistake while teaching — you’ll be guaranteed to never make that mistake again!

  6. Dan

    #1 has gotten me a couple of times. Thinking certain cards, or a certain filter being in the bag your carrying, only to find out its in the other bag thats at home…

  7. vang

    "we would be much better investing in a better lens than in a better camera."

    Is it right? I though that better camera will make better pics.
    Is the lens affect so much on picture quality so that ?

  8. Nancy

    I think that the better body instead of better lens is one of the most common mistakes. Forgetting equipment is also a common one. At least it happens to me often.

  9. Alex

    A not so looked into mistake is "Deleting your pictures too quickly".. but it surely is an interesting point there. A very good photo could be lost that way, simply because you did not have enough patience to check it out on a proper display.
    Anyway, great tips to consider (all 7).

  10. Tony Lee

    One fatal mistake I’ve made in the past is not preparing for the weather.

    I’ve been in many situations where the weather played a part in the success or failure of a photo or video shoot. Protecting your camera in adverse conditions and bringing the proper filters is a must as well.

    Never assume mother nature will cooperate, she’ll surprise you when you least expect it!

  11. Albert

    Most very often amateur and sometimes professional photographers go through these mistakes, and being aware of them as this post gives us an impulse on this category, is very helpful to getting great pointers as to avoid such and such in photography.

  12. Jack Fussell

    I’ve made most, if not all of these mistakes. My wife and I share our camera, and she just wants to point and shoot so we’re always having to undo each others settings. I’m hoping to upgrade to a Nikon D700 next Spring so she can have the D50…at least that’ll solve one issue!

  13. Tkaniny Obiciowe

    Yeah, deleting pictures too fast is a habit probably everyone has. You just go through the batch of pics and delete every one you don’t like. And suddenly you’re left with no pics and you’re pissed. But it’s usualy too late at that point.

  14. Hamo

    Ya, the camera settings have been an issue for me many a time, especially with so many new cameras coming out all the time, I just learn how to use one, then ditch it for a new one.

  15. Walter H

    As an older photographer, All I ever need is the right lighting, aperture, f/stop and film speed and
    a good eye along with any camera or lens. Today we have beginners with cameras that requires a Phd to turn it on, shoot, and, then still need photoshop, for a picture not worth shooting in the first place. No wonder you forget things and make mistakes. Develope your eye first, learn to see. then you will know what you need. Keep it simple.

  16. david henderson

    this amused me greatly…….I can forget with the best of them, usually try and take as little as possible due to a friend of mine, a real photographer, who said ‘david, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on photographic equipment it won’t improve the quality of the pictures you make’…….thanks for that!! cheers david.

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