I’m a bit reluctant to add “5 Most Common Digital Photography Mistakes” to the blog as it speaks to things that are for most common sense. Regardless it’s fair to say that most everyone has made these mistakes even if we’re too proud to admit it. So for the experienced photographers I apologize in advance if these mistakes bring back bad memories or spur flashbacks. For those new to photography take note and learn from the mistakes of others:
5. Not Having A Second Battery
There are two things that can frustrate a photographer to no end while in the field, both will stop you from taking a single photo. Not having a spare memory card did not make the list, but not having a second battery did. Digital SLRs require power and not planning around this can be a tragic mistake. As most probably know colder temperatures will shorten the life of a battery. When in the field keep those batteries warm and always have a spare. In general, temperature aside, it’s best practice to always have a spare battery on hand. Choosing not to take a photo is far better than not having the option to when out of power.
4. Not Double Checking Your ISO Setting
One of the most painful experiences is taking photos and then realizing that you never set your ISO setting back from say 1600 to 100 between shoots. If you’re lucky your exposures will be fine and you’ll have more grain than normal. If you’re unlucky you’ll suffer exposure problems. Over time I’ve become so methodical in my approach when in the field that before shooting I’ll always verify my ISO setting. None-the-less there are always times that I get so caught up in the moment that I forget to do this.
3. Not Reformatting Your CF Cards Between Use
This is so simple to do, yet so often overlooked. Over time a CF card can corrupt files if consistently erased versus reformatted after downloading ones images. Corrupt files translate to unreadable or irrecoverable photos. Reformatting unlike erasing will uncover damaged or unusable internal data sectors and not allow files to be written to the bad sectors on your CF card. Avoiding the prospect of corrupt files should be a priority and the solution is an easy one… reformat your card instead of erasing it.
2. Not Cleaning Your Sensor
It’s easy to give in to laziness and not clean your sensor. Unfortunately the cost of being lazy in this way translates to the loss of data on each photograph. Sure you can use a clone or healing tool in Photoshop to remove spots, but you’re ultimately filling in gaps of data that your sensor was unable to record. Going into a shoot with a clean sensor will not only avoid this problem it will save you a lot of work during post-processing.
1. Shooting JPEG Versus RAW
Of all the setting changes that can go wrong, accidentily shooting JPEG versus RAW can be the most disasterous. RAW files, a digital negative if you will, provide a photographer the greatest latitude in post-process. RAW converters support nondestructive editing where by color temperature, exposure, contrast, etc. can be adjusted with out ever impacting the source file. JPEG files on the other hand do not afford such benefits. When I discover that I’ve made this mistake my stomach usually goes in my throat. For me if I’m not shooting RAW I might as well not be shooting.
[tags]digital, photography, mistake, dslr, RAW, JPEG, sensor, cleaning, CF, card, reformat, ISO, setting, [/tags]