Things that beginning photographers could do better!
Around here I see a lot of beginners. You know, the folks that just bought the camera or have had it for years and never really learned how to work with it. They go out to the woods expecting to return with something great and are disappointed with the results they obtain.
So, just to help you along, here are some of the common things that can go wrong when you are out with the camera.
1) There is no plan! Don't just jump out of the car and start shooting. Walk around a bit, without the camera, maybe the best image is four feet away. It seems that if you have a camera, you will take a photo without much thought. So, start without the camera and just LOOK at what is there. Begin to plan your image. Where are the darkest parts? What is the lightest thing in the image? How do these look in reference to each other?
What are the dominate shapes? The subordinate shapes? Do they help support each other? Make a plan for your image!
2) The colors clash! Now, sometimes clashing colors can be a good thing but mostly nature has harmonious colors. Do your colors harmonize? Try shifting the image just enough to allow the colors to work together.
3) The image is over-processed! The post-processing should be done very subtly and not be glaringly obvious. Most beginners go a bit wild with the post-processing software. Around here we work with the students a lot with Lightroom, Photoshop and On1 software and we do it very lightly. It should look very natural and not show that any processing was used.
4) Out of focus backgrounds! Utilizing the depth of field that you have available will give you a much more cohesive image, even in portraits. One or two wide-open shots are sufficient to establish the tight headshot of the subject. The rest should be more inclusive and show the surroundings, placing the subject in a space that emphasizes their connection to the location. We recommend using color, shape, and lighting to distance the subject from the background.