"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Technology
June 23, 2007

The Ten Most Common Photographic Mistakes

The Best Article Every Day is an aggregator-blog, collecting insightful and provocative posts from all over the blogosphere. It has also become a solid fixture on my personal A-list of blogs I read most days. The Ten Most Common Photographic Mistakes is a post they highlighted recently, from Andre Gunther’s excellent photography blog. It’s the […]

The Best Article Every Day is an aggregator-blog, collecting insightful and provocative posts from all over the blogosphere. It has also become a solid fixture on my personal A-list of blogs I read most days.

The Ten Most Common Photographic Mistakes is a post they highlighted recently, from Andre Gunther’s excellent photography blog. It’s the sort of piece that qualifies for the “if you only read one piece of photographic advice this year, read this,” kind of commendation. There’s a lot of constructive advice here for the novice and not a little to get the more experienced photographer thinking about what they do.

Although I’ve looked at great photos and works of art all my life, it’s only recently that I’ve started to look hard at and think about the objects I photograph before activating the shutter. I’ve taken some decent images in the past, but typically they only came on occasions where I was immersed in travel (e.g., whilst on safari). I’ve learnt that (just like music), photography initially appears to be about technique and technology, but is actually about thought and process. Taking a few moments to observe something or someone in their context, to consider the light and environment and to think about where to shoot from can make a stunning difference.

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Responses
Toni 14 years ago

I was drawn to photography initially because of the technical side. However while enjoying that aspect, I found myself being drawn in 2 opposite directions: a desire to capture what I saw in a glance and a desire to capture things in a way that didn’t reflect reality – picture things that weren’t there. Of course I didn’t think of it like this at the time.

TBH a lot of images are tedious, even when of interesting or exciting objects, because they fail to capture the ‘eye’ and imagination. The hardest part for me is breaking out of obvious compositional rules and making the effort to search out an angle in an image rather than simply making a photographic record of events.

On different note, I love digicams for their instantaneous and unlimited qualities, but they just don’t have the same image-capturing qualities of film. Of course sometimes they are significantly better than film, but lack the smooth tonal qualities of a quality silver-based image.

Fernando Gros 14 years ago

Toni – I’m totally smitten with digital, but I hear in terms of a well produced print. I love what I see on the screen but the missing link for me is still getting a top quality image in my hands that I can frame or album. The next step for me is hunting down a passionate and skilled developer working with digital.

I also hear you on compositional rules. I find it really helpful to have learnt that stuff. But all the years of visiting art galleries reminds me that so many artists have done there best stuff while intentionally playing with and knowingly violating said rules.

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