1) You need an expensive camera.
Not true, you do need a camera but the camera doesn’t take the picture you do. It is your vision, composition and subject that make a good picture. Of course with very cheap cameras there will be limitations to what you can do and will be able to capture. Challenges due to limitation mean that you can create images that others may not have thought of before, creating new interesting views of tired subjects.
2) You have to live somewhere interesting.
Not true, what is interesting sometimes needs to be dug up and found. Living in what many of my students call a boring old dirty city, they don’t see what I find interesting about it. The fact is you need to adjust the way you see the world and the potential that a place may have. We all can’t live in New York, Beijing or Katmandu. Try researching where you live or exploring where you live. If you want to take pretty pictures head to the parks or maybe the country side just outside of the town/city. Even more take still life images at home and create your own landscapes. If gritty and grungy is what you are looking for, all cities and towns have areas at some point that are slightly rougher or run down.
3) You must have beautiful models in your portraits.
The idea of beauty and what is real beauty is a contentious issue. For each person there is a different perception of what beauty is. With portrait photography it is all about telling a story about the person in the picture, be it true or not. Your Subject (not model) needs to be studied by you, to find what flatters them and what doesn’t. You need to make the light and colours work for them, even with super models you can make then ugly just by dressing and lighting them wrong.
4) Put everything in the center.
This is one of the mistakes that people quite often make. You put something in the centre because it is important and on most cameras when using live view the focusing square is in the middle and you want the picture in focus. Try pre-focusing; half press the button to focus and then move the camera to recompose the image. You are the one holding the camera and hopefully you are not glued to the spot.
5) Everything is better with Photoshop.
Photoshop is not the answer to making good photos. The photo needs to be good before they enter an editing program, be it Photoshop or whatever. As I have heard people say “you can’t polish a turd”. Of course some things can be tweaked in Photoshop, but you can’t photograph a person with it.
Do you know any other myths about taking good pictures, let me know and join the conversation below.
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