Common Errors in Photographing Subjects

While you are trying to compose your photos through the viewfinder, and concentrating on focusing attention on your subject as we mentioned earlier, there are some things that might happen to make your photos not so good. Here are some (more) things to be aware of when taking a photograph with a digital or traditional camera.

Pictures that are cropped too close (see Nicole’s scrapbooking blog for more on this). This includes the famous (or infamous) shot of the family member with their head only partially in the frame of the shot. Nearly headless Nick needs to be in the Harry Potter world, and not in your photos. When looking through your viewfinder, or at your LCD screen, decide what it is that you want in the final photo. It is easier to crop a picture than to not have enough picture.

Unless you have a specific reason for doing so, don’t fill your photo with the subject. Leave some space on all four sides, in case you need to do some editing later. What you exclude from the picture while shooting cannot be added during printing or enlarging.

Also, be very careful with the background of your photos. Trees, especially, have a nasty habit of appearing out of nowhere, behind the subject, and look as if they are growing out of Aunt Sue’s head. Try moving slightly to the left or right to avoid this problem, or throw the background out of focus by using the selective focus technique.

Lucy the Bassett. Copyright William H. Hall III

Another problem is one that I have when photographing my Bassett Hound, or any dog, for that matter. If you get too close to the nose, it will appear to be overly large compared to the rest of the dog’s body. To avoid this, stay back from your dog, or use a telephoto lens, which will compress the foreground and background, making them appear closer to each other, thus solving the problem of the looonnnnggg laarrggee nose.

Unexposed areas of a picture is sometimes a problem. With today’s small digital cameras, it is easier than ever to get a finger or the camera strap into your photos. Unless it is a creative technique to include a finger in your photos, please be aware of where your digits are at all times. Loading your traditional camera’s film improperly will result in similar problem, as will leaving on a lens cap. Don’t laugh, it happens. But the more you are aware of these problems, the less they will happen, and the more time you can spend on being creative with your photography.

Go practice, and I’ll talk to you soon…