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5 Common Photography Mistakes and How to Fix Them

5 Common Photography Mistakes and How to Fix Them

You may not be a professional photographer, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take pictures that look just as amazing? There are ways to do so with a little know-how. Having the ability to take ideal images the first time around, rather than spending time retaking and re-uploading, only to settle for mediocrity can be frustrating. When it comes to how you approach photography, you may be making fairly simple mistakes that you are simply not aware of. Here are five common photography mistakes and how to fix them.

Distorted Photos

You may find that when you upload your photos that they have a distorted look to them. This is because the lens is placed at the widest setting, and oftentimes a wide-angle setting is considered a default setting. When taking portraits, the image will need to be higher than it is wide. When a wide-angle lens is set at default, especially when the subject is taken up close, it can be very unflattering.

Depending on your camera, you may have a portrait setting, or you can simply zoom in to create more of a flattened perspective. If you are using a compact camera that features a digital zoom, zooming in too closely can reduce your image quality. Either move closer to your subject or zoom in only partially to capture the best portrait photos.

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Motion-Blurred Photos

There is a trick to taking crisp, clean photos, even if you don’t have a tripod. Any shake to the camera can cause a distraction and the results will show in the blurry photos you take. Fortunately, a high-quality camera is equipped with the technology to keep camera shake nonexistent, but even if you don’t have the newest in technology, you can make it happen on your own.

Just be sure to raise your shutter speed, keep the camera very still when you take the picture, press the button to activate the shutter, but only press it halfway.[1] This will make the camera lock focus. Also, be sure the object you are taking a picture of isn’t moving, and if it is, then adjust and enable the autofocus feature, which many cameras have. If your camera has a continuous autofocus to capture moving images, this will be an ideal feature to use if your subject is moving.

Red-Eye

Many know the frustration of taking multiple pictures of an event or holiday gathering only to later see your loved ones with glowing, red eyes. Yes, there are picture editing programs to help diminish the red eye; however, sometimes your subjects end up with a tiny black square in the middle of their pupils. In order to avoid having red eye in the first place, you need to avoid having the light from the flash reflect from the eyes and back to the lens.

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This is done by having your subjects look just a little away you’re your camera, rather than straight into the lens. They can look a little off to the side or at the wall behind you. If the angle is larger away from the camera lens, red eye can be avoided. Fortunately, many advanced cameras, or even today’s point and shoot cameras have automatic red eye reduction. Just be sure you know your camera and know how to activate the feature.

No Clear Subject in the Photo

Focus on your subject. Improper focus is one of the reasons why your photos are not sharp.[2] Often, when we snap pictures of people, animals, or objects, we know what we are looking at when we take the image. We also know what we want people to see. However, once the picture is uploaded and others view it, their eyes may be tempted to look at other things in the image, rather than the one thing you focused on. How we see our important subjects in our photos is not how the camera may capture them.

Here is what you can do to ensure you are taking a picture of the one person or thing you want people (or yourself) to notice the most.

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  1. First, get closer.
  2. Avoid trying to capture everything in one photo by standing too far away.
  3. When you move closer to the object or person, look at the background and the sides through your camera and pay attention to what is in the viewfinder.

Too much distraction will take away from the one person or thing you are focused on and want others to focus on once the picture is uploaded.

Not Knowing Your Camera

Every camera has differences and similarities and it is important to know what to look for when buying a camera and understand what each feature entails and how it can work for you in terms of better picture quality. Taking the time to thoroughly read the manual, researching what terms you don’t understand, and practicing taking images by using each feature will really help in the long run. Performing these actions will also give you more confidence when capturing those all-important images without becoming frustrated with less than desirable results.

Taking ideal images, even when starting out with a new camera, takes a little patience, time, and practice. It can be done, though, and it will be time well spent, as you will reap the rewards of having amazing photographs for years to come!

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Featured photo credit: Benjamin Combs via unsplash.com

Reference

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Beth Hedrick

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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