10 Common Myths About Photography
Whether you are picking up a camera for the first time or have been shooting for a while, it is fun to read and learn as much as you can about photography. You may or may not have come across these popular myths in your search about photography, but it is my goal to shed a new light on them.
Many of these myths I dispelled with my own experiences and as for others — I am just waiting for the right time and place to practice. I did not become a good photographer overnight, and trust me there are many days that I shoot and I still end up with multiple photos I cannot use. However, I keep shooting because the photos keep getting better and I get rewarded with some absolutely stunning photos.
The pictures in this article are all mine and with the exception of the lightning strike photo, none of them have been altered. I just started shooting photography a year ago as a hobby and have become increasingly better just through reading and constant practice. I am still a beginner photographer, yet I have come to capture some really amazing photos.
Photography Myths and Facts:
- Myth #1: Photography takes you away from the action.
Fact: Many people came to me saying that photography was a waste of my time and that I would miss out on what was going on around me if I stopped to take so many photos. My response to that is simple, with photography I get to become more involved with my environment. I get to see things many people over look simply because I am engaging in my environment and looking for the perfect photo opportunities. Most of all, photography gets you out of the house and into the sunshine where most everyday living happens.
- Myth #2: You need a degree in photography.
Fact: A master's in fine arts is not necessary to create and shoot some excellent photos. To become an advanced photographer all you need to do is learn the basics and pick up a camera and start shooting. You will fail, but it's from the failures that all great photographers have acquired the knowledge and experience to create some truly stunning photography.
- Myth #3: Photography is too technical and difficult.
Fact: Most books about photography are overly technical and have a bias toward shooting in manual mode, when in fact you can actually shoot great photos in a semi-automatic mode. Learning and understanding a few simple tips will allow you to shoot and capture good quality photos with any camera, expensive or not.
- Myth #4: You don't need to learn anything--the camera will do it all for you.
Fact: It is tempting to think the camera is responsible for great photos considering it can flash, focus, and expose all on its own. However, it is up to you to create the perfect photo.The camera may be able to do all of those things on its own, but it is still necessary and extremely helpful to learn about and experiment with your camera and each of its unique settings.
- Myth #5: You need an expensive camera.
Fact: Although an expensive camera makes it easier and greatly increases your likelihood of capturing breathtaking photos it is not necessary. You can make the most of any camera by adjusting settings and learning everything you can about the tips and tricks to your specific camera. Many cameras will have limitations on what they are capable of producing, but you can still make great photos with your current camera.
- Myth #6: Cloudy and rainy days are not good for photography.
Fact: Subjects such as landscapes, clouds, flowers, and portraits are some of the best to photograph on overcast days. The reason overcast days work so nicely are due to the lack of shadows and contrast. Without the sun's blazing bright rays you don't have to worry about harsh shadows casting over or darkening the subject you are trying to photograph.
- Myth #7: Photographing lightning requires special gear or quick reflexes.
Fact: Taking lightning photos is simply a matter of setting your camera with long shutter speeds and a bit of patience. You can also try using the fireworks mode which will let in more light and turn off the flash. Firework mode also has a a slow shutter speed, so it may be essential to use a tripod when in fireworks mode to keep the picture from blurring.
- Myth #8: Great wildlife shots require expensive cross country trips.
Fact: I have seen and have taken some really great wildlife shots right in my own backyard. It is also possible to capture beautiful photos of wildlife in zoos. The key is to eliminate what you can of the man made structures. You can do this by getting as close as possible to the glass and by shutting the flash off to ensure there is no reflection or glare.
- Myth #9: Flash is best for indoor photos and photos taken at night.
Fact: One of the best uses for camera flash is outside. Why? Inside and at night there are too many shadows, and using the flash only enhances and darkens the shadows that already exist. Whereas using the flash outside during the day creates less shadows by filling in the shades and shadows from the sunlight. Coupling the flash with a bright sunlit day will give you an improved photo by reducing the amount of shadows.
- Myth #10: Great photographers are born artists.
Fact: Anyone can develop an eye and talent for photography through practice and paying attention to detail. When I started out I had blurry photos and people missing heads and legs or even arms. Through practice, reading, learning, and understanding I have become a much better photographer and actually enjoy going out and capturing some great photos.
Photography is about capturing life as it happens and getting out there and appreciating nature. Getting great shots is not about software, cameras, or even luck, but rather being in the right place at the right time to catch the moments as they happen. Being ready and knowledgeable when the opportunity presents itself will ensure that you take the best possible photos you can.
© 2012 Cholee Clay