7 photography myths busted

First published:
September 12, 2022
February 6, 2024

7 photography myths busted

First published:
September 12, 2022
February 6, 2024

Young traveler on holiday by Jaromir Chalabala

Do you have a habit of blaming your camera? In this article, I dispel 7 common photography myths

Like anything in today’s world, there are various myths circling around when it comes to photography. But they are not true and the sooner you can move away from believing these myths the better your photography will be for it.

1 A better camera means better photos

Fox with Nikon camera. Photo by Nico Garstman - f/8 | ISO 400 | 1/160s

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard newbie photographers say the words “if I had a better camera, I would take better photos”. There’s no denying the fact that a better camera will give you better quality photos. By quality, I mean higher resolution, bigger size, and more dynamic range. But what it can’t do is make your composition better or make you be able to spot potential photo opportunities.

A poorly composed photo that isn’t taken at the right shutter speed and aperture will still not look great even if it’s taken by the most advanced camera. And vice versa, even a smartphone can take amazing photos. So, worry less about your camera gear and instead focus on improving your photography with whatever camera you have with you.

2 Editing is cheating

Camera and SD Cards on Laptop. Photo by James Barton - f/14 | ISO 100 | 1/160s

From my experience, most of the people who use this phrase do so as an excuse because they don’t know how to use editing software effectively. Every single photo will benefit from some level of editing. This might just be as simple as straightening a photo or adjusting the white balance. Some photos will require more extensive editing but either way, subtlety is always the key when it comes to editing.

How much you want to edit will ultimately come down to personal preference and the photo itself. But one thing is for sure, editing isn’t cheating. It has been part of photography since the days of film, and is just a way for a photographer to be able to realise their vision for the image that they took.

3 You can’t take photos in the wrong light

Abandoned west pier. Photo by Jaromir Chalabala - f/20 | ISO 100 | 12s

Light is one of the key components of a great photo. Even the most mundane scene can be transformed with amazing light. So, I can’t understand why people feel like they can’t take photos in the wrong light. And as much as we would all love to have great light every time we shoot, in reality, that won’t always be the case. So, as a photographer, you need to learn how to utilise the conditions to be able to capture photos.

Always keep in mind that what is considered bad light for one type of photography, will be perfect for another. For example, cloudy weather might not be great for landscape photography, but it will be perfect for taking portraits and for food photography.

4 You should always follow the photography rules

Kirkjufell reflection. Photo by primpaul

I was recently speaking to an amateur photographer who said that they never take a photo that didn’t adhere to one of the photography rules. Things like the rule of thirds or the golden ratio are wonderful compositional aids and more often than not can enhance a photo. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take photos that don’t fall into one of these rules.

Sometimes, breaking the rules can help you end up with great photos so don’t be afraid to break the photography rules when you need to for a photo. You may just be surprised by the results.

5 Attending a workshop is a waste of money

Ghosts at sunset. Photo by Rob

In all my years of running photography workshops, I’ve never come across anyone who has regretted attending one after doing so. A photography workshop is not only a great way to immerse yourself into photography for a period of time or to practice and learn from a tutor, but it is also a chance to meet like-minded individuals who share the same passion as you.

A good workshop is an opportunity for you to learn and practice with the help of a professional photographer. The key is to find a workshop that matches your needs in what you are wanting to improve.

6 Photography is all about luck

Photographing the universe. Photo by Oliver Pearce

To be really honest, sometimes there can be an element of luck when it comes to great photos. After all, if you have a fleeting moment like in wildlife or street photography, you can’t plan that in advance. But having said that, the vast majority of great photos, come about from research and careful planning by the photographer.

This may even include having to visit the location or venue in advance to decide the best time to take photos. Or it may involve having to keep returning to the same location over and over again until the conditions are right. So, always research and plan your shoots and if you get lucky along the way, consider it a bonus.

7 Just set your camera to auto

DSLR. Photo by 360photography

I can never understand why someone will spend a lot of money on a high-end camera and then just set it to auto all the time. Sure, setting your camera to auto every now and again is fine. But the issue with leaving your camera on auto all the time is that you are then just relying on the camera to make all the right decisions. Which doesn’t always happen. The camera may raise your ISO too high unnecessarily or give you a wide aperture when you want a longer depth of field.

The other issue with setting your camera to auto is that you won’t actually have to learn about the different elements that make up a photo and how changing them can have an effect on the outcome. So, don’t be lazy, try to utilise your camera manually as much as possible. Not only will you learn more but you’ll also have far greater control over your photos as well.

Finishing thoughts

Hopefully, this article quashes some of the common myths that circulate around photography. So remember to not pay too much attention to them and focus on improving your work instead.

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