The final part of my simplified photography common mistakes lesson is based on a series of lessons I taught for two years to teens.
What’s wrong with this photo?
Backlight, underexposed. Two things are going on here. The subject is underexposed due to backlight coming from the sun and the sky is overexposed. This is the most common mistake I see new photographers make when taking photos. We tend to not notice the background when we are untrained even if a big bright ball of light is there.
The best solution is to move your subject but be careful not to have the bright light in their face so that they squint. A nice shady spot is the best. If you aren’t dealing with people you will have to move you or wait till a different time of day to get rid of the backlight. You can expose for the darker subject but your sky will be washed out. You can also try a fill flash for your subject but you already know how I feel about flash use.
What is the problem with this photo?
Lack of focal point. What is the point of this photo? The garden? The house? The swingset? The kid? You just can’t tell what the point of this photo is supposed to be. New photographers tend to take wider shots than they need to when starting out.
The focal point is a very important thing to know. It’s the reason for your photo. In this case the model. You must know why you are taking a photo and crop close to control the eye of the viewer. Eliminate distractions and control the eye.
Next time we will talk about basic composition.