The most recent cameras, and even the mobile phones of higher and middle ranges have managed to bring photography to billions of users around the world . In 2017, in fact, it is estimated that in 2017 they would have made about 1.2 billion photos, with 660,000 million made in 2013. Look everywhere you look, they are many photos.
Taking pictures, in addition, is very easy nowadays. Gone are the days when you had to use a tripod and a film reel and then reveal it and see how they were. These were times in which more attention was paid to photographic technique, mainly because a poorly made photo meant a loss of money on the reel, as well as the development . Not to mention that we run the risk of running out of photos of an event or a vacation. With digital cameras, capturing the moment means little more than pressing a button for a large majority of users. If it goes wrong, it becomes another and in peace.
That ease leads to a certain laziness when it comes to thinking about what we are doing, and on many occasions we find ourselves, when we are going to see the resulting photo, with many of the most common mistakes or enemies of photography : photos moved, photos burned or very dark, photos with noise, photos with a wrong angle or photos that simply do not go as expected. These are some of the “usual suspects” that make that, although it is very easy to press a button, it is not so easy to get the photo we want. If we do not face those enemies, no matter how many cameras we have, we will not take the photos we are looking for. Maybe “chiripa”, but not because we have planned the result.
If you use automatic mode, some of these “enemies” will also disappear automatically. But in return, we will be canceling the possibility of configuring the photographic parameters in a manual and creative way. Photos moved or poorly exposed, for example, will not be a problem in general, at the expense of getting more creative results.
How to avoid blurry photos
One of the usual mistakes when using a camera with manual controls, be it an SLR camera , advanced system CSC , or a mobile, is to try to adjust all the photographic parameters manually every time. The famous “M-Mode” can make us believe that we have achieved a degree of control of the advanced camera, but few professional photographers use M-mode outside the studio when they go out to take pictures . And even less adding the manual configuration of the ISO sensitivity.
Generally, if we set a low ISO sensitivity such as ISO 100 or ISO 200, the photos will go well when there is a good light such as a sunny day in an open space. But, as soon as the light falls, an ISO 100 along with an M mode will end up making the photos move . However much we open the diaphragm to values such as F3.5 or F2.8 or lower depending on the brightness of the optics, the shutter speed will have to be low for the exposure to be correct and the photo does not turn dark. And a low shutter speed, makes the photos move.
This effect manifests itself more as we “pull” zoom. The more zoomed, the more likely that the photo will be moved. The solution is to use the automatic ISO mode, letting the camera choose the optimum sensitivity for the aperture and shutter values that we have chosen and that are sufficient for there to be no problems with the trepidation.
In general, for street photography , fast and that does not make us have to invest a lot of time configuring the parameters of the camera, it is best to use the P mode , as well as the TAv mode or the S mode, where we only have to worry about one parameter or none.
How to avoid photos with bad exposure
Another enemy of the photos is the incorrect exposure. Or what is the same, that the photos go dark or burned . One of the most “silly” reasons for this to happen is that we have moved the exposure compensation control out of “0”. This control allows you to expose or underexpose the photo manually and is usually represented by a dial with the acronym “EV”. Positive values on expose (clarify) and negative values underexpose (make darker) the photos.
It is easier than it seems that this control moves out of zero. So be careful because you can find all the photos of the day very clear or very dark if you have not noticed this mismatch.
Another cause of poor exposure is using the wrong light measurement mode . The camera measures light in several different ways. Essentially of three: in a matrix mode taking measurements of light in dozens of points of the whole scene, in a specific way measuring the light in a single point, which is usually the center, or in a weighted way to the center, measuring the light also in the center, but “taking into account” an area of the central area wider than the point mode that, generally, only measures the light at a defined point.
If we are photographing scenes with a homogeneous light, the matrix mode will be optimal. But if the light is concentrated in one area and the rest is in shadow, or if the light areas are the majority and what we want to photograph is in a “small” area of the scene, the matrix mode will cause us to have overexposed photos and underexposed respectively.
The way to get rid of this enemy is to use a punctuated or weighted measurement mode at the center . In this case, we will have to “point” with the central point of the viewer to the area where the light that we are interested in, press the shutter halfway to block the exposure and then move the camera to get the frame that we want.
It is a technique that requires practice, but it is very effective.
The flash kills the darkness
Of course, we can use the flash to “fill in” the dark areas of a photo of, say, a sunset. It is a typical case: the light of the sky is abundant, but if we are photographing someone and we are using matrix measurement, it will come out in shadow (“backlit”). To avoid it we can use the flash to give light precisely to the person we are portraying, which will keep the sky well exposed and the person will see his face.
The effect of the flash is not always to everyone’s taste , but sometimes it is better than nothing.
How to avoid photos with noise
Current cameras have values for “bestial” ISO sensitivity. Sometimes we have ISOs of more than 100,000, being relatively usual to have ISOs of 12,800. Almost all cameras reach at least ISO 6,400. To raise this value is tempting: the higher it is, we will be able to take pictures in very low light conditions. Even in the dark.
On the screen of the camera we will see the photo and we can think that it has gone well, but when we see it on a computer or television screen, we will notice that the image is full of colored dots . The higher ISO, the more points of this type we will have. The colors will be distorted and off and the photo will be “dirty”.
To combat this enemy, the easiest thing is to keep the ISO values to 3,200 at most . If we have to use higher values and the camera is full-sized sensor, we can reach ISO 6,400 or even 12,800. For more “normal” cameras, ISO 3,200 is usually the limit. If we are forced to use higher values, we can pass the photo to black and white in an editor, which will, at least, eliminate the color, which will be “ugly” in general.
Photos with poor composition and framing
This enemy is independent of us using the automatic mode of the camera. It is an enemy that manifests itself in the form of photos that do not correspond to what we wanted to take out of them.
Composition and framing are nothing more than a way of designating the ability to make what we see with our eyes and get our attention “inside” the photo and everything else is out. And that what we “put” in the photo is in the right place . For example, if we are taking pictures on the street and we have a lighting lamp, just by moving a few inches, we can generally make that point of light that (generally) bothers, stays behind a tree or a building.
If we are taking pictures of the street with traffic, just waiting for a traffic light to turn red, we will be eliminating practically all cars, vans and trucks from the scene. It is easy to be aware of the statue or the building or the person we are photographing, ignoring the rest. But when we see the photo later, we will be disturbed by those elements that we ignored at the moment of pressing the shutter button.
It is convenient to look at the corners of the screen and the viewfinder in addition to the center. And decide in each case what bothers us and what does not . By changing the zoom slightly, or moving a few meters or centimeters, we can take a completely different picture.
It is also important to maintain horizontality or verticality. If we have a beach with a well defined horizon line, it is perfectly horizontal. Or vertical in the case of a vertical structure . And if it is inclined, it is preferable that it is much that it is not. We perceive slight deviations with more “discomfort” sometimes than large ones.
Photos with the wrong angle: how to choose the right one
The cameras usually have zooms capable of making us capture from a landscape to the detail of a distant building . That is to say, the cameras usually come with optics that allow to capture scenes with wide viewing angles (wide angle) or with closed viewing angles (tele). The objectives are defined by their focal distance. The shorter it is, the more angle of vision we have in the photo (wider angle). The longer the focal length, the less angle of vision we will have (telephoto). Generally we have optics that go from 24 mm to 70 mm or 105 mm. Above, we have the telephoto lenses that are characterized by being remarkably long.
Sometimes, we use the wrong angle and that manifests itself in photos that do not represent the scene we want to capture. A wide angle is indicated for scenes of landscapes or to capture especially large urban spaces or to give the photo a peculiar aesthetics that is given by the geometric deformation typical of large angles . The vanishing point is very marked and the objects are deformed in the parts outside the central zone. Therefore, portraits of people are not indicated for large angles unless we know what we want to do.
The telephoto lenses, unlike what happens with the wide-angle, barely deform the geometry and flatten the perspective . They are indicated for architecture or portrait photos if we use a TV between 70 mm and 100 mm. Of course, they are the optimal choice for photographing distant scenes. If you go to Kenya for a safari, you will not do anything without a 300 mm or a 400 mm.
There are more friends than enemies
All in all, the cameras are great friends for anyone with minimal creative concerns. Capturing what we see is a magical process. Imagine depending only on our memory to remember what we have lived. The memories are great and have an emotional value that the photos do not have. But a good photo is an extraordinary help for the memory .
The enemies we have described above will not bother us unless we think about what we are doing . It is about paying attention and having a minimum control over the photographic parameters.
Canon EOS 4000D
The Canon EOS 4000D combines the quality of a large sensor APS-C with a very low price. It has 18 Mpx with a lens of 18 – 55 mm which also comes with a 16 GB memory card, bag and storage in the Irista cloud of 100 GB. It weighs less than 500 grams and has a restrained size and also has WiFi connection to pass the photos to the mobile without a computer.
This mirrorless camera combines an APS-C size sensor with the size of a compact camera and a very attractive retro aesthetic. It has 24.2 Mpx and an optics of 15 – 45 mm with which we have from a wide angle to a TV apt for portraits. It has a flip-down LCD touch screen with full manual control over the image parameters.
Sony Alpha 7
This mirrorless CSC (EVIL) camera carries an excellent 24.3 Mpx full-size CMOS sensor with an XGA OLED electronic viewfinder and body image stabilizer. It is a camera that enters within the league of semiprofessional cameras, although with an excellent size and weight for everyday use.
The optics is 28 – 70 mm, interchangeable as in all CSC / EVIL cameras. The ISO sensitivity reaches 25,600, with a robust and resistant construction thanks to the use of technical materials such as magnesium alloy.
National Geographic Explorer 4
Sports cameras are focused on video especially, but they can capture photos as well. Capture video up to 4K and photos of 16 Mpx. It has an image stabilizer and is submersible up to 30 meters. The optics is super wide-angle type with 170 degrees of viewing angle.
It has a 2.45 “touch screen and accessories to mount the camera in different vehicles or supports. He specializes in sports and can connect with a smartphone or tablet to share images or remotely control the camera.
Panasonic Lumix FZ82
This compact camera has a sensor of 18.1 Mpx and an optics that goes no less from 20 mm to 1,200 mm. It is a very wide angle and an extreme zoom with which we can take pictures of very distant scenes and even the Moon and with luck and a clear sky even of other stars as the planets with some degree of success.
It records 4K video and takes 8 Mpx photos at the same time and has a 3 “touch screen. It weighs just over 600 grams and you can not change the optics, though. Although it is not likely that we need any other in view of the one that leads. Yes, The size of the sensor is not as large as in previous cameras.
Huawei P20 Pro
The mobiles are improving immensely in this to take pictures. The Huawei P20 Pro is the first (with the exception of past trials in which the terminal size and weight were incompatible with mobility) with a 3x / 5x zoom through the use of three rear cameras.
It has a 40 Mpz sensor for photos with a “normal” angle, a 20 Mpx monochrome sensor with extraordinary sharpness and an 8 Mpx sensor for the 3x / 5x hybrid zoom. And all this in the size of a mobile that we can carry everywhere.