We all have them, some more than others, but one thing we all have in common is a desire to eliminate them. What I’m referring to are bad habits. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but in this video and article, I discuss the 9 worst habits that have negatively impacted my landscape photography over the years.
#1. Quick Edits
When I get back from a shoot I always download the images and back them up, but unfortunately I don’t stop there. My excitement usually gets the best of me and before I know it I’ve reviewed all the images, 5 starred my favorites and even placed a quick edit on many. I’m trying to get better at letting images rest for a day or so and then take a look with a “fresh” set of eyes.
#2. Single Lens Shooting
I often end up shooting the same composition over and over with subtle variations in camera settings. The problem is that I end up sticking with one lens as I don’t want to alter my composition. When this happens I feel as if I’m not maximizing my time at a given location and generally end up with a Lightroom folder that looks like this:
#3. Not Chimping Enough
I frequently hear how you should not chimp, but I think it depends on what you’re photographing. The idea behind the “just say no to chimping” movement is really predicated on photographing things that are unfolding quickly — sports, wildlife, weddings, etc. — but generally speaking, landscape photography is a bit slower. I say chimp more often and take advantage of the extra time you have. I can’t tell you how many issues I’ve uncovered by zooming into my images while on location.
#4. Avoiding “Bad” Weather
When I see rain and thunderstorms in the forecast, my immediate thought is to reschedule my shoot, but these conditions can produce rather dramatic images. Sure it’s a pain shooting in the rain, but your extra effort is usually rewarded with unique images.
#5. Lazy Lens Changing
This has to do with changing lenses while your camera is mounted to a tripod in order to avoid altering your composition. I do this all the time and end up leaving my sensor completely exposed to the elements as I reach down to grab another lens.
#6. Sleeping In
A rather common issue within the world of landscape photography. The sun rises early especially during the summer months and some days it’s just easier to hit the snooze button.
#7. Pixel Peeping
This is a tough one for me as I do this on every photo I edit – half the time I’m not even sure what I’m looking for. I consistently find myself zooming so far into an image that I can actually see individual pixels. I realize people don’t look at photos like that whether they’re online or printed, so why am I doing it?
#8. Fix it in Post
The habit that’s been nagging me the longest – this has to do with identifying distracting elements within your composition and rather than adjust your composition, you think, “I’ll just fix it in post”.
#9. Sensory Overload
The feeling of rushing around trying to quickly set up your composition when you arrive at a location. Sometimes I need to rush, but more often than not I have time before the “good light” arrives, but I constantly have to calm myself down, breath and take my time identifying the best composition. I usually operate better this way.
Those are my 9 worst habits in landscape photography — hopefully you’re not familiar with any of them as you’ll be in a much better position than me. What are your worst photography habits?
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About the author: Mark Denney is a landscape photographer based in North Carolina. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.