Why It Is Important To Do Your Own Mistakes In Photography

Go Ahead and Make Your Own Mistakes

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

― Albert Einstein

I was watching a video recently made by DigitalRev wherein Kai, one of the presenters, listed 25 clichéd photography ideas that a beginner photographer should not repeat. Halfway down the list and I was beginning to wonder whether there is any virtue in reading the remainder. It seemed to be systematically ticking off everything that a budding photographer would ever try to do. So no Bokeh, no zoom burst, and no sunset photos! Although, I am not a great admirer of using built-in filters, I love the odd waterfall photos. Kai seems to forbid everyone from shooting those as well!

photo credit: mccun934 via photopin cc
photo credit: mccun934
... and a better one. photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc
The better composition. photo credit: Thomas Hawk

Making Mistakes in Photography is an Essential Learning Process

Making mistakes and trying out clichéd things, is a necessary process to gain confidence in whatever you are trying to do. It is like learning the letters of the alphabet before you move on to more serious stuff and fumbling while doing so.

Once you have gained the confidence and mastered the basics of the art you can move on to the next higher stuff. When you do the clichéd stuffs and do something that may appear mistakes in the eyes of a professional consider yourself to be on the path to learning.

Related Post: Understanding White Balance
photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc
photo credit: CarbonNYC
Correct Use of Natural Light resulting in beautiful rim lighting. photo credit: lanuiop via photopin cc
Better use of Natural Light resulting in beautiful rim lighting. photo credit: lanuiop

Growing up, I always believed in making my own mistakes, that’s the only way, my teachers told me, that I could learn. Making mistakes in photography is no different. You always need to have a clear idea of both what is right and what is wrong. That way you know when you have done a mistake and can correct yourself without anyone having to point it you out to you. Of course it helps if there is someone to point you out if you’re about to jump off a cliff unknowingly!

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc
photo credit: kevin dooley
Better use of light and better composition. photo credit: Theophilos via photopin cc
Better use of light and better composition. photo credit: Theophilos

So, as strangely as it may seem, it is often the best option to give a camera to a beginner and ask him to shoot whatever he likes with no pointers whatsoever. When he has spent enough time with his camera, and in the process shot several thousand photos with it, sit with him and evaluate the photos. Only then will he ever realize what he has done wrong and be eager to learn how he can improve.

My List

While reading Kai’s list I decided to make a list of my own, but not about the clichéd photography ideas that you shouldn’t do, but about a list of ideas (which may be clichéd to some) that one ought to try out.

This list will follow this article, but I can give you a heads-up on what to expect. So without further ado here are the things that you can try out if you are a beginner photographer.

  1. Overexposures
  2. Optical Illusions
  3. Selfies
  4. Reflection photos
  5. Photographing Kids