Should I consider myself a bad photographer? Time to talk

As a beginner photographer, you are probably wondering why your photos don't turn out as exceptional as you thought. You probably had this idea of taking outstanding photos of the sunset, freezing moving objects, and creating beautiful portraits that would see several journals and magazines blowing up your phone to get a drop of your magic. However, here you are, with a few good photos and a thousand blurry photos. You probably feel like giving up. However, before you write yourself off as a bad photographer, let's talk.

It is normal to go through this phase when starting out on photography. Just like all other forms of art, photography requires practice and patience. At the start, all these professional photographers definitely took shots they cannot be proud of right now. So, you are definitely not a bad photographer; you just need time.

Film cameras vs Digital Cameras

Allow me to take you down memory lane to show you how privileged you are in this era of digital and mirrorless cameras. You will see that if previous photographers managed to come up with such amazing shots, then you are not in any way limited. I am guessing that you have your camera right now. If not, you probably know a thing or two about cameras, and in that case, you have heard about ISO. Now, back when people used film cameras, you had to get an ISO film depending on the time and lighting conditions you wanted to explore.

In case this is your first interaction with ISO, it stands for International Standard organization. The ISO is the standard for light sensitivity. A low ISO number like 100 means low light sensitivity. Low ISOs, therefore, require a lot of light for correct exposure. Higher ISO numbers, such as 1600 or 800, have high light sensitivity and therefore need relatively low light for exposure. Now in the era of film cameras, one had to have all this in mind lest you ended up with a less or over-exposed photo.

Things, however, changed in the wake of digital and mirrorless cameras, just like yours. Modern cameras have an ISO capacity of up to 51200, which makes taking night shots really easy. Even though higher ISOs are associated with noise, the picture quality is still largely outstanding as compared to the film cameras.

You might also be beating up yourself for taking low-quality pics without knowing that perhaps you are not the problem. You probably wanted all the color and haze in your photos and ended up disappointed. Do not beat yourself up; it might have been the sensor. Let me still take you back a bit before we come back to the sensor issue.

Now, different film companies had their film making formulas. The most common film companies back then were Kodak and Fuji. To be safe, you had to buy as many rolls of films as possible because the future was pretty unpredictable- you could wake up one day and discover that Kodak had changed their formula or Fuji had come up with an entirely different formula.

Also, after taking your shots, your films had to be developed, which was another hard part. You, therefore, had to have a place where your film was to be developed. What does this mean? For quality pics, you couldn't take your Kodak films to a Fuji film developer. I don't know if you can feel the struggle.

Is it your camera?

In the wake of digital cameras; however, there are still certain obstacles that might make you feel inadequate. Remember, I am not trying to discourage you. I only need to open you up to reality and help you see the things that might be affecting your craft before you decide that it is all on you.

Color cast
Now, different cameras have different sensors, and these sensors are not created equally. This does not even involve the type or brand of your camera. Therefore, before you give up, have in mind that at times it is not you; it is the sensor. You see, your camera's sensor is made in such a way that it captures the spec your camera manufacturer wishes them to, and therefore most of the time, you will find your images having a little bit of untrue colors.

This common problem is known as color cast. I know you are pretty new to this, and therefore you might not have an idea what it is. Color cast occurs when your image has colors that are not true to life. It is brought about by many things, but the most common is a poor white balance, which usually occurs when you set the white balance to auto while shooting (which I think is pretty common with beginners).

If this is a problem you are facing with your photography, do not give up. There is a way of correcting this. If you cannot adjust the white balance on your camera, you could still use other image editing software such as Adobe Lightroom, which, as you will learn, is one of the most trusted. I hope you now see that all the problems you have with your photos are not entirely on you. The reason why you have to edit your images to give them a more natural look may be because of the sensors. You should not, therefore, beat yourself.

In case you do not believe that your camera's sensor cannot contribute to your quality of images, try switching manufacturers. It will dawn on you that different manufacturers have different sensors for their cameras.

The problem might also be your lens. You might have done everything you need to do as a photographer, but if you do not pair your camera body with the right lenses, you are going to end up with inferior images. For lenses, there are two main types. We have the prime lens and the zoom lens. Others also call the zoom lens telephoto lens. Now, I can tell you that prime lenses have sharper images than the zoom lens only that you have to move a lot.

Make sure that you pair your camera with the correct lens. One popular question that people ask is whether the kit lens can serve you just fine. Well, this depends on the quality of images you want, but for anything serious or professional, you can never bank on the kit lens. You also need to know that your lens has a sweet spot. Make sure that you get to learn what yours is.

Camera body

Like it or not, your camera body will affect your shooting. Remember, how you hold your camera counts, and most photography classes start with teaching this phenomenon-how to hold a camera. Therefore, make sure that your camera fits well in your hand if you are going to bank on hand-held photography.

You also need to ask yourself whether your camera is dust-proof or not. You do not want the dust interfering with your sensor or lenses, making you end up with inferior pictures. The same applies to water too. Is your camera waterproof or not? If not, you could make a few adjustments here and there.

What therefore are some of the things you should do to thrive in photography?

Be proactive
It pays to be proactive about your equipment and overall photography. Remember, anybody can be a good photographer, and it does not matter whether it is your first camera or not. Learn more about your camera and accept challenges.

Do not stress yourself

Photography is something that requires learning. Therefore, learn to be patient with yourself. Do not beat yourself up if you cannot hack a technique or two. Always remember that even the most famous photographers were once beginners. Once you have an unburdened heart, you will be willing to learn. When starting out, my editing skills were not as good, and I was too hard on myself. I even stopped commercial photography because I was consumed by a lot of self-loath. Looking back, I think that I should have handled the situation differently and showed myself some love.
Make sure therefore that as a photographer be happy hobby enjoy your hobby.

Learn to network
There are so many photographers out there. There are people with good hearts too. Some will be willing to take you through it all since they also started like you. Ensure, therefore, that you talk about cameras, share ideas, and create friendships with other photographers.

Learn photo editing and make it fun

Photography does not end at the click of the camera. The work starts during editing. With the correct settings, one can easily take a photo. However, what sets photographers apart in the profession is photo editing skills. Therefore, make sure that you invest in photo editing. You will get to correct the white balance, blemishes, the gray areas, among many other things for quality work.

You are not a bad photographer. You just haven't been patient with yourself. I hope that this article has shown you some light and given you hope if you were on the verge of giving up. With digital and mirrorless cameras, you are already in a better place already. Photography is a skill. Learn it; enjoy it! One day you will look back and feel sorry for being too hard on yourself.

Derek Wolf