How To Correct Your Photography Mistakes

Want to improve the number of good shots you get? If you are consistently having trouble in getting the shots you want read on to find solutions to the most commonly experienced problems of photography.

Out of Focus Again

It’s not always your fault if your photos are blurry, sometimes the auto focus doesn’t perform as you wish. Remember, your eye is not the eye of the camera, it may be focusing elsewhere than you are. If you move the camera after focusing without refocusing you can wind up with fuzzy images as well.

Don’t Shake the Camera!

Shaky hands or an exposure that is too long results in shaking the camera. In order to offset this you can shorten the exposure time or change the shutter speed. You can always change your ISO number if you would prefer not to change the aperture. While a higher ISO is noisy, is certainly better than a shaken photo caused by too long an exposure time. If available, use a tripod or simply look for a sturdy flat surface where you can either rest your arm or the camera. It can do miracles.

For more information, please see the article on “Proven Ways to Reduce Camera Shake.”

Photographs with Motion Blur

When you photograph a moving object using too long an exposure your will wind up with a blur. The only way to avoid this is to use a faster shutter speed.

Contrast in the Extreme

In certain situations the sensor can’t determine the whole light spectrum and therefore you wind up with incorrect exposure. The three choices in this situation are to use a graduated ND filter in order to obtain the proper exposure or choose a certain element of the scene to expose properly or handle the problem in post-production.

Too Little Contrast

If you are photographing with poor lighting or in certain settings you may experience low contrast. Changing the black and white point with the adjustment layer levels in Photoshop is a simple remedy to this issue

Lens Flare Prevention

When the lens picks up stray light, it creates a lens flare. A lens hood is your best method to block out this extraneous light. Generally the cheaper the lens the uglier the flare, but using a hood will lessen the likelihood of a flare, even with quality lenses.

Double Light Prevention

When using a cheaper lens in a low light setting you may experience the appearance of double lights. When shooting in the evening or in a dimly lit interior, removing the UV filter can decrease this effect.

Dealing with Underexposure

Underexposure is often the result of too low ISO, too small an aperture, or too fast shutter speed. It can occur from a combination of any of the three also. If you are dealing with underexposure it means there’s little light reaching the sensor and exposure settings need to be adjusted

Dealing with Overexposure

The opposite of underexposure holds true here. In this case, there is an extra amount of light reaching the sensor and you need to set the shutter speed faster, small aperture settings, or values such as 100 for your ISO setting. Any and all of these factors will allow you get a photograph that’s correctly exposed.

Corner Darkness

When the center of the photo is the only thing lit by the flash or when there is uneven lighting on the sensor you get dark corners in a photograph. These are known as vignettes.

This effect occurs at the largest aperture setting. This problem can be resolved by lessening the aperture setting, evening out the distribution.

Distortion from the Lens

When photographing with a wide-angle lens you may experience this problem. Generally, the distortion is created by lenses that are wider than 50mm – to be frank, the effect becomes visible somewhere under 35mm. If you are aiming the camera up and are positioned near the object, these distortions will be seen much more readily. This is especially true when photographing an object with straight lines. You need to step back from the object or change to a smaller angle lens.

Skewing the Horizon

If you hold the camera lopsided or the set the tripod up unevenly you will have a skewed horizon. On certain DSLR cameras you can install a focusing screen that features guidelines. Or if you edit your photos afterwards you can fix the problem by shifting the image, but your picture will lose some of its sides.


This common problem happens because the flash is so close to your lens on most every camera. Use of an external flash will prevent red eye., because the light will bounce off the ceiling or a wall instead of the subject’s eyes

Noisy Photos

Long exposure or a higher ISO can cause this to happen. Using a small ISO number will reduce noise. Software such as Adobe Photoshop or Noise Ninja can remove noise from a picture but detail will be removed as well.

Yellow- or Orange-tinted Photos

The problem is the camera thinks you are outside and has imposed orange tones as an offset. If you’re photographing in RAW you can simply change the balance of white to correct the problem. Otherwise without RAW, check your camera for auto, custom, or the white balance setting for outside and inside. Or the problem may be that your flash bounced off an orange surface, which can be eliminated by bouncing the flash at an earthy-colored surface.

Half Black Photo

If the flash is out of sync with the shutter the photos will be partially black. While this is less of a problem now, old flashes may still result in this problem. A different shutter speed--either 1/125 and 1/60—or a new flash will fix this problem.

Purple Fringing

Visible purple edges around an object or green edges across from the object are an optical effect called chromatic aberration. You will find this effect in strong-contrast situations, such as a dark object on snow-covered ground. The longer the range of a zoom lens the worse the problem. Use of a smaller aperture will help eliminate the problem.

Sensor Dust

Ever see gray spots on your photos? The culprit is sensor dust. If you keep your equipment clean and free of dust you won’t have this problem. But be careful because cleaning the sensitive sensor is risky. There are people who professionally clean sensor if you choose to use one rather than take chances yourself.