Camera Mistake No. 5: Spot metering still on
A camera’s spot meter can be extremely useful because it lets you take very precise light measurements from small areas within the scene and ensure that your subject is correctly exposed.
However, if you leave it on and pick up your camera expecting the general purpose Evaluative, Matrix or Multi-zone system to be in action you are likely to get some very varied exposures.
If the metering spot (which may be linked to the AF point) falls over a very bright area the camera will reduce the exposure so that you get a very dark image and if it falls over a very dark part of the scene you will get a very light image.
The obvious way to avoid this situation from arising is to try to remember to switch the camera to the metering setting that you normally use before you put it away, but that’s easier said than done.
If you find that the camera is saying that the image will be correctly exposed, but the results look very wrong, check that the metering isn’t set to spot metering.
SEE MORE: When to use spot metering
Camera Mistake No. 6: Memory card full
The comparatively low price of memory means that we can now afford larger capacity cards, but this can lull us into a false sense of security.
Eventually, if you don’t clear the card you will run out of space.
This situation is slightly less problematic than having a flat battery as memory cards, especially the SD variety are widely available on sale, but if you’re miles from the shops that’s not much comfort.
It’s also bad practice to walk around with a collection of cards that are full with images.
Those cards are small and easy to misplace and it’s easy to lose track of which images have been downloaded and which haven’t.
The solution is to get into a routine of downloading your images (and backing them up to a second hard drive) as soon as possible after a shoot and then formatting the card in-camera so that all the images are erased and the card is ready for use next time.
Best camera focus techniques: 10 surefire ways to get sharp photos
Full frame sensor size explained: how to exploit its advantages and cool effects
Spot Metering: how to find the right area of a scene
Creative spot metering: how professionals expose in high-contrast coditions
Camera angles: 5 ways to add impact from unusual perspectives