Breaking bad photo habits: 10 classic blunders and easy ways to improve

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It’s easy to fall into bad habits, and by definition they are annoying. She may not be able to help you stop biting your nails, tailgating or knuckle cracking, but Angela Nicholson, our head of testing continues her ongoing series on avoiding classic camera mistakes by offering some advice about breaking bad photo habits to help you create more interesting images. So kick the spoilers out of your portfolio and use these tips to start boosting your hit rate!

Breaking bad photo habits: 01 Lens hood on the wrong way round

Remove lens flare: Step 1

I see this on an almost daily basis and it drives me mad. A lens hood is designed to do for your lens what the peak on your cap does for your eyes, create shade across the front element making it easier for the camera to see its target and preventing flare.

If light is allowed to pass across the front element of your lens it can bounce around inside the barrel giving the autofocus system problems, reducing image contrast and introducing hotspots in your shot. It’s generally bad news.

If you’ve gone to the effort of taking your lens hood out with you (and you should), turn it the right way round so that it extends out in front of the optic creating shade.

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Breaking bad photo habits: 02 Composing post capture

Step by step how to crop pictures to fix your composition: step 1

Is very easy to slip into the habit of cropping images post-capture.

While there’s no harm in improving image composition by cropping, you generally produce much better shots if you think about framing before pressing the shutter release.

Square images, for example, often work well when there’s a symmetrical composition and the best way to ensure this is to have it in mind when you’re taking the photograph.

Try to shoot with the crop in mind.

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