I’m the first to admit I’m still learning all the time. However, I do wish I had known more when I began to shoot. Here is just a fraction of things I wish I had known the morning I went to buy my EOS.
#1. I wish I hadn’t bought a lot of “toys” just after buying my EOS. OK, I’m glad I bought my tripod, but I really didn’t need to turn my spare room into a studio. I have extra lights, muslin backdrops, a backdrop stand, all kinds of filters and an expensive flash. Really, the best “toy” I ever bought for my camera was a $100 50 mm lens. All the other additions were a waste. The following shot was taken with my 50 mm. It’s great for blurry backgrounds and for portraiture. I wish I had bought it in 2008 instead of 2013.
#2. I spent too much on my EOS. I could’ve saved $150 had I just waited for a sale. Of course, just like buying a computer, the best value can always be found “tomorrow.” In other words, they’re always coming out with a better product, and the quality constantly gets better.
#3. I should’ve learned more about Photoshop.
#4. I should’ve focused on the background just as much as the subject. By focusing entirely on the subject, I let some things slip into the background that I shouldn’t have… such as parked cars and the like. I’ll post an example of this mistake from my 2nd or 3rd shoot. Here is the following mistake I made… not a great background at all…
#5. I should have learned more about lighting. If doing indoor photography, lighting is extremely important. Reflectors are an awesome trick and can be made awfully cheap. I should’ve used test shots and learned more. Same with outdoors. Never shoot at Noon on a sunny day unless you want to have nasty shadows or if you have a good plan to avoid it. Indeed, many photographers like overcast days to shoot because the sunlight becomes irrelevant. I prefer shooting at sunrise and sunset for the best lighting. It took a while for me to learn… I still haven’t perfected this. Soft light of overcast days are really cool, and sunrise and sunset are also awesome. Still, I’m always learning.