Photography is a huge part of life for a lot of people these days. So much so that a few bits of information swirling around the internet can really take on a life of their own when they may or may not be one hundred percent accurate or tell the whole truth. Today we're going to take a look at a few photography myths that still persist.
Pros Only Use Manual Mode
Yes, if they aren’t in a hurry, if the subject is completely stationary, if the light doesn’t change in the next couple of minutes, and if they don’t trust the camera to do simple meterings. That is basically 10-20% of the scenarios. Rest of the time, it is either shutter priority (usually sports/wildlife photographers where the shutter speed is crucial for the shot) or it is aperture priority (control the depth of field, have the camera figure out the shutter speed) for the vast majority of professionals.
I personally tend to use aperture priority mode, with the minimum shutter speed limited to twice the focal length, and the ISO set to Auto with the values limited from 100 to whatever I feel comfortable with for the situation. That way I know that the camera will lower the shutter speed accordingly preferring the minimum ISO possible; but when it needs to go lower than twice the focal length it will bump up the ISO to compensate.
It is not about bragging about using Manual, it is about knowing your camera and being able to make the most out of it. The camera is a tool, a medium which allows you to capture what you have envisioned, to be able to make it work for you as fast as possible with the best possible quality is the way the professionals do it.
You Need To Cover The Viewfinder For Long Exposure Due To Light Leaks
This is completely bogus. It has been tested over and over, and debunked on all occasions. And people still buy viewfinder caps, and do all sorts of makeshift contraptions to cover that eyepiece. The reality is, when the mirror is up, the only way for light to enter the camera is through the lens.
Yes, light entering the viewfinder can and on some occasion will confuse the light meter, but when you are doing long exposures, you don’t use the light meter anyway, so it is pointless to bother with it.
Photo by Holly Lay
There were one or two cameras a while back which had issues (a manufacturing error) where light entered the camera body through the viewfinder, but those cameras were pulled back off the shelves and the ones that reached the customers got replaced as well. So, no need to worry about covering the viewfinder; go ahead and have one less thing to worry about when you are out there shooting next time.
Don’t Fill The SD Card To The Max
With the early stages of SD cards, it was known that some SD cards might fail if they were filled to the maximum. That was more than 10 years ago. And even then it was a rare occurrence affecting the some of the cheaper cards. Nowadays that isn’t really a problem. I’ve always filled all of my cards to the max, and so far I’ve had only one card fail on me, and it failed because the plastic got old and brittle and it fell apart. The data was intact. SD cards are safe, they are good, no need to worry about them in the vast majority of circumstances.
Photo by Alejandro Gómez
Fill your card to the max if you want to, there is no issue with that. You should be more worried about fake cards, made by some low grade manufacturer. With those, anything can go wrong. Go with genuine Lexar, Kingston, SanDisk, and you have nothing to worry about. Just make sure it is really one of those brands, because knockoffs are quite common nowadays.
I Really Need That Expensive Monitor To Do Proper Edits
No, you don’t. You’ll need a solid monitor if you are making edits to be printed and you have an obsession with matching the colors with 100% accuracy between your monitor and the print. In actual fact, most average monitors with IPS panels will do just fine. You can calibrate it with the printer (if you own one) and it will print what you see with very good accuracy. I'd bet that most people won’t be able to notice the difference even at up to 5% deviation from the color/tone rendition.
Photo by DeclanTM
Fact is, printing paper and a monitor will never look the same. On the monitor you have light passing through crystal which renders the color, so basically the monitor shines at you. With paper, you have non luminescent surface which receives color, and then needs to be lit up by an external light source in order to be able to see the color/tone. Meaning, they render the picture in two very different ways. You can get pretty close, but that is as far as you can go.
What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast
It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.