All photographers, pros and amateurs alike, capture disappointing images on occasion, because that’s how the creative process works. But if your images consistently miss the mark, it’s time to do things differently.
In the quick tutorial below, one of our favorite photo instructors discusses a handful of reasons for mediocre images. He then provides several simple fixes that will take your photography to the next level.
Finnish pro Peter Forsgard says many photographers spend too much time thinking about gear, and blame poor imagery on inadequate equipment. “If I had a better camera with more powerful features, or if I hadn’t left one of my lenses at home, I could have captured a great shot.”
Forsgard says that on rare occasions such excuses may be valid “but 99% of the time they’re not.” In fact, oftentimes carrying less equipment in the field enables you to concentrate on photographing the scene before you—instead of frantically digging through a bag full of lenses and missing a fleeting moment.
The next tip has to do with what Forsgard refers to as “would have, could have, should have photography.” Just like the best athletes have short memories, and immediately move on to the next play after a mistake, Forsgard says, “don’t concentrate on the images you miss and prepare for the next shot.”
Another common culprit is poor timing—not in terms of shutter speed, but rather waiting to make an image until the light is just right. “When comparing a great location with bad light vs. a bad location with great light, most likely the latter is much better.”
Forsgard also discusses the importance of quality vs. quantity, why a lack of purpose often results in poor images, and how enjoying the process of photography is essential for great work.
You can find more outdoor photography tips on Forsgard’s popular YouTube channel. And be sure to check out the tutorial we posted from another successful pro, with several simple tips for stunning cityscape photos.