Although we are usually encouraging readers to try new methods of shooting photos, we want to try to shed light on some of the most overhyped things in photography. While trends can be a fun way to experiment with photography, they can prevent you from shooting effectively and being creative when you use them too much.
Illuminating some of the most overrated advice will help you become a better photographer and avoid overhyped photography tricks and gimmicks. If you’re interested in learning about some of the most overhyped things in photography, keep reading!
1. Shooting in manual mode
This definitely considered as one of the more controversial photography opinions. Manual mode is beneficial to adjust your aperture, ISO, and shutter speed settings to the perfect degree. However, there is a narrative within the photography community that you have to shoot in manual mode if you want to take high-quality photographs, and shooting in other modes will compromise your photography (or mark you as an amateur). But this is far from the truth!
These photographers that shoot exclusively in manual mode would do well to remember that shooting in manual mode is a difficult skill to master, and shooting in manual can cause photographers who aren’t used to shooting this way to underexpose or overexpose their images. Moreover, it makes photography sessions more difficult as you have to constantly adjust your settings to the changing light – particularly if you’re shooting in natural light conditions, which can change fast.
Shooting in aperture priority mode is oftentimes a much more user-friendly mode to shoot in. With aperture priority mode you can select the aperture and ISO, meaning you have some control over the exposure triangle, but the camera will select the shutter speed for you making it far easier to adjust to changing conditions.
Remember, the aim is to take the best photograph you can, and you will achieve this by using the equipment you have in the best way possible. This may not mean shooting manual.
2. Full-frame camera superiority
When it comes to overhyped camera gear, full-frame cameras are up there. Full-frame cameras definitely yield beautiful results and many photographers love shooting images in 48 megapixels. However, we want to push back on the current rhetoric within the photography industry that if you want to be taken seriously as a professional photographer, you need to use a full-frame camera. This simply isn’t true.
For a long time, photographers have lauded full-frame cameras over and above cropped sensor cameras due to the low resolution, which can produce mediocre quality images. There was some credibility to this argument, but these days digital technology has vastly improved and digital sensor cameras tend to have at least 20 megapixels, if not more, making cropped sensor cameras comparable with many full-frames. While full-frame cameras on the market can have more than 50 megapixels, this kind of quality is superfluous for most photographers.
Of course, full-frame cameras are great, and beneficial to certain genres of photography, such as landscape photography, but we don’t need to encourage all photographers to invest in a full-frame camera to take great pictures. With the improved quality of cropped-sensor cameras nowadays, what camera you opt for is a personal preference.
Bokeh is a huge trend within the photography industry at the moment, but it is an overhyped photography technique. Bokeh is the soft out-of-focus blur effect you get when you open your aperture to f2.8 or wider, or by using a prime lens (or bokeh filter). The bokeh effect can be very beautiful when used in certain kinds of photos, but because of the trend, it is becoming overused.
Bokeh is not suitable for every kind of photo – while some portraits taken against busy backgrounds will benefit from blurring out the distractions, some portraits are enhanced by the background. When shooting with your aperture wide open you are bound to capture interesting details in your image that can enhance your composition and contribute to leading lines.
Moreover, the bokeh trend is driving many photographers to invest in expensive fast lenses. The photography community doesn’t have to be encouraging beginners to spend lots of money on fast lenses when you can achieve bokeh by changing your camera settings.
Don’t get us wrong, drone photography is an amazing development in the photography industry.
Drone photography is especially advantageous to the field of real estate photography, and landscape photography. Aerial shots are not only aesthetically pleasing but provide a variety of necessary angles, especially for property photography and videography.
However, it has become overhyped in the event photography and videography space, where these aerial shots don’t necessarily add anything to the event. Many recent weddings have made use of drones with weddings having slow-motion aerial shots which don’t suit the vibe of weddings and are much more suited to other uses.
As with all tools of the photographic trade, use it if it brings something to the table and enhances the end result. If it doesn’t, you’re better off without it.
5. Golden hour
Golden hour has become very popular recently, and it’s easy to understand why. In the age of smartphone photography and the popularity of Instagram, we all want to take good pictures. For the average smartphone user, golden hour is a blessing. You don’t need to be a skilful photographer to take a good photo as golden hour’s soft, directional lighting takes care of everything.
Because people who aren’t necessarily into photography can notice golden hour, many photographers have taken to it to increase their popularity, making the trend even bigger. Whilst golden hour photos look beautiful, the mainstream usage of it has led to a creative plateau in the photography industry. The lack of variety is not only creating golden hour fatigue, but it is also discouraging creativity. Because the light of the golden hour is so powerful it takes the pressure off the photographer to think about other elements of the photo such as composition, lines, and even story. Not to mention the lighting at other times of day can produce interesting and varied moods, such as blue hour, and even midday for harsh, moody lighting.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the top 5 overhyped things within the current photography industry – and we’d be interested to know if you agree – or disagree – with us (use the form below)!
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