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10 Common Myths About Photography


Whether you are picking up a camera for the first time or have been shooting for a while, it is fun to read and learn as much as you can about photography. You may or may not have come across these popular myths in your search about photography, but it is my goal to shed a new light on them.

Many of these myths I dispelled with my own experiences and as for others — I am just waiting for the right time and place to practice. I did not become a good photographer overnight, and trust me there are many days that I shoot and I still end up with multiple photos I cannot use. However, I keep shooting because the photos keep getting better and I get rewarded with some absolutely stunning photos.

The pictures in this article are all mine and with the exception of the lightning strike photo, none of them have been altered. I just started shooting photography a year ago as a hobby and have become increasingly better just through reading and constant practice. I am still a beginner photographer, yet I have come to capture some really amazing photos.

Photography Myths and Facts:

  • Myth #1: Photography takes you away from the action.

Fact: Many people came to me saying that photography was a waste of my time and that I would miss out on what was going on around me if I stopped to take so many photos. My response to that is simple, with photography I get to become more involved with my environment. I get to see things many people over look simply because I am engaging in my environment and looking for the perfect photo opportunities. Most of all, photography gets you out of the house and into the sunshine where most everyday living happens.

  • Myth #2: You need a degree in photography.

Fact: A master's in fine arts is not necessary to create and shoot some excellent photos. To become an advanced photographer all you need to do is learn the basics and pick up a camera and start shooting. You will fail, but it's from the failures that all great photographers have acquired the knowledge and experience to create some truly stunning photography.

  • Myth #3: Photography is too technical and difficult.

Fact: Most books about photography are overly technical and have a bias toward shooting in manual mode, when in fact you can actually shoot great photos in a semi-automatic mode. Learning and understanding a few simple tips will allow you to shoot and capture good quality photos with any camera, expensive or not.

  • Myth #4: You don't need to learn anything--the camera will do it all for you.

Fact: It is tempting to think the camera is responsible for great photos considering it can flash, focus, and expose all on its own. However, it is up to you to create the perfect photo.The camera may be able to do all of those things on its own, but it is still necessary and extremely helpful to learn about and experiment with your camera and each of its unique settings.

  • Myth #5: You need an expensive camera.

Fact: Although an expensive camera makes it easier and greatly increases your likelihood of capturing breathtaking photos it is not necessary. You can make the most of any camera by adjusting settings and learning everything you can about the tips and tricks to your specific camera. Many cameras will have limitations on what they are capable of producing, but you can still make great photos with your current camera.

  • Myth #6: Cloudy and rainy days are not good for photography.

Fact: Subjects such as landscapes, clouds, flowers, and portraits are some of the best to photograph on overcast days. The reason overcast days work so nicely are due to the lack of shadows and contrast. Without the sun's blazing bright rays you don't have to worry about harsh shadows casting over or darkening the subject you are trying to photograph.

  • Myth #7: Photographing lightning requires special gear or quick reflexes.

Fact: Taking lightning photos is simply a matter of setting your camera with long shutter speeds and a bit of patience. You can also try using the fireworks mode which will let in more light and turn off the flash. Firework mode also has a a slow shutter speed, so it may be essential to use a tripod when in fireworks mode to keep the picture from blurring.

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  • Myth #8: Great wildlife shots require expensive cross country trips.

Fact: I have seen and have taken some really great wildlife shots right in my own backyard. It is also possible to capture beautiful photos of wildlife in zoos. The key is to eliminate what you can of the man made structures. You can do this by getting as close as possible to the glass and by shutting the flash off to ensure there is no reflection or glare.

Cedar Waxwing resting near the pond.

Cedar Waxwing resting near the pond.

  • Myth #9: Flash is best for indoor photos and photos taken at night.

Fact: One of the best uses for camera flash is outside. Why? Inside and at night there are too many shadows, and using the flash only enhances and darkens the shadows that already exist. Whereas using the flash outside during the day creates less shadows by filling in the shades and shadows from the sunlight. Coupling the flash with a bright sunlit day will give you an improved photo by reducing the amount of shadows.

  • Myth #10: Great photographers are born artists.

Fact: Anyone can develop an eye and talent for photography through practice and paying attention to detail. When I started out I had blurry photos and people missing heads and legs or even arms. Through practice, reading, learning, and understanding I have become a much better photographer and actually enjoy going out and capturing some great photos.

Photography is about capturing life as it happens and getting out there and appreciating nature. Getting great shots is not about software, cameras, or even luck, but rather being in the right place at the right time to catch the moments as they happen. Being ready and knowledgeable when the opportunity presents itself will ensure that you take the best possible photos you can.


© 2012 Cholee Clay


Cut Out Studio UK on April 11, 2019:

I am very impressed with your photography. You can take a lot of beautiful pictures. Thank you very much

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on December 04, 2012:

epigramman-Thanks for the sweet comment!:) It depends on how much money you are looking to spend. I recieved a fujifilm camera, finepix s4000 for Christmas last year and I absolutely love it. It is a 14 mega pixel and captures great outdoor, indoor, and action shots. If you are serious about and enjoy taking photographs I would recommend a camera like that one. The camera is great for beginners as well. Hope you find a camera you can use and enjoy.

epigramman on December 04, 2012:

I would say I have a good eye but I am definitely a novice at photography so your world class hub presentation brought up so many good points and as a writer you have that ability to communicate them in a very direct and enlightening way - thank you for giving me the confidence to buy a digital camera and try my hand at this - is there a good start model that you would recommend? Sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 10:03am

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on October 19, 2012:

Night Magic--I'm glad you found this useful:)

Jill of alltrades--Thanks for the comment and voting!:) I agree, if you don't love it, learning about it won't make you a better photographer.

jill of alltrades from Philippines on October 18, 2012:

What an informative hub! I'm happy you covered the various myths about photography.

Learning from my mistakes, that's how I also learned photography. Patience and a lot of practice really helps! Most important of course is a love for the art!

Voted up and useful!

Night Magic from Canada on August 02, 2012:

Good Hub and good info. I learned quite a bit from this hub like using the flash outside and why and not using it inside.

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on August 01, 2012:

KrisL-I'm glad you found these helpful:) I've used my flash outdoors many a times and have come to find that at times it truly does take a better picture.

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on August 01, 2012:

Glad you enjoyed it CC! It's always exciting to watch yourself grow and become more aware of great photo opportunities.

Shawn- The bird is definitely one of my favorite photos I have taken recently. I'm excited to say I captured that on my very first try too:)

tjdavis-I always thought using film and a black room would be cool, but I'm sure it is a lot of hard work. You're absolutely right, an "eye" for photography is definitely a key factor in whether or not one will be able to capture great photos. Still trying to teach my youngest sister, but not sure if she will be able to catch on.

bridalletter-I think I could definitely write up a hub about that. Most likely within the next week:)

KrisL from S. Florida on August 01, 2012:

Tips seven and nine were news to me, and very helpful.


Ann-Christin from UK on August 01, 2012:

Very interesting hub. I have to agree that once you get interested in photography you notice more of what is going on around you as you are constantly looking for photo opportunities.

Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on August 01, 2012:

Any chance of a hub on the best reasonable camcorder.

Teresa Davis from Moscow, Texas on August 01, 2012:

Great hub..I took photography at my local college but we shot with film and then developed them in a dark room. That was really fun and I learned a I have a digital SLR camera. I do not totally agree on one can practice and learn all you can but if you don't have an "eye" for photography you will just not see how to manipulate objects to get that great picture.

Shawn May Scott on August 01, 2012:

Beautiful photos!!! I love the bird!!!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on August 01, 2012:

Great tips here. I'm like you, over the last year I've gotten better at it and continue reading and practicing. Thanks for an awesome hub! :)

Micheal from United Kingdom on July 29, 2012:

Very detailed and informative hub. I recently received a digital camera and it is truly amazing what it produces. Voted up and useful. Tweeting.

Kymberly Fergusson from Germany on July 09, 2012:

And with digital cameras, it's much easier to become a great photographer - there are no film or development costs. The most important thing is to keep taking photos, learning, and trying to improve!

Cholee Clay (author) from Wisconsin on July 05, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I agree it definitely takes practice. I can't even count the number of failed attempts I've had and still have, but it is all worth it:)

Dorothy Robinson Woods from Mobile, Al on July 05, 2012:

Very informative...butterfly :-)

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on July 04, 2012:

You have given some great information here. I love taking pictures and find your information here interesting and helpful, especially to beginners. Being good in photography takes learning your camera and practice, practice, practice. I am always learning. Voted this up and useful! Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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