Photo Tip #26 - Five Great Photo Tips to Avoid

There are lots of photo tips on the Web, some good, some interesting, some completely bogus, some dubious and some that should just be avoided at all costs. This post is about those that are bogus and should be avoided. As more are found, they will also be added to this blog. For the tips we do like (well, our own of course) and recommend, please check out our regular posts.

1. Use a table lamp as a makeshift tripod? Perhaps the reason you would do this rather than putting your camera on the table is because the table is too low and you don't have a tripod available. But unless it's a small point and shoot, it's probably not going to be strong enough to hold your camera without tipping over. Perhaps if you are manning the camera and just need to steady it a little bit more this may work, but mounting a DSLR and walking away is probably not advisable. There is also a claim that the screw holding the lampshade is the same thread size of your camera's tripod mount. We visited a local lighting store and discovered that this is rarely true. You may get lucky and find a lamp that has the same thread but don't rely on this.

2. Using a 50mm prime lens will help you learn good composition. This is akin to saying using a pen instead of a typewriter will help you become a better writer. Using a pen may slow you down and force you to learn good penmanship, but it will not teach you how to be a better writer. Creativity and composition is not about the equipment you use or don't use, it's about how you use the equipment you have.

3. The histogram for all your photographs should look like... There is no right or wrong when it comes to the histogram. The only question is, "Do you like your picture?" if the answer is no then fix it, if the answer is yes, then move on to the next picture and leave it alone. Photographers are spending too much time paying attention to irrelevant information while the image is passing them by. There are times when you may want to pay attention to your histogram but it's rare.

4. UV filters work just as well as a lens cap. Really? You can take a picture through a lens cap? That's news. Wonder if Canon and Nikon are aware of this?

5. A 35mm lens is the best walk around lens. This is only true if you have a particular style of shooting. For many, this is absolutely the wrong answer to your photography woes because it's too limited. There is no one size fits all model.

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