5 tips for learning from bad shots.

Use editing software to Learn from your mistakes.

While you are getting to grips with photography, it is inevitable that you will make mistakes. The important thing is that you learn from those errors and correct them next time. Editing software is really useful for working out what you did wrong, so here are a few things to look out for.

Check the data.

If your image isn’t quite right, check the EXIF data to see which settings you used and find out where you went wrong. For example, your f-number may not have been low enough to blur the background.

Note the exposure.

When adjusting Levels, check the histogram — a graph that shows the distribution of the image’s tones. If it is bunched to the left it may be underexposed, or if it’s to the right it might be overexposed.

Use auto functions.

Many editing programs let you make automatic corrections. Use them to look closely at what the software has changed to see what it thinks is wrong. You can then discover where you went wrong.

Boost composition.

Use the gridlines displayed when using the Crop tool to see if your image is straight and has a balanced composition. The rule of thirds suggests that your main subject should fall where the lines cross.

Analyse the focus.

Zoom into your image to clearly see if your subject is in focus or not. Most photos need a bit of sharpening anyway, but if it is very fuzzy then you need to practise your focusing technique.

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