🌟 Exclusive 2024 Prime Day Deals! 🌟

Unlock unbeatable offers today. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3LqnCuJ 🎁

3 things I learned in my first 3 days with a camera - :( Not happy


TPF Noob!
Jan 2, 2012
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So I've had my Canon 600D for 3 days now. I did quite a bit of research and I am loving the camera, but here's 3 things I have learned in the last 3 days:

Night 1: So you bought a Prime 50mm 1.8 lens (AKA 'The Nifty Fifty') - Let me tell you, setting the aperture to 1.8 doesn't automatically make great photos. My test shots looked amazing on screen with a lovely soft blurred background (very professional ;) ) but when it came to viewing them on the computer and zooming in, there were many photos where the blackhead 1cm infront of the eye on the nose was sharp, and the eyes ever so slightly soft. 1.8 is VERY unforgiving. When you get one eye in focus, the other is slightly soft (unless you go for a mugshot portrait). Lesson learned - must practice and try closing down the aperture until I get the hang of it!

Day 2: Shooting through a glass window dulls all of the colours and softens the photo - Whilst making my morning cup of tea, I spotted some birds first thing sitting in my hedge having their 'morning meeting'. Quick as a flash, I got out my camera, zoomed right in and started snapping photos. I even focused manually as the autofocus couldn't decide if I wanted the hedge or the roof of the opposite house in focus! Once I downloaded the photos, as lovely as they were, the colours were flat and everything was slightly soft. Bummer. Lesson learned - must clean windows and avoid shooting through them.

Day 3: Something you didn't do yesterday will come back and haunt you today - This morning the birds were back. Instead of shooting through the kitchen window, I went to the patio doors and slid them open. I was very excited that I would get yesterday's shots in FULL colour! Except, way back in October when I should have trimmed the hedge and I didn't bother came back to haunt me. I only got a couple of shots before I realised that my main subject was slightly obscured by a stray branch. I stepped out onto the patio to change my viewing angle and of course, my models flew away! :( Lesson learned - Think well ahead about your photo opportunities and plan for them accordingly!

So as you can see, I am eager and willing but so far hampered by stupid NOOB mistakes. I have lots of photos, but none good enough to put up here for any C&C.

To prevent me making any more, could you please all share your mistakes and blunders from when you first started shooting - stuff that ruined your photos once you saw them on the big screen. I never thought of any of the above, so now I am wondering what other hidden blunders there are waiting out there for me.

All tips and advice greatly appreciated!


I am not a pro but I would say to learn the basic principles of photography (if you haven't already). Then practice, practice, practice. You can't reasonably expect to take great photos the day you get your camera if you are new to the hobby. I make mistakes all the time, just learn from them.

good luck!
Thanks here in Dallas.

I always learn by my own mistakes, but prefer learning from those of others for speed. :)

Any tips from when you were first shooting for things to look out for and avoid?

That was a fun read :) You're thinking correctly! Noob mistakes happen to everyone. Just a few days ago I was shooting a sunset/dusk. On many of my photos I forgot to focus properly - just used whatever focus distance I used prior to those :thumbup:
Last edited:
Some of this can be 'fixed' in post, but to be determined to get it right in camera is the correct path. Enjoy your new camera!!!
Good post, and good observations!!! You will do well with that type of reasoning ability and those critical thinking skills! Very impressive post.
Look up a lenses sweet spot. On a 1.8 the spot is 2.5 and not 1.8. Usually it's 2 stops down from it's ability.
Everyone learns this way, and you're learning quickly. Don't fret over it. Keep analyzing your shots this way and you'll be fine.
This is how I usually learn as well, lol. I always get so frustrated when I mess up a shot or miss one because I think I'll never get another shot at it. While that may be true, learning from those mistakes will allow me to make better use of my future shots!
Another mistake I often make is go on manual focus, set hyperfocal distance. A few shots later, I change the focal length without changing focus, bye bye pictures. And this happened on my vacation...
jaicatalano said:
Look up a lenses sweet spot. On a 1.8 the spot is 2.5 and not 1.8. Usually it's 2 stops down from it's ability.

But it's usually more bokehlicious when it's at the highest aperture ;)
Sometimes the best way to learn is the hard way. My first solo wedding, I accidentally loosened the powerpack just enough and couldn't figure out why the camera had died! Talk about PANIC! I learned that camera and ALL the accessories Thoroughly after that!

When I first started shooting macro I somehow got pollen on my lens and didn't notice until I saw them in post. Ruin a pile of pictures.

My first digital P&S, I took pictures of my husband taking a chainsaw to a desk in the house, that wouldn't fit through the door. The dust totally ruined the next days of shots, at a horse show. I learned to take better care of my lenses for sure after that!
jaicatalano said:
Look up a lenses sweet spot. On a 1.8 the spot is 2.5 and not 1.8. Usually it's 2 stops down from it's ability.

But it's usually more bokehlicious when it's at the highest aperture ;)

Yes.. but what good is a photo with great Bokeh.. if your subject is fuzzy and OOF? Very much a NOOB comment!
Remember to change your white balance when you shoot in a different environment than the last time.

^^THIS!!!! I did this while in Paris. I would be taking photos inside somewhere and have the WB set to tungsten and then I would go outside and take shots without changing it. Luckily PSE9 allows me to edit that in the RAW file.

Most reactions