Photography Lesson – Learn From My Mistake!

I have been working on learning my Canon 60D since I received it for my birthday almost 2 years ago. I have asked photographer friends for advise, read blogs, and subscribed to a free online photography “school”. I know that I am improving, just by looking at some of my first ever photos from a DSLR camera.

Every once in awhile, I think I have it figured out…then I mess up big time, and am humbled once again. That’s what happened this weekend. I was getting ready for church, when a neighbor called to see if I was still at home. She let me know that two deer were in my front yard – a doe and her fawn.

I quickly peeked out my bedroom window, and saw them moving towards our apple tree. I ran into the kitchen, where I keep my camera, and snapped a couple of photos. I had my 17-50 mm lens on (my utility lens), and I wasn’t getting in close enough. I quick changed to my 55-250 mm lens, and snapped away. I looked at one photo and noticed that they were a little dark.

First photos were too dark
First photos were too dark

I quickly adjusted the ISO, and turned the dial to adjust the aperture. I continued to watch the deer move across the lawn, getting closer to the house. I kept shooting away after moving out to the living room where I have huge windows that are great for stealth photography. My heart jumped when the fawn got spooked and leaped into the air. I had gotten a great shot…so I thought. After they moved out of sight, I hurried over to the computer to download the photos. I wanted to cry.

A missed opportunity
A missed opportunity

What did I do wrong? I didn’t double check the creative modes that my camera was set on. I had forgotten to change the camera from manual mode, which I have set up for sunset photos. I typically change out of manual mode after I return to the house when I am done shooting a sunset so the camera is ready for whatever comes up. Taking the half second to look at the dial would have meant the difference between regret and really fun photos.

All was not lost. Fortunately, I was able to salvage some photos in Photoshop. To be honest, though, I hate editing photos. My goal is always to shoot well enough that editing is not necessary. Do you have any photography tips that you learned through mistakes? Leave them in the comments below!

Here is one I was able to salvage.

Doe and Fawn
Doe and Fawn




Author: Carolyn Olson

I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. In 1988, I married my best friend, and moved to the farm. Jonathan and I have three daughters, and will soon have a son-in-law! I love life on the farm, and wouldn't trade it for anything!

2 thoughts on “Photography Lesson – Learn From My Mistake!”

  1. Oh, so many!! A great piece of advice I received from a long time photographer was that it is OKAY to shoot in Program or P mode! She says for instances like this it’s awesome to just set the camera on that and snap away! I haven’t had much luck with it but I was shooting on a full sun day and some other tricky things! 🙂

    1. Excellent point, Jenny! I know I get frustrated at times, and use portrait and landscape modes to get what I want. After I download the photos I look back at the exif data on my favorites to see what the settings were so I can replicate them later.

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