I love trends. But what I love the most is making fun of them. Whether it’s a lighting trend, an aperture choice trend, or a post-processing trend, here are a few that we should have given up on. a long time ago.
Recently I have been looking at many amateur photography/camera club websites. While they featured work that looked good, some images stood out more, as they were surprisingly similar to each other. How could that be? The model, lighting, background and everything else was different, but the images didn’t look that different from each other when compared. It turns out there were a lot of similarities when it came to the visual aspect. Here are some trends that photographers use to this day that should have been left out a long time ago.
How’s Annie? Are you OK? Michael Jackson, clearly concerned for Annie Leibovitz’s well-being, was probably asking if she was okay after so many people used backdrops the same way she did. There are a ton of portrait images that are taken using backdrops. For some unknown reason, they all look the same.
The reason is that they all have canvas backgrounds. Some people have wallets where the only thing is a canvas background. I admit that I also have a canvas background, but I rarely use it. The look is very outdated, and currently the world is enjoying more gradients and soft colors. So, maybe it’s time to step away and try something new. Seamless white is always there for you.
Bokeh so creamy it was shot at f/0
What is the widest aperture you can shoot at? Mine is f/2.8. What aperture do you shoot the most? For me it’s f/8-f/13. The special thing about super creamy bokeh is that it has become a symbol of quality in the field of portraiture. If your image does not have a blurred background, it cannot be classified as a professional portrait. I don’t quite understand this trend for a goal as fast as possible. Sure, it has advantages when used in low-light conditions, but you shouldn’t obsess over as creamy a background as possible, so maybe don’t buy this super-fast lens. When I bought my Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS, I shot everything at f/2.8 like it couldn’t stop. Why would you even need anything slower than f/2.8? Turns out things are neat. Today I use it mostly at f/8-f/13, and even when I can go up to f/2.8 I still prefer it at f/3.2 because there’s no noticeable difference in bokeh, but all the difference in sharpness.
Overhead umbrella lighting
How does anyone get bored of this lighting setup? Why does anyone even use lighting setups? Sure, if you’re just starting out, they’re useful, but you soon realize that using them is somewhat monotonous and, well, boring. They are nothing but a quick fix for the symptoms of poor light awareness. Refusing to use lighting setups, playing with height, distance, power, angle, spread, specularity, size, flags, etc. will definitely help you steer clear of the tendency to use similar lighting setups.
There is a tendency to have the ISO as low as possible. It’s probably one of the ones I understand best, as I also sometimes try to keep the ISO down, but I’m not afraid to push it when needed. After all, high ISO is just grain and a slight loss of detail. You are unlikely to notice this loss if you post on Instagram. A high ISO is also aesthetically pleasing, as it adds texture to the image that might otherwise be too clean. A secret to having better photos can be to add some grain at the end. One of the retouchers I often work with, Zahar, adds grain at the end to bring out the volumes and make the image look more upscale. Frankly, if you add grain at the end, why worry about it being there at the beginning. I took images at ISO 6400, and even higher if needed. Nobody blinked. At the same time, I shot at ISO 100 with the best studio lights available and added grain to the footage at the end because it looked good.
The thing is, being afraid of grain or high ISO is a tendency, or rather a fear, that you should leave behind. Don’t be afraid to climb a little higher than you normally would. If you want to know a secret, some customers not only accept high ISO images, but also slightly blurry images. It’s about the feel of the photograph, not how sharp your lens is, unless you’re shooting lens array images.
Crazy Skin Retouch
Oh, can we please talk about this one? It is as if after having discovered the separation of frequencies, one decides to use it for everything. We make sure to use it to the point where the skin has no variation in tone, just texture.
This trend started around 2010 with the advent of Photoshop courses and the rise of amateur photography on the Internet. Unfortunately, for us, it hasn’t stopped spreading the terrible trend of crazy skin retouching.
Not only does this scream amateur hour to anyone looking at the image, but it also tells everyone that you’re not taking the time to use more advanced post-production techniques.
So there you have it: five trends we should have left behind long ago. These, in my opinion, are either way too overused or just scream an amateur hour. To sum it up, backdrops are a thing of the past for now, not all images have to be at f/0, a hanging umbrella is used way too much, grain shouldn’t be afraid, and crazy skin retouching should be stopped .