5 Photo Problems and How to Fix Them

Too dark? Too blurry? Eyes that look like the devil's? These common problems can spoil a great picture. The good news is that by setting your camera correctly, you can avoid these vexing photography problems. Here are five easy ways to solve them.

1) The Dreaded Red Eye

When your camera’s flash bounces light off of your subject’s retina, the result is red eye. This problem is most troubling when the ambient lighting is dim, causing your subject’s pupils to open wide. The pupils can’t react quickly enough when your flash goes off, and the sudden, bright light makes the red-eye effect quite noticeable.

Solution: You can’t always shoot in perfect sunlight, and you usually can’t shoot at night without a flash. Fortunately, cameras provide simple ways to fix the issue. If you’re shooting with a flash, use the Red-eye reduction mode. This causes the camera to flash twice. The first flash causes the subject’s pupils to contract, so the red eye effect isn’t visible when the second flash goes off (and the picture is taken). If you forgot to turn on Red-eye mode, don’t worry. Some cameras allow you to remove red-eye effects from the photo, letting you save the corrected image. Many popular photo-editing applications have a red-eye-removal feature as well, if you don’t mind doing a little post-production on your photos.

2) Dust Spots on the Image

When shooting in a dusty environment—where tiny specks are floating in the air—your camera’s flash may reflect off of these particles, leaving translucent orbs hanging in the middle of your image.

Solution: This is a tricky one, but the best option is to turn off the camera’s flash. You might be surprised how well shots turn out indoors under available light in the room. Take a sample shot with the flash turned off and whatever interior lighting is available turned on. If your test images still come out dark, turn up the ISO setting one level at a time until the picture looks bright enough.

3) Blurry Pictures

Blur is a ubiquitous problem in photography. Often it occurs when your subject moves as you’re shooting, or when the camera shakes while the shutter is open.

Solution: If you’re shooting a fast-moving subject and don’t want any motion in the shot, use a fast shutter speed. The best way to manipulate shutter speed is to use a Shutter Priority mode on your camera, then simply choose a faster setting. For reducing blur on just about any shot, an Optical Image Stabilization feature on some cameras will help by reducing the impact of camera shake. Or you can end the shakes by using a tripod to support the camera.

4) Photos Come Out Dark

Put your subject between your camera and a bright light source (like the sun) and you’ll end up with a dark photo, your subject awash in shadow. That’s called backlighting, and while it can yield an artsy effect, it can also ruin a more conventional shot.

Solution: Planning out your shot in advance is the best way to ensure that they don’t come out too dark. Never shoot toward the sun. Keep light sources to the side or behind you. If you’ve rearranged your composition and shots still aren’t coming out bright enough, try one of these additional tips. A fill-in flash can help by brightening up dark parts of an image when shooting in otherwise bright conditions. Can’t shoot away from the light? Use the Auto Contrast Balance (ACB) option to help compensate. If all else fails, adjust the exposure or EV value manually from the Shooting mode menu. Each tick upward of the EV level will brighten the overall picture.

5) Pictures Are Darker on the Edges than in the Center

Look closely at a photo—especially a landscape with sky in the shot—and you’ll notice the picture is darker around the edges than in the center. This is a common problem called “vignetting,” caused because camera lenses admit more light through the center of the lens than on the periphery.

Solution: Vignetting is at its worst when shooting a wide-angle shot with a small aperture (or f-stop) value. The easiest solution is to increase the aperture setting, which lets less light through the camera lens. Using a slight zoom can also help to eliminate this problem by trimming off the edges of the shot.

Photo Credits: Samsung

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