Image Stabilization Ruined a Pro’s Nature Photos Until He Wised Up (VIDEO)

Guess what? Even professional shooters screw up on occasion; so don’t feel too bad about making mistakes. The trick is to not make the same error twice, and one way to avoid that is to learn from the foibles of experienced pros.

That’s exactly what the video below is about, as you’ll see how an acclaimed landscape photographer spoiled a bunch of otherwise gorgeous images on location until he fortunately realized the error of his ways to save the day. And all it took was turning off one basic setting

Tomas W. Mitchell is a professional fine art nature photographer, with over 30 years experience. This behind-the-scenes episode is a two-parter, with the potential image-killing error coming mid-way through the tutorial.

Mitchell is in beautiful Deer Creek, Utah with the goal of capturing a few epic panorama sunset photos. And the first part of his lesson involves several great nature photography tips. He’s staring at an amazing scene, with good light, stunning mountains for a backdrop, and a pretty foreground lake full of reflections.

He explains a few secrets of success beginning with composition. While the light is fading fast, he offers several framing tips and the warning not to bisect a scene by running the horizon through the center of the shot. As you’ll see, the simple act of properly positioning the mountains in the frame results in a really compelling photo.

You also pick up several tips on exposure under difficult light, the camera settings Mitchell recommends, and a few other tricks he uses to consistently bring back winning images. There’s a brief discussion of his favorite gear, including why he loves shooting landscapes with a super-zoom lens.

So what mistake did Mitchell finally discover just in time to save the day? Here’s a clue: After reviewing his initial shots on the cameras LCD screen, he noticed that exposure and composition met his standards, but the images were soft. Want to take a guess?

That’s right, he forgot to turn off image stabilization (IS), otherwise known as Vibration Reduction (VR). This is often a critical error when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Mitchell says he’s made this mistake before, and you may have done so too, but in this time he caught it all on video. As he says, “we all make mistakes, so don’t sweat it when you do!” For more eye-opening advice, pay a visit to Mitchell’s YouTube channel where there’s plenty more to learn.