Mistake #2 – Forgetting to use Mirror Lock-up
In a DSRL camera, light travels through the lens and is sent to the viewfinder by a mirror. When you press the shutter button, the mirror flips up so that the light goes directly onto the image sensor. This movement introduces a small vibration that will cause slight blurring in the photo.
To avoid this vibration, you can activate the Mirror Lock-up function in your camera. After its activation, the first time you press the shutter button, your camera will lift the mirror; the second time it will open the shutter. If you wait a couple of seconds between the first and the second press, you will avoid the vibration!
Yes, if you have a mirrorless camera, you can skip this advice!
Mistake #3 – Not using a GND filter because they are expensive
In some situation (in places where there is not a big difference in the exposure between different areas of the scene), just a Neutral Density filter can allow you to get the desired result. However, in many situation the light condition require the use of a Graduated Neutral Density filter to balance the exposure.
If you are using a screw-on ND filter, you may believe that the only chance you have is to try to apply a GND filter in post-production – but you’d be wrong!
You can just hold the filter with your hand in front of the lens. For a shot with a shutter speed up to few seconds, your only problem will be the correct alignment of the filter. For shots which are minutes long, even if your hand is not perfectly still, the final result will be more than great – try it if you don’t believe me. The holder is required if you want to use multiple filters together (or when you start having cramps in your hand).