Photographic Knowledge Is So Important – Until It Gets In The Way Of The Heart
We own some incredible equipment today. Cameras whether they point and shoot style, Digital Single Lens Reflex, or Compact Camera System, or very intelligent and loaded with features that on their own will give you the owner / photographer wonderful out of camera images.
I have been blogging for a few years now and have hopefully written some good articles and posted articles from other bloggers that have pointed photographers towards the right intellectual pursuits in learning photography above and beyond what a camera offers you.
I correspond with a great many photographers who are very involved with the art. They have been shooting and processing for years and a lot of them are experts. They understand the fundamental basics on how to create their image in camera and every one of them knows that the most important technical facts they need to know is about getting it right in the camera.
Camera’s capabilities continue to grow because of better sensors, better optics, and better on board computers that are more than capable of giving us superb images. It seems that a lot of us can get along quite well with the in camera Jpegs as opposed to raw files. That does not do away with the need for raw files but it cuts down the amount, the number that a photographer should be working on. If you have an exceptional Jpeg file that you would like to as an example hang on a wall, give to a friend, maybe sell then it may be smart to work the raw file of the same image to get more dynamic range, detail in a program like Lightroom (Adobe). Also let us not forget, that while Jpegs are 8 bits and raw files are 16 bits, that does not exclude from minor enhancements to a Jpeg if you as the artist think it needed.
I jumped a bit of track but it does all come together.
These great photographers that I communicate with all the time have begun to realize that they are so busy worrying about the technical aspects of an image that they at times lose sight of what made them want to capture the image in the first place. What was it that stirred their emotions, made their hearts beat faster, and caused their breathing to slow down. At the heart of the image was their HEART.
I am not saying stop being a photographic artist with all the wonderful software that is out there today. Create to your heart’s content until your heart loves the image. But not every image needs to be worked and if it needs to be worked too much then something really went wrong in the camera or the person behind the viewfinder of the camera.
What you need to know is what does a lens opening do, what does a shutter speed do, what do the different meters in your camera do and what does the compensation dial or menu item do. Period. it is not a bad idea to understand what progam mode does as well. After knowing all that, it is time to let your heart dictate how you want the image to be captured, and what story does the image tell the viewer.
Look around you. If you have found a great subject, do not forget to turn 180 degrees to see what else there may be that you are missing. Notice where the light is coming from, what the color of the light happens to be, and how does the light impact the subject.
The weather is hopefully getting warmer and we just may be heading from Winter to Summer here in the east of the United States. Go have fun capturing the world through your lens and your heart.