Sunday, October 19

Yes, Erica, it was you who made the comment. I should have confronted you about it personally rather than displaying it here on the blog. I used it as a pathetic way to elicit positive feedback on my photos.

Unintentionally, your comment got me thinking about whether anyone can take a "good" photograph. Is it the equipment, the skill or some other variant which makes for a stunning photo?

Personally, no matter what kind of equipment one has, there are some fundamentals of photography which make for a "good" photo. (I won't take the time now to give you a photo lesson. And I can't give away all my secrets!) On the flip side, sometimes rules are made to be broken. Those photos can be the best ones of the bunch. However, I agree with S, that if a trick is used too much, it loses it's value. Case in point--colored flowers in a black and white photo. Ugh. Can't stand to see it. Too many photographers have done it too much in wedding photos.

Aside from using design skills to set up photographs, my personal philosophy is to always capture the best photo as it is recorded in the camera. This eliminates a lot of the post production with photo tools later. What I mean by this is that I always strive to capture what I see, as I see it, on the disk in the camera. Now, it is a highly skilled person who can use the camera in manual mode, manipulating it just so as to create effects on the disk with clear intent. This takes many hours of practice. I fully expect that if I used my camera every day for the rest of my life, I would still not know everything of which it is capable. This mystery is because every photographic situation must be analyzed before the settings of the camera are dialed.

This idea of analyzation brings me to another point. The viewer of the photo is the one who gives merit to the photo. What I might consider "good", another might find mediocre or terrible. This idea is really how I view all art. My experiences influence how I view the world--art and photos too.

Aside from process, how about equipment? If someone has the same camera, lense, everything as I do, will they too take the same photo? Probably not. I'm not sure that equipment makes the photographer. The same goes for photo manipulation equipment like Photoshop. Will one with the same tools in Photoshop, the same skills, produce the same photo as me? Not likely.

Getting a good photo is 10% equipment, 30% skill and 60% creativity.

So, thanks, Erica, and T, too, for getting me thinking about my photos and what's "good" and how I like to process them. I should revisit this subject every once in awhile.

Your homework: Should I evaluate my photos based on whether I think they're good or others think they're good. Guess it depends on whether I'm getting paid or not? :)

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