Last night I had one of those really tiny LED light bulb going off moments. Ironically, it happened as I was headed to bed for the night (4:45AM). All of this exposure to new terminology, new technology and a new way of looking at light, I understood the difference between someone that takes pictures and someone that shoots photography.
Up until this point I have been a guy taking pictures. I haven’t really understood the importance of using the viewer on the camera or understood how ISO, f-stop, shutter speed and exposure compensation work in unison. I have seen things I wanted to capture and have been trying to force them into my shots. Almost almost of my images thus far, with a few exceptions, have only been part of the shot captured. I’ve done this by cropping in Photoscape (one of the few things I can do well in Photoscape). The image on the left is the master image and the image on the right is an example of how much of the image I used to submit to Adobe Stock. As you can see this is a great example of a waste of space
I so didn’t know what I was doing, that I was taking pictures and coming home and cropping out the best part of the image. I did no correcting, color editing or adjusting anything with the shot. I was fishing. Fishing is when you just go out and take a ton of pictures, hoping that when you get home some of them turned out to be keepers. I also wasn’t shooting family holiday photos on auto point click and shoot, but trying to do something they don’t have instructions for in the camera manual.
So a person who takes pictures, I guess I would describe as someone that shoots auto photos. Photos that utilize predefined camera settings, auto focus, auto exposure and auto shutter speed are the portfolio of the picture taker. They will typically use compact digital cameras, cell phone or other device’s cameras and sometimes higher end cameras. If a picture taker uses a high end camera they typically got it for the name, don’t read the manual and don’t use most of the cameras features. I believe until last night I was a person who takes pictures.
Someone who shoots photography is someone that understands the complexity of all the different aspects of a shot, how they work together and can use them to the photographers advantage. They understand light and how a camera captures it. They are constantly striving for a better shot, instead of clicking away with how ever the shot is setup. Some amazing photographers will tell you that it took them up to a decade or more until they felt confident in their shoots.
So the transition from picture taker to photographer starts now. To hell with waiting for New Year’s to make a resolution. It happens tonight, I’m going to ween myself off of point and click to someone that focuses their focus. When I said I understood the different aspects of the shot above, I didn’t say that I knew how to do it.