Monday, August 13, 2012

Shot for Shot

Of course being at a Photography 200 course brings up all sorts of questions for me about photography.  I commented at one point that I felt that the assignments were robbing Allan of the joy of taking the photo.

He argued that once he mastered the technical aspects of the camera and all the finer points of taking photos he would be able to apply them to his shots in a more relaxed manner.

I have long said I don't want an SLR - I want a point and shoot (a good one) that goes in my purse, even my pocket at times, that I can pull out and shoot whenever I want to.

No tripod, no light meter etc.

And yes - I often shoot on Auto....Yegads!

I figure the good people at Canon who made my camera, made it to shoot well on Auto and who am I to mess with it.  I do change the settings (in as far as winding the dial to nightshot or landscape is changing the settings) occasionally.

I use my camera to tell stories and record moments.  I have never aspired to take amazing gallery worthy photographs and am mildly shocked when occasionally I get a great photo. 

And what is a great photo anyway?
For me it has to the speak to my soul, remind me of a place, a person, an occasion.  I don't care about the composition of a shot of my kids leaping off the end of a dock.  I care that they were happy and that I caught the moment to share with them in years to come.  I can look at this shot and it makes me smile every time.

I also took it years before I knew about photo editing and with a very inferior camera compared with the one I have now.

The" Thursday Night Sunset Chases" the kids and I have had this summer are as much about having an adventure with Mom as it is about the sunset photo's.

The memories will, I hope, endure longer than the photo's.

The photo's were a vehicle for an adventure, not the goal in themselves.

Which brings up photo editing.

In this course they did a lecture on using photoshop for effect and retouching etc and honestly these days so many photo's bear scant resemblance to the initial shot once they have been edited and filtered and "photoshopped" that one can scarcely believe that what one is seeing is actually "true".

The students visited a local photographer Chris Harris with a gallery of amazing photos. His belief is the shot is the shot - get it and leave it alone.  He uses some interesting techniques in acquiring the shot but he does no post-photo editing.

I don't have photoshop but I use the windows photo editing software to bring out the contrast, saturate the colours and lighten up dark shadows.  I also crop photos.  I think if I, like Allan, paid closer attention to the technical settings on my camera I would need to do less of this.  I use the tools I have and I am not ashamed.  I was there holding the camera after all and if the fence post I was resting on wasn't level and I can level out the photo afterwards on my computer I am ok with that.

Just like there are Canon people and Nikon people (we being a well balanced family with one of each) there will be purists, technicians and snappers....I think we now have a range of photographic skill in our family that will net us both stories and memories and amazing gallery worthy photos ........... well here's hoping!

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