11 things non-photographers just don’t understand about photography | Tutorial Freak – Online Tutorials

11 things non-photographers just don’t understand about photography


Digital cameras have made photography easy. And even if you do make a mistake with camera settings, you can simply fix things in Photoshop, right? In fact, why bother with a digital camera these days when you can shoot and share hi-res photos straight from a smartphone…

It’s easy to see how the art of photography gets lost in translation with casual snappers. After all, it can be costly business, in terms of both money and time, and hard work and frustrating.

All that standing around that our other halves have to do while we get just one more shot means that photography is probably equally as frustrating for them too.

With this in mind, we thought we’d prepare a list of things that point-and-shooters probably don’t understand or appreciate about photographers and photography. We’re sure you’ll recognise at least one of them – and if there’s any we’ve missed, feel free to add them in the comments…

01 One shot is never enough
How often do you take one photo and move on? The first shot is rarely the best; you may be a little rusty, just getting your eye in or you might want to just move your feet and explore all the angles. The more photos you shoot, the more chance you have of coming back with a keeper.

02 You often get a more interesting camera angle by lying in the dirt
Photography is bad for your feet, your knees and your clothes. Well, it tends to be if you’re doing it properly. While casual snappers shoot everything from head height (and arm’s length, squinting at the Live View display on the back of the camera), more experienced photographers know that to get original images you often need to work a bit harder and be prepared to get dirty to find a better shot.

03 Sometimes there can be the wrong kind of light to take a good photo
Trying to explain that it’s the wrong kind of light to take a picture sounds like a photographer’s excuse – and in some cases it probably is. But trying to take a portrait in bright, midday sun without the aid of shade, a reflector or flash? Or attempting to shoot a sharp action shot at dusk? Yes, there can be the wrong kind of light, too much of it, or not quite enough for quality photography.

04 “Yes, I dream of buying a lens/camera that costs more than our car”
We’re all painfully aware of how expensive camera equipment is. That doesn’t stop many of us wanting more of it. Longer lenses. Faster lenses. How about a Hasselblad? From the outside looking in, it’s easy to balk at the price that well-heeled photographers are prepared to pay for their kit. But have you seen the price of high-end hi-fi or AV equipment?

05 Just because someone has an expensive camera doesn’t mean they take better photos
Unlike non-photographers, most of us can probably pick out ‘all the gear, no idea’ photographers a mile off. You know the ones: they have an abundance of camera kit and wear it like jewellery. Splashing a serious amount of cash on cameras can make you appear more serious about photography, but just because someone can afford a Leica doesn’t make them a leading photographer – in the same way that owning an expensive computer and word-processing package doesn’t turn you into an entertaining writer.

06 Once you’re a photographer, you’re never off duty
Photography isn’t really a hobby, it’s way of life. As Annie Liebovitz has been famously quoted as saying. “One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.”

07 Photography doesn’t stop once you’ve pressed the shutter release
Non-photographers can underappreciate that the digital photo processing can take just as it takes to get the shot in the first place. Naturally this depends on the quality of the file to begin with and how much retouching is required. If you’re a Lightroom wizard, batch-processing using presets can save time, but even a ‘print-ready’ JPEG straight from the camera usually requires a little digital love to get the best from it.
Best Photoshop colour tools: 01 Hue/Saturation and Vibrance

08 Flash only reaches so far
How many times have you been to a music concert only to watch hundreds of tiny flashes firing in the dark? In truth, these days you’re more likely to see hundreds of iPhones held aloft and recording video. But you’ll still see pop-up flashes being used from the back of the room at parties, school plays and weddings.

09 Flash can be more useful in bright daylight than it is in the dark
The time for a burst of on-camera flash is not when you’re 75 metres from the stage at a gig. It’s when you’re standing 5 metres from someone and want to remove shadows from their face on a bright summer’s day.

10 The background is more important than what’s in front of it
It doesn’t matter how spectacular the subject of a photo is if the background doesn’t complement it. Whether it’s the classic tree or telegraph pole appearing to sprout from someone’s head in a portrait or a parked car in the middle of a landscape photo, switched-on photographers always worry about what the backdrop brings to a picture.

11 Photographers want to head out when everyone else is heading in
If you’re an outdoor photographer, then chances are you’ll end up doing a lot of driving in the dark, whether it’s to shoot a landscape at dawn or dusk, or simply a case of having to be on the spot at an unsociable hour because that’s when a wild animal will do its thing.


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