The Goal of Photography

November 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

What a great question. What is the goal of a photographer? Is it the same for everyone? Does it change over time? Is there ever an ultimate goal that is reachable?

When I first started becoming a serious hobbyist about 4 years ago my main goal was to take more amazing pictures of my vacations and trips than I had in the past. I would use something better than a standard point & shoot to achieve these results. Unfortunately, I didn't know a lot about f-stop, ISO, etc and mainly ended up using automatic modes without much understanding of why I would get certain results. Combine that with a camera system that had a serious auto focus defect (yes, I'm blaming it on the equipment!) and I ended up with a few years worth of just ok images. Sure the experience of taking 3,000 exposures was great but the end results are not something I'm proud of. 

About 2 years ago I upgraded camera systems (to rid myself of that pesky defect) and found a greater understanding of the inner workings of the camera settings. My goal then was to create tack sharp images that were perfect in every technical aspect because that's what all the great photography forums and news stories told me I should be focusing on. I honed my experience with Photoshop, Lightroom, and the camera, to try and achieve these ultimate results. 

Now fast forward to about 6 months ago. I've since upgraded my camera system again. I could afford some better specs and I had a few professional jobs so I wanted the best looking images. But now I've also surpassed 10,000 exposures in 4 years and with that much picture taking comes some clarity on my goals for photographs. They're not as strict as I might have thought just a few short years ago. 

  • Subject is everything. Having a great subject in a photograph will forgive many sins in execution of the photo and/or processing.
  • Composition and cropping are an important part of the process. Make sure to get most of it right in camera and leave a little room for adjustment after the fact. 
  • Don't worry too much about the "perfect" camera settings. Yes, it's nice to take a technically perfect image but most people don't notice the little details. And sometimes the imperfection adds to the character of the image.

My goal these days is just shooting things I like and putting my own twist on the image whether it's a cool muscle car or a nature landscape or a street scene. Take time to get to know your camera and be ready to shoot at all times. Enjoy!


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