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Same Photograph, Different Photographers

The folowing scenario isn’t as far fetched as you may think.

Imagine that you and a group of other photographers were standing next to each other and were photographing the same thing.

You all had DSLR cameras. You all had your cameras set to the same auto-exposure mode and you all pressed your shutter at the same time.

Except for a little variance in framing, you all basically get the same photograph.

Now imagine that everyone except you were using the same auto-exposure mode. You were using the manual exposure mode on your camera.

Smart move.

Because you were a thoughtful photographer and  picked your aperture, shutter speed and ISO based on what you wanted as a composition that you had in mind, you have made a picture that is unique.

The difference is you MADE the picture relying on your imagination and understanding of the craft while the others GOT whatever the camera gave them.

Don’t take whatever your camera gives you. Learn to make your pictures.

4 thoughts on “Same Photograph, Different Photographers”

  1. Yes Sam!! This is what made me persevere with manual setting (along with your great classes!) Thank you!

    1. Catherine,

      Your perseverance has paid off. Your pictures will always be unique as long as you base your compositional decisions based on your personal perception. Working in manual exposure mode deepens your composition.

  2. You’re right — I hear serious photographers using the verb “make” to describe what they do, as opposed to “taking pictures.” Also, I people say, “Your pictures are great; you must have got a new camera.” Like saying to F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Loved Gatsby; you must have got a new typewriter.”

    1. Thank you for your reply Pete,

      I’m happy that you agree. It’s a different mindset when you think this way.

      It’s not the camera that makes the picture, its the photographer.

      A thoughtful editor took the time to remind me of this daily until it sunk in.

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