Photography Is Like Cooking. We take what we get or make what we want.
Photography Is Like Cooking
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how the way I eat changed and how the way my photography changed.
In many ways, I think photography is like cooking
I’m not a chef, but I’d consider myself a cook.
I use fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients and create meals to keep me healthy.
And this approach to cooking has allowed me to lose a good chunk of weight and reverse health conditions that, left unchecked, would have contributed to a diminished life.
It wasn’t easy, but the motivation to change my behavior to avoid a diminished life was what replaced harmful habits with helpful habits.
In a nutshell, I wanted to get better at eating, so I studied and practiced with intent.
In this way, my photography is like cooking.
Specifically, I study and practice to improve and create with intent.
How Is Photography Like Cooking?
Photography is like cooking because if we want to improve at it, we’ve got to study and practice.
Additionally, if we want to make good food or photographs, we must study and then intentionally put into practice what we study so we get better at what we do.
Without a doubt, this is the only way to improve our work.
And regardless of our criteria for what makes something good or bad, our criteria drive our creative processes.
While fast and convenient foods may fill the void in our belly quickly, an intentionally well-prepared meal, on the other hand, especially one prepared by a thoughtful cook who is engaged in the detailed process of preparing the meal, will take more time. Still, the creation will be superior in terms of taste and nourishment.
The same goes for our photography.
Do We Take a Meal or Make a Meal?
Another way photography is like cooking is by who does the creating.
We can prepare the meal to suit our tastes, or someone else can prepare the meal for us without considering our preferences.
In other words, we create what we want or take what we get.
Working a camera in an automatic exposure mode is like fast food because when someone else cooks the food for us, we take what we get and live with the effects. In this case, the camera creates our picture with minimal input from us. It’s convenient and fast, but we cannot create what we want. doesn’t make us
Working a camera in manual exposure mode is akin to the thoughtful, engaged, and detailed meal preparation process.
And while working our camera in manual exposure mode allows for the most involvement in the creative process, working in aperture and shutter priority will enable us to get involved in the creative process way more than possible by working in a fully automatic exposure mode.
Remember, photography is like cooking.
We can make what we want or take what we get.
Eat well and make good photographs.
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2 thoughts on “Photography Is Like Cooking”
I completely agree with the analogy between preparing a well-made meal and using a camera in manual exposure mode. Both require a thoughtful and engaged approach to achieve superior results. Just like fast food, using automatic exposure mode may be quick, but taking the time to learn and use manual mode results in better quality and satisfaction.
Thanks for your reply, Adrian.
When photographers contact me to work with them to help them be better photographers, most of them are working in a fully automatic exposure mode.
Depending on how they choose to work with me and how much time we’ll have, I, at the very least, get them working on aperture and shutter priorities.
This alone opens up a lot of camera functions they didn’t have access to in fully automatic mode.
The things they can add to their “compositional toolbox” that aren’t usually available in fully automatic modes are multiple focus modes and areas, the ability to control tonality, and a choice of metering modes and patterns.
That’s a giant leap from being minimally involved in camera operation and thoughtful composition.
And being more involved in camera operation and thoughtful composition makes us better photographers.
Or to stick to the analogy of cooking, better visual cooks.