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Is photography too easy?


capto Plus
7 5.6k 10 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2019 10:36PM
Has the innovations in modern cameras and equipment plus the advances in photo software made photography too easy? A curse or a blessing?

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Tianshi_angie 4 2.4k England
17 Jan 2019 11:05PM
I don't find it easy! I find software easier - but it is all very enjoyable, love the whole caboodle. Just wish it was easier!
banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4009 Canada
17 Jan 2019 11:34PM
Its easier for people who dont want to delve into the technicalities to take a higher percentage of good shots.

Many of the latest, very expensive so-called 1" sensor cameras (not even close to 1 " in any dimension) can reliably pump out very good images in P or A mode.

I dont think thats a bad thing; for those of us that want to dabble, its not any easier than its ever been. The only advances I see that may make things a bit easier are in the areas of very fast tracking focus for sports/birds; mirror less EVFs showing the actual exposure before the shutter is pressed, etc. Otherwise, its 95% photographer as its always been.
eric55 5 24 United States
18 Jan 2019 1:16AM
Technically it all must be made easier if camera companies are going to survive. Consider what the competition is - a smartphone camera and snapseed. Camera companies are fighting for their lives, at this time. They've lost a huge chunk of their camera market to the smartphone. They still make 'challenging' cameras like most ILC's are when used professionally or artistically. And, they will keep that segment of the camera market (albeit with fewer camera companies, most likely) but, which camera companies survive will depend on how they can attract other types of camera users.
Big Bri 18 16.5k United Kingdom
18 Jan 2019 9:03AM
Is photography "easy" ? Undoubtedly. Pretty much everyone has a camera on their phone and the huge numbers of photos on various social media posted by idiots proves that it is "easy".

Is getting a good photo easy? Not judging by some of the stuff I see Smile
SlowSong Plus
10 8.1k 30 England
18 Jan 2019 9:55AM
Black and White Photography magazine has an interesting article on this very subject this month.
keithh 15 25.5k 33 Wallis And Futuna
18 Jan 2019 10:25AM
Achieving the correct exposure is easy - taking a GOOD photo is no easier than it has ever been.
thewilliam2 2 1.2k
18 Jan 2019 10:48AM
Now that so many cameras achieve VR by moving the sensor and some have electronic zoom, can we expect to see "auto composition" in the near future. Just as the Nikon matrix metering compares the scene with 30k others held in its memory for getting the best exposure, could it not do the same for composition?
dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 578 England
18 Jan 2019 4:52PM
Easy in the sense of more chance of a reasonable exposure and more chance of a sharp shot. I say chance because all that the technology can manage is reduce the probability of these two factors being 'wrong'.

If that's your limit of what makes a good photo (and if you're on this site I sincerely hope it isn't, but to the vast majority of the unwashed it is) then ok.

I note Willie's point that some features facilitate achieving shots in adverse or extreme situations but even so there is still the need for the person using the equipmnet to have some clue what they're doing.

But as photography is a creative activity, generally photography is not easier. It can be argued that as the standard is pushed hiogher(just look at the awarded shots on here for example) that photography is harder (to create something that stands out).

The expectations of the general public are low and you only have top look at the amount of dross around. People think 'well my phone has a 12 MP sensor, it has to be a good photo' to realise how far we haven't come from the Box Brownie era.

And if those people are disappointed with their results, they're often happy to blame the gear and rush to 'upgrade'.

Perhaps the modern camera device is more intelligent than the user after all...
LenShepherd 11 3.9k United Kingdom
18 Jan 2019 8:48PM
For me - a blessing Grin
If you try hard you can take good photos with recent equipment and software that were impossible a few years ago.
Providing you stretch your limits photography can be just as challenging as ever.
At the other end of the scale smartphones have made basic photography with relatively little input from the photographer much better.
18 Jan 2019 10:22PM
Hmmm...I probably started “serious” intent (with a DSLR instead of film - Nikon FM2n) admittedly using the “green” “auto-eveything” setting of a Nikon D50...the fact that it actually took pretty acceptable shots encouraged me to progress, and branch out..

If it hadn’t been so “clever” would I have been discouraged...?

Of course, I believe the skill for a “good shot” still relies on the photographer, no matter how clever the technology is to help me with accurate focus etc.

Accurate, sharp focus on something boring...is still....boring..

..And I agree with previous comments about smartphones etc..amusingly enough, I reckon advances in this area have made made photography “easier” and thus encouraged more folk to take part...just see how many people now wave a (comparatively “high-tech”) phone at something...!

Whether their resultant photo is any good is a different matter....but probably good enough for their needs..!
eric55 5 24 United States
19 Jan 2019 4:17AM
I keep hearing 'serious' photographers talking here about issues that are largely irrelevant to the theme of the discussion. Remember we are talking about whether photography is too easy. I've suggest that it is easy and should be. But, we are mixing in the term 'snap shooting'. Snap shooting and photography are two different things. In the era of film the 'brownie' was the consumer level camera. The user was a snap shooter. Largely unconcerned with composition or quality. In the same era was the SLR. The user of that camera was oriented to getting good quality and composition in his/her photography. Historically speaking the point and shoot camera with its small 1/1.23 sensor supplanted the brownie in the digital world but, played the same role as the brownie had in the film era. The DSLR was and remains the photographer's instrument to do photography with. While the era of the DSLR continues the point and shoot camera has been supplanted by the smartphone camera. The smartphone camera is not produced by camera manufacturers. The camera manufacturers have lost this market segment. This market segment is dominated by those who used the brownie and the point and shoot camera. The interest in getting good composition and high quality simply are not as important as they are to DSLR users. This is because like with the brownie and point shoot camera the smartphone user is s snap shooter. A snap shooter is not a photographer. So, the expectation that most everyone in this conversation has that composition and quality are 'determinant' qualities are largely of little concern to a smartphone or snap shoot shooter. We need to understand that the user of the brownie, then the point and shoot, and now the smartphone are snap shooters; not photographers. So, the concern about composition and quality in terms of defining the role of the smartphone and its user is simply misplaced.
thewilliam2 2 1.2k
19 Jan 2019 9:51AM
Long ago, one mentor told me that the three key ingredients of a good picture are:-

Where to stand
Where to point the camera
When to press the button

Unfortunately, none of these can be automated!
19 Jan 2019 5:42PM
Making a photograph is easy.

Making a good photograph requires practice.

Making a great photograph requires practice, knowledge and experience... (or a massive bit of luck)
19 Jan 2019 5:45PM
Well, my primary interest is news photography. I've had 3 news stories published in the last year just because I had my phone with me- 1 in 2 national papers. OK, so not as sharp as with a DSLR, but the best camera to have is the one you have with you.

Today's job was shot on a DSLR, I had a tele lens and an ultra wide with me that gave me an advantage over a phone, there was less grain. However I was feeling lazy and frozen, and used auto exposure, so it all needed a bit of digital darkroom.

However, I still had to arrange access, talk to people, compose the picture, select the correct focus, time it right and select the best result.

Of course, it's easier than it used to be, several hundred pictures rattled off on the motor, that would have meant piles of expensive film, and no prints, just wiring straight from camera to desk- but the basic understanding of taking pictures, aperture, shutter speed and lighting still exist.


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