By : Nikon School Blog | 29 Jul, 2016 |
Throughout the evolution of photography, countless opinions have created many ideas which can be termed as myths of photography. These myths have prevailed across the world, mainly among the enthusiasts who heard about them from others but never actually tested them. Instead, they started believing in them and spread them further.
Myths have to be debunked as they create lot of misconceptions about some vital aspects of photography. Photographers must learn to verify the truth before believing blindly in anything ‘found on the net’. Here are a few myths corrected.
High end equipment can get you great images
No one should buy a camera or lens thinking it will give them great images. Yes, better tools improve your chances of getting great images, provided, you know how to get the best out of it. Once you learn the basics and can confidently use your camera, you will know exactly where it is falling short, and where higher end equipment can help. For example, a 600 mm can give you great results, only if you can hold it firmly and manage sharp shots by focusing accurately.
Myth corrected – High end equipment combined with matching skills give you great images.
Technical expertise makes you a great photographer
Ultimately, the final image matters. If a technically brilliant photographer shoots a great subject, in great light, with perfect exposure and tack sharp focus, but ends up with poor framing, all is lost. Composition makes a great photographer. A photographer with good sense of composition will always score better than a technically sound photographer lacking composition skills. Of course, modern photography is also a lot about understanding equipment and the technology that goes with it.
Myth corrected - technical expertise is a must for all photographers, but does not guarantee a high level of work.
There is good light and bad light
We just need light. Any kind. If we were always waiting for the so called good light or the golden hour, the world of photography would be deprived of diffused cloudy weather portraits, night cityscapes, street photography, and dark, cloudy landscapes. If the light is challenging, it’s the photographer’s job to overcome the challenge and create an image out of it.
Myth corrected – light is as good as the photographer makes it look.
Film was better than digital
The internet is loaded with blogs about how film still handles highlights better and how digital sensors do not handle colours as good as film emulsion. Practically, only the highly experienced technical people would be able to differentiate between an image shot on digital and film if they were similarly exposed. The demands of modern photography can only be met by the digital imaging system. Film may have had certain advantages over digital when digital was still new. Over the last decade, there have been tremendous advances made in sensor technology. It can be safely said that modern DSLRs are capable of tackling situations far more difficult than film camera systems could handle.
Myth corrected – digital technology has evolved from film, and the evolution has made things better.
Cell phones mean death for the digital cameras
On the contrary, more and more people have got interested in digital cameras due to phones. Earlier, it would take a person quite some time to get attracted to photography. Thanks to the phone cameras, everyone is shooting pictures, and soon they get interested in the finer points and realize that they need digital cameras to get better images. Due to hardware constraints, cell phone cameras cannot get us the results we expect from an entry level DSLR. This is why more and more people are moving on from phone cameras to serious digital cameras like the COOLPIX P900 or DSLRs like the D3300 and D5500.
Myth corrected – cell phones are fuelling the growth of DSLRs and interest in serious photography
High ISO is scary
It can be, if you are looking at images at 100% all the time. But very few people do, so you can relax and use higher ISOs without worrying ourselves to death. Today’s DSLRs let us use ISOs much higher than we could imagine five years ago. Improvements in sensor technology and noise reduction algorithms make high ISOs much more usable than five years ago. Unless you are shooting for high quality prints that show minute details, like fabrics, you can easily boost ISO around 1600-3200. Weddings, portraits, interiors, low-lit street scenes can all be safely shot with high ISOs. In fact, many people deliberately shoot with very high ISOs to get the grainy look reminiscent of film prints.
Myth corrected – with modern day DSLRs, high ISOs are nothing to be scared of.
All pros must be shooting in Manual mode
There was a time when Manual was the only mode available in cameras, even the most advance ones. To make things easier for us, the A, S, and P modes were gradually put it, along with a host of automated modes. It is true that in controlled situations, like studios, professionals would shoot manual to gain full control over exposure. However, for most available light scenes, the aperture priority mode or the shutter priority modes do the job well. Many renowned photographers are known to shoot with and advice to shoot with programmed or aperture priority. For them time is of utmost importance and these modes calculate exposure much faster than the photographer can.
Myth corrected – pros do not always shoot in Manual mode and shooting manual does not make you a pro
Rules of composition must be followed
No one made these so called rules. They are guidelines which we may or may not follow. Photography is ultimately an art and you may choose to frame a picture whichever way you deem fit. Someone just made these ‘rules’ after observing the great photographs and paintings. If you try to follow them you may get better in composing a frame, but you should also use your own ideas to create an image. In the end, your audience decides, whether you succeeded or not.
Myth corrected – rules of composition are guidelines which help us, they are not binding on us
Camera exposure is what we should follow
Certainly not! Proof is the exposure compensation feature. The camera exposure meter does analyse light, but it can get fooled sometimes. A portrait backlit by a large window can be interpreted by the camera meter as a bright scene, though the subject is against light. To tackle this, we have the centre-weighted and spot metering modes in camera. An experience photographer would analyse light first and then either expose manually or use compensation to get accurate exposure.
Myth corrected – camera exposure is generally correct, but in tricky light, your experience should be used.
High DPI means high quality
DPI or dots per inch, is just a way to measure a digital image file. Every camera manufacturer has a certain DPI set as default which can be changed using any image editing software. Unless the original pixel dimensions are changed, a change in DPI does not affect the image quality or the file size. While printing, we have to set DPI to resize an image to certain dimensions. Changing the DPI simply changes the output size in inches or centimeters.
Myth corrected – DPI is not a measure of image quality, but a way to measure it