I've been told a lie! To hell with "proper" technique!

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Russell Denney
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I've been told a lie! To hell with "proper" technique!
Apr 26, 2012

I have been shooting seriously (mostly portraits) for a couple of years now. Along the way, I have managed to collect a good bit of advice from photographers and participated in some photo competitions fetching my fair share of winners and losers.

All this time, I have seen constant critique of photography based on technical perfection. I know you guys have seen it, comments like, "This section right here is blown out," or "you lost detail in the shadows here." All the while they use these excuses to somehow imply that the photo is less than good.

I had the unfortunate opportunity this last week to be dragged through the mall with my daughter on a clothes shopping trip. During this trip, I took the time to really study the photographs on the walls at all of these trendy stores. I would venture to say that 90% would be torn apart by every judge and "educated" photographer I have met. Blown out highlights and skin tones, lost details in shadows, shots where both eyes are not in focus due to shallow depth of field, ...you name it. And they were great photos!

I learned from this exercise that technical perfection is NOT what makes a good photograph--far from it! I also feel that, if you want real good feedback, DON'T ask a photographer as they are going to lean towards technical perfection because they have been "educated"--more like brain washed--as to what makes a good photo.

We should get our judges for photo contests from middle school

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