composition; post processing; or best gear?

Started Jul 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
jalywol
jalywol MOD
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Re: composition; post processing; or best gear?
In reply to ldrider, Jul 1, 2013

ldrider wrote:

When others look at your photos, do they say Wow, because of your wonderful composition, the post processing, or because your gear produces well focused, sharp images across the entire frame?

Composition and content first and foremost.  The image has to be compelling enough in the first place to grab someone's attention and hold it.

Lets say you have the best equipment, and you take a very sharp in focus image, but in PP you use too much saturation and contrast and lose both highlights and shadows, and you fail to have an interesting or defined subject. Will others say Wow to your very sharp in focus image?

Well, they might, but they will be looking at the PP and not the image, and that is not the point.

What if you capture the pure essence of your subject, but the image is not really sharp and the contrast and saturation are flat. Will others say Wow to the composition that captured the essence of the subject?

There are a LOT of not razor sharp images out there that are classic examples of fine photography.

I hope you see where I'm going with my question.

I often go on shoots with a local photo club. There are often people who are moving up from a P&S to a interchangeable lens system. These folks seem to be struggling with selecting the "right" iso, A, S, EV,etc.

My advice has been to put the camera on auto, and concentrate on composition, and then go home to learn PP. I feel that after those skills are mastered they will be better prepared to unlock all the different camera settings.

I think that is basically good advice, but depends a little on the circumstances (for instance, if you have someone who is into macro work, you really do need manual control of DOF....)

Which of the three attributes do you feel make others say Wow to your photos?

Composition, composition, and composition.  A good photo will have some magic to it; some kind of visual dynamism resulting from the interaction of elements in the image.  Once in a great while a perfect shot drops into your field of view and VOILA there you are.  That is rare.  Most of the time you see elements of a great shot all around, but have to work to find the right angle, or light, or crop, to make it happen.  That's where the work comes in...

The other thing to consider is not just what makes a photo "dramatic", since there are tons of highly dramatic, very beautiful, yet ultimately soulless and kind of boring photos out there.  The best photos have some kind of connection to the subject and the viewer, and THAT is a hard task to master, for sure.

-J

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