Not everybody's a photographer

Started Nov 17, 2017 | Discussions thread
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StevenN Senior Member • Posts: 1,285
Not everybody's a photographer
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I used to lament the proliferation of auto-everything cameras, feeling that my photography skills would no longer be marketable. The advent of the smartphone camera only added to my feelings.

But, as most of you probably already know, it's not the equipment that makes a good photographer.

Today I attended an international automobile show with a good friend of mine, and I handed him my camera and asked him to take a picture of me sitting in a car. I explained what I wanted the picture to look like, and set the camera up so that all he had to do was compose and press the shutter. I even showed him exactly where to stand.

Well, after he took a half dozen shots, I played them back on my camera and couldn't help but roll my eyes in disbelief. The horrible composition was exceeded only by the camera shake. But realizing that my friend probably never takes pictures (he doesn't even own a smartphone), I decided to take a different approach.

This time I showed him on the screen exactly how the picture should be composed. And I showed him how to softly squeeze the shutter, as to avoid camera shake. I then jumped back in the car. But I could still see him tilting the camera every time he pressed the shutter. After taking another half dozen shots, he was able to nail the composition in at least one of them. But he still had trouble with camera shake.

To be fair, the venue was not very well lighted, and even shooting at ISO 1600 produced shutter speeds of no higher than 1/30th. So I can see how an inexperienced person could have difficulty holding a camera steady.

About a year ago, I handed another friend my smartphone and asked him to take several pictures of me standing with two other people. Same results: poor composition and camera shake.

So, to sum it up, I guess my fears that photography skills will no longer be vaild are unfounded. And for those of you who plan to flame (do people still use that word?) me -- and I know a few boors who will -- I in no way mean to disparage my friends. They have skills in areas that I certainly don't.

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StevenN

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