The Counter-Intuitive Aspects of Photography

The Counter-Intuitive Aspects of Photography

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leave others to determine whether he is working or playing.
To himself he always appears to be doing both.

Many aspects of photography are counter-intuitive.  Below I listed some of the most important ones.

  • We see with two eyes but photograph with only one
  • Bad weather equals good photographs
  • The light is more important than the subject
  • Smaller apertures give greater depth of field
  • We start to photograph sunrise before sunrise & finish photographing sunset after sunset
  • Shade is more colorful than direct light (except at sunrise and sunset)
  • Good exposures needs post processing to look good
  • Photography is technical but vision is more important than technique
  • We are attracted by the background but spend most of our time finding a foreground
  • Saturated colors look best desaturated
  • Technology changes constantly, but fundamental rules of photography remain the same
  • Better cameras do not take better photographs
  • We focus on gear to the level of obsession but it is the image that people admire and remember

Alain Briot

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1 thought on “The Counter-Intuitive Aspects of Photography

  1. I like the reference to cooking and comments about gear. I’m wondering, though, if the reaction people have in their question about cameras isn’t just a reflection of an unspoken reaction, “how did you do that?!” In our highly technological world it’s simply assumed the equipment played a more valuable role in the creation of the image than the person wielding the gear, so people just jump ahead to questions about the equipment. Nonetheless it’s an interesting analogy. I’m racking my brain to think of any other creative activity where admirers immediately jump to the gear used rather than the person using it – and having little success. Anybody out there got one?

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