Back in the day when photography was complicated. Those were the days if cameras required that you learned what you were doing, you understood metering – equally incident and reflected in addition to knew how to set often the camera to match.
They were the times when you needed to count the cost of film and processing and thus each image was a financial investment and needed to be worth the materials, let alone the effort.
However, digital has changed everything about that. Cameras are designed with such automation that nowadays you can’t even capture your subject with so much as a grimace. The smile technology makes sure of that. Exposure is automated in more ways than we ever thought possible and if you still don’t get it right, you can delete the image and take it again without it costing a single cent.
So far, so good.From my perspective, this also has its distinct disadvantages. The foremost among these in my mind is the lack of understanding that is perceived by the masses as no longer being required. I mean, after all, if the camera is going to do everything for you, why learn anything?
However, it is that kind of thinking that not only prevents many gifted photographers from improving and reaching their full potential but also deprives them at core level of the absolute joy of having created the image and controlled its creation at as many levels as possible. That part of the joy of photography should never be overstated.Conversely, my mum has just become the proud owner of a new Nikon D60. Once upon a time a Nikon SLR camera would have frightened her beyond thinking. But you see, its all different now.
The camera is a point and shoot DSLR with the ability to remove all the confusion of exposure and focus and simply allow her the fun of taking photographs. She is allowed to see and to shoot without any problems of cost or the frustrations of not completely understanding the technology. In fact the technology exists for the sole reason that she doesn’t have to understand it.Will my Mum ever get past using the camera on the ‘little green camera on the dial’ setting? I doubt it. And if she does, it will be slowly and with limitations.
This is not to say that my Mum is unintelligent. In fact the opposite is true. But there are some things you perhaps don’t want to learn at her age. In the meantime though, she is enjoying her new found love of photography immensely.And that is good enough for me.Happy Photography!Shelton.…