Tuesday, 9 September 2008




Lately, many ask about my exif data, now I am a very intuitive photographer! I have been photographing for so long, so many different cameras, I must admit I hardly look at data, I set my camera at what I want at that particular moment for that specific shot, I know what I want from an image, if I want much dof, a small aperture, if not a large one... (i.e. the basis of photography?)... and out it comes! Each image unique. I don't understand how knowing my info will help?

Circumstances, light, subject are EACH time completely different... unless you want to replicate the exact same image?

The 'technical' side of photography is really quite simple, there's so much literature on it. Take a course?

For uploads on photo-sites, I do not deliberately 'delete' my EXIF data. It gets stripped out when I use the save for web function in Photoshop, probably an automatic feature to decrease the file size.
Each image is really unique. I still do not understand how knowing a picture was taken at F6.3 helps anyone. All you have to know is the basic principles. A wide aperture gives you shallow depth of field (DOF). A small aperture eg F22 gives you the most DOF. A fast shutter speed eg (1/1000 sec) freezes motion. A slow shutter speed eg 1/2 second will give you motion blur. Aperture and shutter speed are in direct proportion. When you increase aperture for example by 1 stop (f8 to F5.6) you have to compensate by increasing the shutter speed by 1 stop (1/125 sec to 1/250) to ensure your exposure stays the same. It's as simple as that!
Practical examples:
You want to shoot a portrait. You want to keep the person's face sharp but blur the background - so shallow DOF (use any aperture between F1.8 and F4)
You want to shoot a landscape and have everything sharp from the foreground to the horizon - so lots of DOF (use any aperture from F16 to F22+)
You want a safe general aperture to work with for all sorts (the photojournalist's choice) - use F8. There was an old photojournalist's slogan "F8 and be there!". I am not sure who came up with it originally but it works.
You want to freeze sports action - use 1/500 + shutter speed
You want to blur a water fall - use 1/15 or less and put you camera on a tripod
There are a million books and billion articles with these same basic principles. You really do not need EXIF data if you understand them.
Photography is about light, subject and composition... creativity and practice, practice, practice! It was never 'easier' and cheaper?
In the days of film, I spent a fortune on Polaroids during pro shoots!

Many enthusiasts see photo-sites as learning and teaching sites!
A learning site? Are they ever?
Inspirational? Sometimes, yes!
To me it begs the question is a photo-site where you LEARN photography? Mmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm not saying you don't learn anything from each other, but that is more in the region of post processing?
They want to ‘learn’ from your crits.
On this matter I do have a lot of experience, have run workshops and tuitions.

We usually get 'paid' to crit.
Some people really do genuinely want to know why an image doesn't work, how they could 'better' it next time (especially when they pay).
In my experience, what happens time and time again is, if you tell someone (for free), in the kindest possible way, they get all defensive and say things like, yeah, well I only have a small camera, it is just a cheap camera, I've only just started, I was in a hurry and many more excuses... (Like it is the camera that takes the images? I always have my small Nikon P1 with me and have taken some of my best shots with it!)
Some get nasty, angry and plain hurtful. I’ve been bullied and slandered!

Not everybody can take it, our images are often very personal to us, creatives are sensitive people, lol!
There is yet another reason why I do not 'crit' in a negative way! Go do the research yourself, you'll find that most people are 'flock' people. If one person says something negative on a photo, a lot will follow, like become daring, that or they'll come, look and will not take part anymore, leave! Too often I've seen it 'kill' a good image.
That is why I often have written personal emails to people with whatever I could 'help' them with, sometimes it was the other way round, I was contacted with questions.
I like constructive criticism, can handle it perfectly if it is objective and correct, however, if subjective and written for the 'wrong' reasons, yes then I am 'hacked-off'!
Especially at those who will only ever write a negative, never a positive on a good image?
Also, too often I read a 'critique' that is absolute nonsense!
If all someone has to say: 'I like this', that's fine (it should be?), if someone writes simply: 'I don't like it', hurray, that's also fine! We don't all have the same taste, I'd hope we'd each have our own vision, creative and artistic view. Let's respect that?
If I go to a museum to view the MASTERS, do I like all of them? Of course not!
Can I say why? Yes!
In a constructive and considering way, never in anger, never viscous and personal.
All I try to bring with my images is beauty and pleasure; I upload on some sites because it is my ‘freedom’, my ‘relaxation’, the sharing with people from all over the world with the same interest/ passion.

This is how it is for me, keep enjoying photography for the pure joy it is.
Keep those batteries charged!

THANX, M, (*_*)

I'd be interested in your feed-back.