Shooting in P mode & Why photographers defend their methods
The entire thread is worth reading and the vociferousness with which photographers defended, not their pictures, but their way of doing things, encouraged me to write the second little post appended to this on
(this picture at left was taken in Florence Italy on P mode using an Olympus EP-3 and a 20 mm lens)
Why Photographers Defend their Methods
[quote]I’ve been thinking about the way that people responded to this post at this location initially and some other ideas occurred to me.
If someone can produce a beautiful/great/important image, why is it so important that it be done a certain way? That is, why must the person be controlling the camera by knowing all the technical issues that most responders have named as crucial. No one makes these kinds of procedural requirements on any other kind of art.
True, it may be better, more useful to know these things, just to be in control of the medium but why do people respond so vehemently, not as if I were just suggesting one method of getting to an endpoint but as if I was insulting the way they do things?
One of the endpoints of a skill based art, like photography, is a acceptable/good/great satisfying image. The other endpoint is the satisfaction one gets from performing a difficult task correctly, achieving a skill and exercising it.
Acceptable/good/great satisfying images are difficult to achieve because any skill must have some degree of talent mixed in - and that is not under an individual’s control. So when I say that photography is OK, even beneficial, to start in a P or auto mode, then it seems that I am somehow discounting the skills that people work so hard to achieve and value. Skill is the one thing that anyone can be certain of getting out of photography with some effort; you can achieve some level of skill but you can’t teach artistic talent.
So after a day of shooting and the shots are all just well focused and exposed and framed, but ordinary, the only satisfaction available may only be from the exercise of skill. So when it was suggested that that development of skill isn’t the most important thing, people got defensive. [/quote]
Excellent article Lew! I always recommend beginning photographers to start with the P-mode. Some are perfectly happy with it and will not get out of it, others do. "Take a few hundred, if not thousand, pictures first" is usually my reply when they ask about those kind of settings.
For those that tell us that it should really be M-mode all the way “because that's the way I learned it, and that's the way it should be learned,” I'd like to point out that they’re posting this on a GUI-driven web forum, and not on a text only usenet forum with a keyboard only interface, “as it should be, because that's the way *I* learned it.”
Those that scream at P-mode should get on with the program and embrace it as a tool with beginners, as it teaches us to enjoy photography and focus on content, not on technicalities. Shooting engaging content should come first, the technicalities later.
I am pretty sure that most "enthusiasts" like cameras more than they like photographs. There's nothing wrong with this, cameras are fun, but trouble crops up when these people don't know that they don't like photographs. They think they like photographs, but what the really like are techniques, tricks, equipment, and a very very specific kind of photograph (which varies, everyone has their own pet genre which they confuse with "good photography").
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