When photography becomes too fiddly, with too many obstacles, the flow is interrupted.
So there’s a need for a certain amount of ease and simplicity.
But if it’s too easy, perhaps shooting auto everything with nothing to do but blindly point and shoot, I feel too much of a disconnect with the experience.
I’m not involved or immersed enough.
So, there needs to be some middle ground, where photography is easy, but not too easy.
Some examples –
Shooting Aperture Priority mode is easy in that I don’t have to think too much about shutter speed, other than checking it doesn’t go so low that I’ll likely end up with camera shake, or so high that the camera’s maxed out and will overexpose the shot.
But it still gives me enough control over the look of the final photograph, in the form of the depth of field (DOF).
Focusing up close, the DOF at say f/2 or f/11 with a 50mm lens on a DSLR, is dramatically different.
This approach is easy, but not too easy.
Using autofocus with a single central point in the viewfinder is easy, because I don’t have to manually turn a focus ring myself.
But it still means I can use focus lock to, well, lock focus on a certain part of the image, then recompose before shooting.
I’ve not given over full control of the focus and multiple focusing points, that may or may not focus on where I want.
This method is easy, but not too easy.
Setting up colour (or b/w) mode(s) so I achieve the images I want in camera is easy because it means I have no post processing, with the overwhelming myriad options that offers.
The moment I release the shutter, the photograph is complete.
But it still means I can adjust the colour settings in camera, to find one that I particularly like, I’m not just going with the automatic colour set up the camera deems appropriate for any particular scene, or type of scene.
Deciding on colour this way is easy, but not too easy.
Photography needs to be easy enough to be able to find and become lost in that beautiful immersive flow.
For me this is at the very core of the experience, and makes it as meditative as it is addictive.
But it can’t be so easy that we feel just a monkey mindlessly pressing a button time and time again, where we’ve had so little creative input into the images they don’t feel they’re our own.
Easy, but not too easy.
How easy do you like your photography, and why?
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