Alistair Grant - Freelance Photographer Cambridge | Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 18 - An Understanding

Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 18 - An Understanding

April 10, 2017
bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Food & Drink Photographer; Commercial Photographer, Product Photographer & Packshot Photographer; Event Photographer; Portrait Photographer; Corporate Photographer & PR Photographer; Engagement Photographer & Wedding Photographer and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, St Neots, St Ives and London. Freelance Photographer & Freelance Photography Services in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.    
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   Alistair Grant 

Freelance Photographer Cambridge & London

     
     

bokeh photographic: Blog No: 18

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An Understanding

bokeh photographic Training Courses are about getting to know your camera. Obviously you might think! However I really mean it: gaining understanding through practical hands-on, field-based experience in order to get your camera to perform as you want it to. Don’t all photography courses address this? Unfortunately not - most ‘tell’ rather than ‘teach’ photography skills. This distinction is important and marks what has been to all intents & purposes completely lost in photography. The concept of gaining understanding to facilitate mastering a skill has been eroded and ‘understanding’ has generally been reduced to the overly-simplified, highly-automated procedural steps of taking a picture without knowing how a camera actually works†. I’m proud that my Training Courses are different.

Firstly, it is important to consider whether over-simplification is unduly bad? Easy – by extension a lack of understanding of how a camera works prevents problem solving when the technology breaks down or doesn’t perform as expected. It really isn’t a coincidence that those photographers who don’t understand their camera are the very same photographers who complain that their camera only produces, at best, mediocre pictures. The camera is rarely the party at fault! The paradox is that despite camera technologies becoming ubiquitous (smartphones etc.) people are further away than ever from understanding how cameras work. Nevertheless individual photographers aren’t solely to blame.

Camera manufacturers must stand up to their responsibilities as they have automated most, if not all, camera functions and the interface of modern digital cameras has been simplified to the extent that the user requires no knowledge of the underlying technology. Key decisions that photographers used to make are now fully automated or hidden deep in a sub-menu. The advantage, manufacturers claim, has been the democratisation of photography with more people taking photographs than ever before. The price, it could be argued, is that automation has actually led to worse quality images despite huge advances in technology. There exists a generation disappointed that their shiny new cameras aren’t producing the quality of images that manufacturers had them to believe. Ease of use via gross automation has become the primary marketable asset in the photography sector and this doesn’t just apply to ‘point & shoot’ models.

In my experience photographic knowledge is at an all time low. Apart from restricting the option of reverse engineering when things don’t go to plan (which does happen) a lack of understanding severely limits photographic creativity. Students turn up with the notion that ‘wow’ images can only be achieved with expensive kit. Without fail they are amazed what can be achieved with their own camera and maybe a piece of horticultural fleece or a bit of kitchen foil. Photography training that simply 'tells' photography skills by talking students through procedural steps without explaining what’s going on ‘under the bonnet’ does no one a favour. In fact, I always go a step further and help students determine the idiosyncrasies of their own camera (no two cameras even of the same model perform exactly the same) so that they can nail shot after shot.

†Even worse the default position is that problematic images can be fixed via photographic software such as Photoshop. This is not always the case, and why would you go to the trouble when many issues can be easily avoided at the time of taking the picture?

   
     

Call Alistair Grant on 07775 365507, Email alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk or click Booking Enquiries if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.

   
     

bokeh: "the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens"


Freelance Photographer offering Food & Drink Photography Cambridge; Commercial Photography Cambridge, Product Photography Cambridge & Packshot Photography Cambridge; Event Photography Cambridge; Portrait Photography Cambridge; Corporate Photography Cambridge & PR Photography Cambridge; Engagement Photography Cambridge & Wedding Photography Cambridge and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge. Also covering: Huntingdon, St. Ives, Ramsey, St. Neots, Peterborough, Bedford, Stamford, Newmarket, Sawtry, Alconbury Weston, Brampton, Hartford, Warboys, Houghton, Wyton, Godmanchester, Hilton, Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots, Fenstanton, Whittesley, Yaxley, Needingworth, Somersham, Chatteris, Ely, Bar Hill, Grafham and Buckden.

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bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer | Cambridge, London, UK

Food & Drink Photography | Commercial Photography & Product Photography | Corporate Photography & PR Photography | Portrait Photography (inc. 'Active Portraiture') | Event Photography | Wedding Photography | Photography Training Courses & Camera Tuition

Tel: 07775 365507 | Email: alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk