When is AUTO too much?
My introduction to Photography was through my lovely Uncle who was a well known wedding photographer in London in the 60/70s you could say a period when photographing the rich and famous was part of the photographers dreams!
I was always in amazed at the speed my uncle could change a roll of film when the lighting had changed, you couldn’t just turn a dial back then!
These were real skills, understanding light, and then there was the processing of the film, the excitement and apprehension as to how the exposure will turn out. He was incredible, his ability to set speed, aperture in an instant!
Of course this was after many years of trial and error form masters such as Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor and photography pioneer. You can view the museum of Henry Fox Talbot at Laycock in Wiltshire, it’s well worth a visit.
In the ground’s of Laycock Abbey you can take a look through a camera obscura, did you know as far back as 1000 AD people were experimenting with these and even producing pin -hole cameras?
Many artists began using these in the 16th century even as far back as the 10th century Arabian scholar All Hassan used this to demonstrate how light travels in straight lines.
Then of course we have the amazing Ansel Adams, his understanding of light and exposure, if you haven’t looked this guy up, its well worth a read, even with today’s cameras, I still find myself thinking in Black and White when thinking about exposure.
I love looking at black and white images, they grab attention and take you through a journey of history, I begin to visualise the Personality within the image, through the image, I begin to understand the story behind the photo, its the same with art, if you enjoy looking at masters, the skills these artist attained were stunning, but the same thing always applies, its down to light, composition, feeling and passion, the desire to tell a story, set a scene and to draw the viewer into the picture, photo.
I was speaking to a media student yesterday and the student said “cameras are getting so cool now, soon we’ll just pick the camera up and the technology will be so good, it will take the exposure for us and get it perfect!”
This got me thinking, ‘when is AUTO to much,?’ editing software has become so clever now, shoot in RAW and add more contrast, increase or decrease the exposure, add colour, increase or decrease the shadows, tones and to some level add bokeh, camera phones that produce amazing quality images, upload the image as soon as it’s been taken, add effects straight off the phone! Millions no billions of photo’s are taken every day, hidden away on hard drives and servers, never to be viewed again!
Can AUTO really take control of the photographers life, passion, skill?
When we look at a stunning sunrise or sunset, a gorgeous seascape, an incredible landscape, a little baby laughing, a proud Father with his son, the look of love between two people in love, nature, something extra special happens, somewhere within us, we take that experience, that emotion that feeling deep within our souls, our hearts are affected, the emotion of the moment becomes part of us.
I truly believe that this impacts on the image, then that feeling impact’s on the viewer, this is transferred, and the Personality, the moment is understood.
I love technology, I love the new and exciting steps that are being made with regards to Photography however as I said to the media student ‘if Auto becomes the way of life, all passion, art and emotion will become as cold as the mechanical machine being used!