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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Part #2 - How Important Is.......I would like to know other forum members opinions in relation to how important it is to have a sufficient ...
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Old 03-09-2009, 15:43   #1 (permalink)
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Question Part #2 - How Important Is....

I would like to know other forum members opinions in relation to how important it is to have a sufficient understanding of Shutter Speed in todays photography considering that many people (myself included) seem to be moving away from film to digital photography and digital photography seems to be a lot easier as far as not needing to know all of the rules?

I grew up with an understanding of things like Depth Of Field (DOF), Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO/ASA, Exposure, Color temperature, the rule of thirds, reciprocity failure etc...

Is information like that mentioned still relevant to todays photographer?

NOTE: I will repeat this question on a number of topics in different posts as I am interested in your opinions...

Thanks for reading.

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Dean:.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:41   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Part #2 - How Important Is....

Rather than reply to all four topics, I will single this out as the answer is the same for all. I think it is true that a point and shoot photographer is more likely to succeed now with a modern camera simply because the auto functions are more sophisticated. Such a photographer (probably the majority of people who own cameras) would not have needed to understand Shutter Speed or other terms in the past nor would they need to now.

There has always been another smaller group of photographers which includes professionals and keen amateurs who wished to be in control and get the best from their cameras. For them, not a lot has changed in that the fundamentals of shutter speed, aperture, focussing, ISO etc. are just the same now is the film era. Of course the latest cameras have additional tools to help and we are tempted to let the camera takes decisions sometimes. For example, I will use manual or shutter priority for sports photography but I would have done the same with film. I am not concerned whether my camera has 9 or 21 focussing points because I only trust focussing with a single centre point or manual - no change there. With portrait photography, I must have the eyes in focus but the camera in auto will choose the nearest object (nose, shoulder). It is not just an issue as to whether I trust the automatic features, I like to be in control. I usually have a good reason for high ISO, fast shutter speed, small aperture etc.

Having said that, I set my camera by default to the P (Programme Mode). Normally, starting a photoshoot, I would then decide and set the the camera to suit the image I require but sometimes there is no time and it pays to grab a shot immediately. By leaving it in P, I have a at least a chance of getting a shot in average circumstances.

I mentioned two groups of photographers, those who point and shoot and those who want to be in complete control but there must be a large number who sit between this but again this was true before the digital era.
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Old 04-09-2009, 13:07   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Part #2 - How Important Is....

Thank you for your detailed reply Dave Canon, especially your comparison between newer technology (DSLR) and film cameras. I also enjoyed your opinion in regards to the differences between point and shoot photographers, those in the middle and those that want to be in complete control of their shot...

I think I may be a fence sitter - in the middle somewhere...

You have really given me more direction in relation to the level that I wish to aspire to.

Thanks.
Dean.
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