Love the process of photography is more important than the result

PhotographerThere are many different reasons for liking photography. Almost every photographer has many interests. I was 77 when I wrote this article. Since I was 17, photography has become an important factor in my life. I have never been a professional photographer, although I was a semi professional photographer for several years, reporting high school sports events for the weekly newspaper at night and on weekends. However, I started working in the photographic equipment industry at the age of 23, and finally completely retired at the age of 73. I work in a photography equipment manufacturer and dealer, mainly specialized in photography products.

When I was in my 60s, I bought a small digital camera with a zoom lens and started photography again. I was not satisfied with the image quality of this camera soon, so I bought a Sony APS-C no reflection camera and quickly expanded my interest. I rediscovered my interest in scenery and tourism photography. My tourism photos mainly focus on landscapes, including mountains, forests, oceans and deserts – these are topics I am interested in – while urban topics are not so important.

I must also admit that I have a long-term obsession with the technical aspects of photography, especially the lens. A few years ago, I had a lot of exposure to lens products in my work and learned a lot about them. Although I am not a lens designer, I did learn the characteristics and shortcomings of various lenses, and how to optimize performance. The development of photo imaging technology continues to attract me.

A few years ago, I found an interesting quirk in my photography. The process of watching and taking pictures in the viewfinder is often more important to me than the result; This is still true for me today. In the era of film, people took film, then sent the negative to the printing shop, and waited a week to see the results. Obviously, today’s digital photography allows us to see photos instantaneously. But I usually copy the photos to the computer after a few weeks, which is almost as short as the waiting time for film shooting.

The discovery in this respect makes me more interested in the shooting process itself than in what kind of photos I get. In this regard, in the past few years, I have been trying to understand my personal spiritual journey, including abandoning most of the things I learned in the process of growing up, and seeking a new understanding of my existence and its meaning. For example, if taking photos is really a recognition of creation, then naturally, we should try our best to make photos as good as possible within the limits of this situation. But don’t we always do this? If we do not do so, it will be a sad comment on ourselves.

If we admit that taking pictures is an important and meaningful thing, shouldn’t we use the best equipment we can afford? Within a reasonable range, I think the answer must be yes. But wait! For example, if we shoot a daylight scene, we certainly do not need a f/1.2 lens, and smaller apertures can also complete this work. At f/8, the quality of most zoom lenses is almost as good as the best large aperture fixed focus lenses.

What will be done after the photos are taken and downloaded to the computer? Nowadays, most photographers go into post processing to beautify their photos. This brings us to an important disagreement. Personally, I usually just want to see what “errors” I can remove, such as removing dust spots, leveling the horizon, changing the obvious exposure settings, correcting the color temperature, and so on. I can also use other programs to sharpen images and remove noise. But I refused to do more. If this photo really affirms the beauty of creation, then in my opinion, anything that changes this photo is denying the beauty of creation.

Ansel Adams’s work is a good example. His famous photos are very representative, but we are very clear that he is a dark room master, who uses his skills to give full play to the images he sees and shoots. Nevertheless, his method is obviously to be loyal to what he sees. Under normal circumstances, thousands of pictures of the Grand Canyon are taken every day. But few people realize how different the pictures taken in the next second can be from the pictures taken in the previous second?

And our landscape must not be created by man? In my opinion, not at all. After all, we are also part of the creation, not incompatible with it. Farms, roads, electric poles, people… can all become elegant elements of landscape photos.