Thursday, June 13, 2013

Camera Settings Don't Matter

Through The Lens
Does it really matter what aperture, shutter speed and ISO I used for this image?
Someone asked me what camera settings I use to create my images. Also, I've been asked in the past why I don't give the setting details for the photographs that I post.

Why does it matter what aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, etc., that were used to create an image? If there is a shallow depth-of-field then I used a large aperture. If there is a large depth-of-field then I used a small aperture. If I froze motion in the image then I used a fast shutter speed. If I showed motion then I used a slow shutter speed. If there is a lot of grain or noise then I used a high ISO. If there is little grain or noise then I used a low ISO.
Inorganic Boy
I created this image using photography basics and creativity.
The only thing important about camera settings is knowing what they do. You cannot control the outcome of your photographs if you don't know how to control your camera. You must learn the basics. Beyond that, though, it doesn't make any difference whatsoever what settings someone used to create an image. The photograph matters, the way it was achieved doesn't.

Imagine trying to drive a car not knowing what the different pedals, knobs, switches, buttons and controls do. You wouldn't get very far and there is a good chance you'd wreck. But once you understand what all of those things do and how to use them to drive, does it matter to the other drivers which ones you are using at any given moment? No.
Surfboard And Sand
Does it matter how this image was made? Not really.
So it shouldn't matter to you what camera settings I used to create my photographs. Enjoy the images for what they are. And if you don't understand photography basics, go learn that. Heck, there is plenty of information on this Blog about photography basics if you dig around. Learning the basics is the easy part, and learning what really matters is the hard part.

If you are beyond the basics of photography, then learn how to create art, learn vision and understand the decisive moment. Those things matter. Equipment and equipment settings don't matter.

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