A few years ago, I stopped using Flickr for a while. I had enjoyed photography immensely and become quite fascinated with it. I felt I was accomplished with the technical side, ISO, aperture, shutter speed etc., and reasonably proficient with post-processing in Lightroom, but still my photographs lacked something. As with music, it seems I am able to learn technical skills, but not artistic skills. The artistic photographer, with a mediocre camera, will create something remarkable that I could not hope to capture with an expensive device, however well I set it up.
Eventually, I reached an accommodation with myself, accepting that I would have to take photographs as best I can and be content with that. It’s better than not taking any photographs at all. The enforced break helped me to think about things and come back a little better in terms of how I approach cameras and photography.
This photograph is interesting on a number of levels that all relate to above.
Firstly, it is taken on an old (four years old at the time) iPhone 4S. Not the Canon DSLR.
Secondly, it’s my second most viewed photograph on Flickr (after the Explore picture) and it went wild shortly after being posted, without actually making Explore. Sort of proves the point about the camera quality versus the picture.
Thirdly, I didn’t take it. My wife did. She would not be certain what an aperture or shutter speed is, nor particularly concerned about ISO. Which proves the point about artistry versus technicality. She is very artistic with a camera, paint or a musical instrument.
To give myself some credit, I enhanced it in post-processing. The original had a reasonably exposed foreground, with poor white balance, no detail in the shadows and a blown out sky. Not completely blown out, clearly, as I recovered detail, but significantly over-exposed. Through Gradient Filters in Lightroom, I was able to create the balanced exposure above and an atmosphere that I really like.
I hope you like it too.