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Different Types of Photographers

Early Morning at St Kilda - Take 2

Of course, there are photographers that take different images in different genres, but this week, I’ve realised that many of us can be divided into two different types of photographers, the technical ones and the non-technical ones.  I am pretty sure I fall into the second category.

I met a woman while I was down in Geelong and she was into photography, has done photography all over the world and when we talked, she talked about technical aspects of photography.  She talked about her zoom lens and what they really were compared with her camera, she talked about the Calvin temperature scale for taking photos.  I understood most of what she was saying, but it has occurred to me, that I am a lot more ad-hoc when it comes to taking photos.

I know a lot of the technical stuff, you can’t really do photography without knowing some, but I enjoy more the element of surprise, of trying something weird and wonderful and hoping I will get the weird and wonderful.  I love it when I go out to take some photos and what I end up with is nothing like what I expected and it so much better.  Look at the following image.

I took this image in about 1997 or 1998.  I scanned the negative, which accounts for the graininess of the image.  I went out one morning in winter, I believe.  We, my friend Sandra and I, arrived at St Kilda at about 6am and it was raining.  I thought, well that’s it, but instead we went to find coffee and waited a while.  We came back at 6.30, and while not raining anymore, it was still very wet.  It was also still very dark.

I decided that I had to take some photos, so I set up the tripod and took a heap of images.  I had no idea what I was going to get, but when I picked up the images from the lab, I was presented with some of the most amazing photos.  I had no idea that I would end up with something like the above.  I was so happy.  I always remember going to pick up those photos.

So when I go out to take photos, I just have a go.  I sometimes plan, like I will try the neutral density filter, but I don’t get too technical about it.  Perhaps that is the artist coming out in me, letting things develop on their own.

I do like playing on the computer with the images as well.  I had a play with the above image.

I didn’t do a lot to it, but I have darkened some areas and lightened others.  I enjoy the technical side of Photoshop, though it doesn’t seem technical, I just play.

So what type of photographer do you think you are?

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17 Comments Post a comment
  1. With my level of expertise definitely the non-technical! I’m still trying to learn what ISO means!

    January 7, 2012
    • ISO does seem to be a hard concept for people to get their head around. Basically means the amount of light that reaches the images. The higher the ISO the faster it is. So in low light you use a high ISO and in bright light a low ISO.

      January 7, 2012
  2. Also non-technical….. ;) **

    January 7, 2012
  3. tms #

    Thanks for this post. I like to believe I am of the non-technical persuasion – although, as you say, one cannot really photograph without knowing one’s gear. Plus, it helps to have to have a general idea about metering…

    Anyhow. I would like to add that it seems so much easier to talk about the technical side of photography. You have data, numbers, physical laws. Everything is measurable.

    Whereas once I start talking about a composition just being balanced or wondering why I often seem to prefer the descending line and even challenge the doctrine of these lines being “negative” – then I think I sound a bit esoteric and many people simply can’t be bothered.

    Interesting as it would be to delve into the semiotics of photographs, aesthetics are often met with the answer that it is all a matter of taste. And you can’t discuss about that, can you?

    Maybe you can’t. Oh, well… Just my 2 ct.

    January 7, 2012
    • I tend to talk to other non-technical photographers and we talk about where we have been to take photos. What type of photos we like to take and where we want to go and take photos. I don’t talk about my camera very much at all. I don’t even think people who read this blog all the time know what type of camera I have, besides the fact that it is Nikon.
      Most of the time I couldn’t tell you what aperture I was using, or ISO unless I go back to the technical specs that you know get with each image.
      It is interesting to see what people talk about when with other photographers. I will have to start taking more notice.

      January 7, 2012
  4. Wow girl…think this may be my favorite so far. Beautiful.

    January 7, 2012
    • Thanks. Though I took it so many years ago, I hope I can do better these days, time will tell.

      January 7, 2012
  5. Non-tech, no doubt. There are so many thing I haven’t explored with my camera…
    Of course, that applies to so many parts of my life…I still have to get people to help me with very basic computer stuff…like attaching photos to emails.

    January 7, 2012
    • I have to admit I am the same with mine. I use what I want to use, I have an idea about what I want and I try to achieve that. I am OK with the technical stuff it is the reading about it that I’m not too good with, so much of it is so dry and boring and I can’t concentrate on it.

      January 7, 2012
  6. I am completely and utterly non-technical. My brother-in-law talks to me all the time about technical stuff and I just nod my head and then eventually say, I have no clue what you are talking about, you know that, right?
    I just take pictures.

    January 7, 2012
    • I think a lot of people are like that. I do know the technical stuff, I just don’t like it ruling how I take photos. There has to be an element of creativity and spontaneous.

      January 10, 2012
  7. Great shots!!!

    January 8, 2012
    • Thank you, I’m pleased with them as well. It is nice to look back on old stuff.

      January 10, 2012
  8. I am a technical non-technical photographer. I know a lot of what to do, but sometimes ignore it altogether.

    January 10, 2012
    • I think that is important sometimes, just go with it.

      January 10, 2012

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