Technical Knowledge is Not That Important

The reason why learning to drive is at first overwhelming is because keeping your eyes on the road ahead is only a fraction of the things you have to consider. Above everything else, there’s the street regulations, there’s the pedestrians and there’s also the very shocking realization in that keeping a steady steering wheel doesn’t equate to your car staying in its lane.

You have to adjust as you go along and eventually these small yet significant details will become secondary. You don’t completely erased them however you don’t obsess about them either because that would simply take away from the joy of driving. Technical knowledge is vitally important but it isn’t everything.

Photography isn’t that different. I know when and how to adjust the aperture on my camera as easily as I know how to distinguish when I can pass a car or when I can’t. It’s important that you know what to do but not for it to overshadow the purpose of why you’re doing it.

I’m very frank in that I don’t know everything there is to know about photography and perhaps that’s an advantage for me because it probably makes me see the world differently in that I can’t be affect by what I don’t know.

This is exactly what Paul Indigo talks about. He caught a glimpse of 2 photographers who “were far to busy with the how questions while taking their images instead of the why questions” and as an answer to this, he has summarized the do and don’ts that will help you become a better photographer:

  • Don’t be seduced by the craft of photography
  • Don’t learn photography theory that you don’t need and won’t use
  • Don’t waste time trying to learn everything there is to know about Photoshop
  • Don’t worry about technical stuff when you’re taking pictures (it’s too late)
  • Don’t let technically obsessed people make you feel inferior because you don’t have a clue what they’re on about
  • Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you have enough technical knowledge you will somehow become a fantastic photographer. Why you take pictures is far more important.
  • Don’t chimp constantly
  • Don’t let craft and technique get in the way of you getting the shot
  • Don’t fiddle with your camera and lights constantly when photographing people
  • Do think about why you are making the image and what you want to communicate
  • Do give your full attention to your subject
  • Do learn the technical knowledge that you need so you can realise your creative vision
  • Do become so familiar with your camera, lighting setup and other aspects that they become routine and automatic
  • Do focus your efforts on your creative vision rather than on learning the technical aspects of photography

It’s easy to get emotionally detached from something when you start thinking too much about stuff other than what’s in front of you.