The Human Factor – Behind the Camera

Why/how do different people see the same scene differently.

This may or may not need to be talked about, so let’s just talk about it, to be safe. It’s come to my attention lately how some people don’t understand that even with multiple people standing in the same spot, at the same time, taking photos of the same scene they can come out with drastically different results. It’s really not the gear you’re using or the location having diverse scenes available… The concept most don’t seem to grasp initially about photography or even life in general is that perspective alters a lot.

Imagine this. Multiple photographers go to the same spot, looking in the same direction, and have identical equipment. Is it probably they all can get immensely different shots? Yes, yes they can. Funny enough, I actually used to get really confused when many photographers all got together and all took photos of the same scene. With some thought, it is actually quite interesting to consider how they arrive at drastically different results from nearly the same scene.

Life and perspective

Everyone has a different life, a different history, and different things that are on their mind. A different mood, history, or thought process can change how they perceive the environment that surrounds. For instance, I typically like to shoot scenes quite dark and with a shallow depth of field. This style of shooting can really isolate specific subjects from the surrounding. On the other hand, I know many photographers who like to have lighter photos and shoot with a deep depth of field. 

You can stand in the same spot and focus your subject to be very different things that have various moods and tones to the composition.

Changing your angle by crouching down or getting up on something also can dramatically change the composition.

There are many ways someone can alter the composition and various other aspects of a photograph without moving from the same spot. There are the more obvious methods and then there are the more abstract methods. Photographers have usually thrive by altering their images, in camera, to make them stand out from others’. Some use objects in the foreground of the lens to obstruct or frame the main subjects, changing specific settings other than the exposure triangle, to obtain a unique image.

Life experiences, varying perspectives, emotions, and many other things alter each photographers/artists approach to their images and storytelling. Everyone has a story to tell, everyone wants to express themselves one way or another, and everyone finds a different outlet even if it uses identical technology. All this, and we haven’t even went into editing and how photographers differ in their photo processing methods.

Don’t Compare

Your perspective is unique, your skill set is unique, and your life is unique. This topic may be covered a lot online but also it is not ever enough, really. I’ll be brief. Comparing your artistic work to another is not comparing “skills” or “talent” no matter how much you convince yourself it is. Everyone grows at their own rate. Your skill level is your own, just as your life is your own, and the differences are something to be cherished. If we were all the same, all “just as good as the best,” then no one would actually create art. Art is about the difference of perspective and expression of each and every individual soul that chooses to express themselves.

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