The Importance Of Knowing Your Limitations And Skills

When it comes to photography it is crucial for the creative process to know you limitations and equally important, your skill set. It is said that our brain can not deal with technical issues and creativity simultaneously.

For this reason it’s vital that you truly know your camera inside out, at no point should you have to focus on technical aspects. This is nothing new, I have read about this in numerous books on the subject. When I first learned this I thought I understood, in reality I didn’t. Only as my experience grew did I truly understand, I now know from experience that it is true. When your camera becomes a part of you, your creativity will increase and with it the number of successful photographs.
Equally important to the technical side of the camera is the importance of being aware of your processing skills and limitations. Why ? For the same reason as mentioned above, if you know what can and can not be done when processing, you are able to stay focused on the creative process.

Furthermore, it’s highly likely that you will come away with photographs that you would not have made, did you not know what can be done when processing. Let me give you an example, I’ll use an image that I used in a previous post [click to expand] simply because it would never had happened, did I not know what I could do when processing.

What Else It Is

On the pole closest to the camera, there was barbwire to the right, not only out of focus, but also an element that made the composition fail. This didn’t happen by accident, when shooting I was fully aware but, and here’s my point, knowing that I had the skills to retouch the barbwire in Photoshop, I was able to stay focused on the general composition.

I’m talking point of view and camera angle, I immediately recognized that the poles in the foreground could not break the horizon, this would have caused the separation of the elements to fail. It also allowed me to ensure that the poles and wire that I intended to keep, was in perfect focus without introducing lens diffraction.

Besides the barbwire, there was some other issues that I knew I could remedy. The composition, in my mind, was too busy mainly due to prominent clouds and saturated colours. Also, the shoreline in the background was too prominent. Again, since I knew how to fade this down when processing, I was able to filter out this distraction as well.

Finally the perhaps most obvious but also important issue, the ability to envision a square image and ignore everything outside the intended crop. It’s not particular hard but I have to say that I truly appreciate the square overlay I get on my Fujis. Not only do I get a 1:1 crop in my viewfinder, it also gives me a correct histogram, everything outside the crop is excluded.

If you enjoyed this image, consider visiting my “What Else It Is” portfolio showcasing a couple of versions of it. For more long exposure work, please consider visiting my “If I Could Turn Back Time” portfolio .

To stay up to date with my work, consider joining me on Twitter and/or Instagram

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