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What sets us apart...

It's not the camera - It's the technique

We are told almost weekly that Agent A just bought a nice camera and it takes great pictures.  When I ask them what makes any particular picture nice, they then hesitate and typically don't have an answer.  Truth is most people don't know what makes a nice photo, but they know it when they see it.

Photography is the process of capturing light with a camera to create an image. Given this definition there are several variables that one can adjust to produce these "nice" images.  


Because most are not educated on photography, they equate cost to quality.  The more equipment someone uses, or the price of the camera somehow dictates its quality whether it's visible or not.  This is one of the biggest myths we disprove daily.

The camera is only the device by which the image is recorded.  Yes there are lenses and settings which affect the camera, but the camera is but a tool for the photographer.   If you're a pilot and own a plane but don't know how to fly it, it's not much use to you.  The same goes for the camera.  Knowing  which tool to use and how to use it is more important than "owning" it. 

Light is ever changing and varies greatly throughout the course of the day.  A good photographer will not  overpower the ambient light but work with it to mold it into a photo.    Landscape photographers will wait hours to capture the light in a particular scene.  Skilled interior photographers do the same.  They will also use off camera flash to further sculpt the light and make it enhance the setting.


Take look at the photos on this page.  The muddy, yellow one on the top was taken with approximately $5K worth of equipment.  The image with the bridge, $800.  Which photo do you think is better?  (And yes, I took both)

$3000 Camera -  $2000 Lens
So what happened?

The top image is an ambient light only shot.  The camera, set to AWB or Automatic White Balance, measures the outside window correctly but completely misses the interior.  Yes you can adjust the White Balance with editing software (or in camera), but without major work, the result is an inferior image. 


The bottom image is shot with "off camera flash".  Look a bit more balanced?   The flash unit produces a neutral color light and is able to overpower the Edison bulbs casting yellow all over the walls and table.  While this image has not been edited yet, it is much closer to the finished product than the top.  It is also important to note that the flash is not fired directly into the room.  

We actually use a combination of the two images in our editing process.  The natural shadow detail provide in the top image is combined with the color and luminosity of the bottom.


Finally, imagine someone using HDR  or High Dynamic Ranging and processing images without flash.  The images they process look like the top image.   3-7 of those images in fact.  If all of them are inferior to begin with, how will they ever be correct????   The answer is, they won't.  Which is why it's not the camera.  It's the technique.

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