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Photography As A Way Of Seeing What Is In Front Of You (Or Using A Camera To Help You See)
This may sound like a daft question but why do you take photographs?

Is it so you have a reminder of the nice scenery you saw on your recent travels?  Or as a record of important events in your life (wedding, parties, etc)?  (This can also turn into a game of "Guess Who" - as in "Guess Who on Earth is that gentleman standing next to Aunty Maureen in the photo which was taken at some random event in the late 1960's.  Someone forgot to write a list of the names on it - or maybe they did then promptly stuck it in an album so you can't read the names anyway.)  You may even want to use the photos to illustrate an article or a news item???

I usually take photos for a slightly different reason to all the above.  Which might go some way to explaining why I was taken aback when someone at a "Media Training" event I attended informed the room at large that they couldn't understand why people used photo-editing software to polish up or alter their photos.

According to this individual - when you take a photo you should leave the resulting image alone.  This is all well and good if you are photographing events for a news story.  However, the individual forgot a couple of things.

They had obviously forgotten about the zoom function on cameras and telescopic lenses.  Both of these alter the image before you take the photo.  Would they like those banned from all future cameras???

Cameras alter the image even before you press any buttons on them at all.  They seem to shift the focus of what you are looking at - so - if you are not careful - that nice family portait can end up looking like various heads and miles of wall above them.

My reason for taking photos is usually to help me see something.  The object could be in the distance or the lighting may not make the object easy for me to see even if I am standing close to it.  For example when I am looking at something which has the sun behind it.

Admittedly there are occasions when I see something from a different angle and think it is too interesting to ignore.

Have a look at these photos of the outside of some stained glass windows on a sunny day;


There is no way my eyes could have seen the exact colours on their own - I just saw the pretty patterns made by the frames around the pieces of glass.

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