Updated: Sep 30, 2018
There is an urban myth which says that when sending the first people in space, Americans and Russians scientist were challenged to find a solution for the astronauts to take notes. Due to zero gravity conditions, a normal pen will not write. Why ? because without gravity there is nothing that will make the ink go towards the tip of the pen. Americans spent millions of dollars in developing a pen that could write in space while the Russians gave a crayon to their astronauts.
The moral of the story is that most of the time, there is a very simple solution to many of the major challenges that we are facing but because we are caught up in day to day routine we fail to notice that.
Same with photography. I read at least daily in photography groups the question: What camera should I buy ? Well, first find out how the camera works, what you want to do with it and most likely we will be able to answer you. In order to back-up this claim, we did a little investigation inside our team and we came up with our colleagues top 5 reasons why knowing how cameras in general work is a good idea that will help you all the time to improve your game. Here it is:
1. It will be easy for you to understand why the photo does not come out the way you expected and fix that.
Why is my photo dark ? why my photo is not in focus ? How do I extend my flash speed ? Let us take an example. Do you know how the metering works ? Here is a quick recap: it adjusts or guide you to adjust the exposure so that the result is 18% grey. Now, imagine you are taking a portrait of a caucasian person. Most likely you will meter on the face and I bet you a free 34 35 studio course that the picture will always come around 0.5 stops under exposed. Why ? because generally caucasian skin reflects 25 % of the light it receives, so the metering system of the camera will underexpose slightly. If you truly understand how metering works...you will not need to remember 25% for caucasian skin, 35% for dark green, etc. You will be able to quickly deduce it every time.
2. You will always know exactly what gear you need and how you can overcome the lack of that gear, but most importantly to what extent you can cheat.
If you have an ASP-C sensor and you are not getting the bokeh of your dreams, you will know that the problem is the size of the sensor and your best solution is a tele lens and full zoom while filling the frame. You will also know that is not a good idea to take only the 50 mm lens with you as this will give you an actual focal length of 75 mm (in Nikon case) which will not help you take a picture up close.
3. You will be able to avoid talks about what is better in low light conditions: more or less megapixels.
4. Will allow you to constructively participate in talks about mirrorless vs dslr.
5. When you want to achieve a certain composition or effect, you will know exactly what you have to do without hesitation.
What do you think ? do you agree with our list ? let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Until next time, here is a little present for you, a quick cheat sheet about all the possible accessories for a professional full frame Nikon DSLR.