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  • Karen-Jane Dudley

What is photography ?

What is photography ? Is it about the equipment ? is it about the techniques ? is it the subject matter ? Or is it simply the photographer ?

Some will view photography with equipment being the most important factor ...

To a degree photographic equipment is an important factor, certainly for those who earn a living from the photography industry, a selection of lenses and camera bodies packed into camera bags are vital to our trade.

But it is understanding the capabilities of that equipment that is far more important …

The principles of driving a car are all the same, but that does not mean that everyone with a driving licence has the capability to take the controls of a formula1 car and win a Grand Prix …

Photography therefore is never limited just by equipment only…after all a typewriter never wrote a great novel ….

So is it about the techniques ?

Photography is more than simply just a “ point and shoot “ technique .. It is vital to have knowledge of exposure , composition and how light works …

Knowledge and understanding of the relationship of the basic exposure triangle, aperture, shutter and iso are a critical tool in producing what you are able to visualise …

To successfully produce the “ soft flowing “ water of rivers, sea’s and waterfalls , birds in flight, fast action sports on camera , will all be determined by the correct application and understanding of the triangle… but there is still much more to it …



Is it the composition of the final image that is far more important ?

As a photographer, we strive to tell a story without words … an image that evokes emotion …but to every photographer, artist or sculptor, we all have our own individual version of ideal composition that we hope will have impact …

As a photographer, composition alone will never be effective without excellent understanding of the exposure triangle and knowledge of the camera in order to apply those skills …

Some would argue that photography is about light …

The word photography is after all derived from the Ancient Greek words of “ Phos “ meaning “ Light “ and “ Graphe “ which means “drawing “

Theoretically photography simply means drawing with light ….

In order to successfully “ draw with light “ it is important to have mastered the exposure triangle, composition and how your camera equipment applies them ….

Is it the subject matter ?

To a degree, yes…knowledge of your subject will most certainly assist in order to represent that subject in its truest form.. For instance ,wildlife images, require the ability to connect with the viewer… to bring the message of nature … not just an image that is there to be looked at , but to be felt by the heart … Landscape images that draw the viewer in, adding a sense of adventure and exploration….




With the key components explored it is time to turn attention to the final detail … The photographer …

Photography is a craft and skill that cannot be learnt in weeks or by purchasing the most expensive equipment on the market …

It will require years of patience and learning to successfully combine the key skills and components required.

Every photographer has a unique individual style... A style that expresses their values, their personality, their emotions … photography is simply a manifestation of the soul …


Photography is about being an individual , what pleases one eye will not necessarily please another. The successful combined application of the key skills and components is gaugable, but this analysis does not take into account individuality ….

So what is photography ?

It is a visual story... a story, written without words… ensure to break the silence … make the story a great “ read “ …. K J Dudley

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