Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Creativity and Tech

This discussion of creativity vs. technical elements of photography has come up a few times for me so I thought I'd put together a post on it!

For me personally, I find it hard to focus on technical elements past knowing what I need to know to get the job done. I tend to focus on the conceptual aspect of a photo much more than I do the tech. Don't get me wrong, I totally feel the value in knowing your stuff, any good photographer needs to know how their equipment works, (this way you can know how to put it to work the way you want!) however I think that technical elements of photography should never overpower your image. If the numbers become the emphasis, you've probably lost me.

For me its about the visual image, about the conceptual process. Once I have that I figure out what I need to do (or learn) in order to make my imagination a reality in a frame.

I know I have so much to learn technically but I'm just taking it day by day, photo at a time, project at a time.

What do you think? What's your take on creativity vs tech?

Maayan Z


  1. Sorry Maayan,

    You know I have to disagree.

    The technology has made creating images a somewhat simple process. Concepts are limited by not understanding what the possible approaches can be. I see so many people who cannot pre-visualize; they are limited to cutting and pasting existing concepts. This is why a lot of work is repetitive and boring.

    Imagine a cinematographer showing up for a film and expecting all of the elements to appear and fall into place. All of the shots he needs are planned months in advance. There is no time for guessing about what will work, or won't, when you get there.

    Understanding why light looks fabulous allows you to create the fabulous light on demand. The technical camera in the studio allows so much control over the viewpoint, perspective and shapes of subjects to emphasize the image. These concepts are sadly lost on recent generations. Not understanding the technique limits what you can conceive as well as execute.

    Best regards,

    Mike Boylan

  2. You always make a good point Mike and I don't disagree. Understanding why light looks fabulous will definitely allow you to create it on demand, 100%, but fabulous light without the innovation/conceptual process behind it, behind the image you're looking to create, makes you a technician. Technically motivated images just don't do it for me.

    I'm not saying that knowing the technique isn't important, it is! (and I'm learning that more all the time), I'm just saying that I think the conceptual process of an image should come first, then once I have that in mind I can plug in what technology I need to make it fabulous.