Think About the What and Why, Not the How

Whenever we see a photo we like, our first thoughts are often: "How did they take it? How did you get that lighting? How did you get that depth of field?" But more important questions are "what" and "why".

Now, knowing the technical is super important, but knowing the what and why of an image is more important to improving information you already know. In this video from aows, he compares photography to cars. Sometimes, the journey is the destination. So, you want a car that is all fancy, with a manual transmission, so you are feeling the car under you and enjoying the experience of the drive. 

Other times, the destination is the destination. You want to get somewhere specific, and how you get there is more important. We should strive to care more about what a subject is in a photograph and why the photographer captured it, rather than how they captured it. When you look at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, you don't think: "Oh wow, the Leica he used is amazing." You think: "He is a master of getting photographs. What did he do to capture this moment?" 

I've noticed this slowly becoming more and more of a trend among our community, asking the what and the why, which I'm so proud to see! Actually, let's make that a challenge: go to the community tab, find a photo you like, and try to start a discussion!

David J. Fulde's picture

David J. Fulde photographs people. Based in Toronto, ON, he uses bold lighting and vibrant colours to tell people's stories. His work in the film industry lends a cinematic energy to his photographs and makes for an always-colourful studio -- whether he's shooting portraits, fashion, or beauty.

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1 Comment

Excellent video and article David! This sort of question is not only a fantastic conversation starter but also a great question to ask yourself as a photographer. "Why am I taking this picture?"

A super great question to ask amongst the community. Better yet why not take it to Instagram and see what reactions/conversations you can create. I definitely am going to ask it!
Thanks for the thought-provoking article!