Common Photography Terms Explained

If you are an aspiring photographer, or are simply just interested in this unique artistic medium, you have probably heard some terms that you are unsure of what they mean. Like any other artistic medium, photography does have some terms that are commonly used amongst photographers. If you are an aspiring photographer, it would be in your best interest to learn these terms and to get familiar with them. If you are not a photographer, but you are interested in this unique artistic medium, then knowing these terms will simply enhance your knowledge of photography as a whole.

 

There are many different photography terms out there, but the ones you may have heard often are listed below. Each of these photography terms are crucial to the photographer when it comes to making an image. If you have these terms set the wrong way, you will not get the photograph you desire. If you are using these terms correctly, and the settings on your camera are in the right spot, then you will have a very satisfying photograph.

ISO

ISO is 1 of 3 factors of exposure (the other 2 being aperture and shutter speed).  ISO is responsible for the cameras sensitivity to light and standards of internal organization of standardization. This part of the camera is the body that standardizes sensitivity ratings for camera sensors, and is typically uniform amongst all types of cameras.

The ISO is a very important setting whilst setting up your camera for your next photography venture. A high ISO setting may contribute to a very “noisy” photograph, whereas a lower ISO setting will contribute to a much “cleaner” photograph. You want to make sure you ISO setting is as low as possible for the light conditions so that you can create a vibrant and beautiful photograph that his minimal noise.

Note: Noise is, in a sense, the grains you see on some images. They make for a very distracting, not well put together photograph.

Aperture and F-Stop

The aperture and F-Stop are very much related, and work together to help you create a fantastic photograph. The aperture is the size of the opening on the lens diaphragm, and is expressed in terms of F-stops.

The aperture is what allows the light into the camera lens. A smaller aperture will result in less light to enter the camera lens, which is ideal if you are in a very sunny environment. A larger aperture allows more light in, which may be ideal for darker situations.

The F-stop is what the aperture is measured in. However, the values of an F-stop are reverse to that of the aperture. A larger aperture would result in a lower F-stop value, less depth of field, and a blurry background. A smaller aperture has a higher F-stop value, a greater depth of field, and a sharper background.

Both of these camera settings work hand in hand, and most cameras allow you to control each of them. However, sometimes the camera may not allow you to control both. If that is the case, it is up to you to make the best out of your situation. Understanding how aperture and F-stop work, however, is a great place to start.

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed of a camera is controlled by both the aperture and F-stop. A smaller f-stop (larger aperture) would require more light to enter the lens, and a faster shutter speed. If you have a high f-stop (smaller aperture), then you have less light entering the lens, which results in a slower shutter speed.

It may be helpful to think of shutter speed like blinking. If you blink your eyes really quick, you do not see much light pass through (a fast shutter speed). If you stare at something for an extended period of time before blinking, more light will enter your eyeballs (a slow shutter speed).

Exposure

There are 3 elements to exposure: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed—all of which we have already gone over. That being said, how do these 3 elements work together to make a great photograph? Before we answer that question, it is best to understand that exposure is how light or dark an image is. Underexposure is a dark photograph, and over exposure is a very light photograph. You want to make sure that you have the right exposure, but remember that exposure is objective (there is no right exposure).

Let’s say that you are trying to take a photograph of a sunset. Your first step is to make sure that you ISO is set right. Sunsets give off plenty of light, so there is no need for a high ISO. Check the lowest ISO setting first, if that is too dark then adjust your ISO accordingly. Your next step is to adjust the aperture and f-stop. For such a scene the aperture should be set about the middle, resulting in a mid-value f-stop. Anything above or below could result in a noisy or not-sharp photograph. Once you have these values set, you can adjust your shutter speed. The shutter speed is based off preference, so that may require playing around with your scene a little more.

All 3 of these elements contribute to how a photograph is “exposed”. It is up to the photographer to determine what the best settings are per situation that they are in.

Bokeh

The final term that you may have heard a lot is bokeh. A lot of photographers aim to use Bokeh in their backgrounds, which allows more attention on the subject (common in portraits). Bokeh is when you turn light into orbs that are blurry, resulting in a blurry background. This is a fun way to put together a photographer, and allows for much more attention on your subject versus the background. Bokeh is usually achieved with a larger aperture (lower f-stop).

These are just some of the common photography terms out there. It is encouraged that all aspiring and current photographers—regardless of what level you are at, that you become familiar with these terms and revisit them frequently.

 

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Becoming a Photographer in the Modern World

Believe it or not, becoming a photographer in the modern world is not an easy task. Anyone can pick up a fancy, expensive camera and say “hey look! I’m a photographer”, snap a photo, and upload it onto social media with the hashtag “#photographer”. That is the reality in today’s world, unfortunately. If you want to be a photographer in the modern world, do not fret from this fact. You will certainly stand out from those types of “photographers”, and you will be able to succeed in your profession.

Becoming a photographer requires much patience, skill, and an artistic eye. There is no need to worry if you do not have these traits right away. You will thrive and learn these traits eventually, it just takes some practice.

Unlike in the past, becoming a photographer requires a lot of marketing and exposure (no pun intended). The world of photography is ever growing, and sticking out of the crowd is key to your success. Here are some tips on how to become a photographer in today’s modern world.

  1. Utilize Social Media

This is not as simple as creating a Facebook, twitter, or Instagram account. You need to interact with every individual that interacts with your content. You may get 50+ likes on your first post on Instagram, but how many of those likes are likely to return to your page?

Interacting with those individuals who interact with your own stuff is simple. If someone comments about how gorgeous your photo is, simply reply with a thank you. This lets the person know that you have taken out the time of your busy day to reach out to them.

If someone only likes your photos, go to their account and like back (if possible). If someone follows your account, follow back. Use your own judgement before following back, though. Anyone can see who you follow, and if you are using social media for business, who you follow is key as well.

Social media is also a free way of advertising, with the option for paid advertising for extra exposure. Posting on Facebook can get a little bit tricky due to the code they use to control news feed. It is important to interact with everyone who interacts with your posts, and to encourage interactions from people. This enhances your chances of being seen on social media.

It is also very helpful to post often on social media, at least 5 times a week. This also enhances your chances of getting seen, and lets people know that you have an active account and are serious about the work you are presenting.

  1. Know your worth

Believe it or not, the price at which you assign to your photographic services is crucial. If you price too cheap, people may not take you seriously as a photographer. Too cheap pricing also gives off the message that you do not take your own work seriously, and are just looking for some quick cash.

Pricing too high can be intimidating—especially if you do not have the portfolio to back up your expensive prices. If you think about it, charging $200 for a half hour session, where the person only gets 3 unedited photos, is way over priced and will more than likely not help you make a sale.

Finding the right price for your photographic services can be tricky, which is why you should do plenty of research first. More experienced photographers can charge reasonably more than amateur photographers. Your prices also depend on what service you are offering. Wedding photography is generally more expensive than family portraits, and even requires a lot more work. The best thing to do here is to do your research on the prices for photographic services, and determine your worth. If you are unsure how to determine the worth of your work, you can also research that too. This process requires you to be brutally honest with yourself, but it will pay off in the end.

  1. Treat your work like a business

Photographers need to treat their work like a business, especially if they want to make a career out of photography. It is so easy to tell your neighbor that you will take photos of her son for free, because she is just the sweetest woman. While doing a favor here and there is great, especially for people like family, but it can also land you in a lot of financial trouble.

If you are going to offer a free photographic service to someone close to you, explain to them that you are doing this as a favor and that you typically charge for your work. Otherwise, you could end up in a situation where the neighbor you helped out tells others that you do your work for free. Soon, you are in an awkward situation with more than one person, and have to explain that you do not work for free.

You should also get your business registered and make sure you have filled out all the proper paperwork to be a legal business. This will encourage you to keep track of all of your finances for your photography business, and will keep you out of any legal trouble.

  1. Find other ways to be seen

Your social media accounts and word of mouth are not the only ways to be seen as a photographer. Consider writing a blog, offering workshops, or even offering tutoring for young, aspiring photographers. This will get your name out there even more and will positively benefit your photography—as long as you are offering valuable content.

Becoming a photographer in the modern world is a lot of hard work, but it is certainly doable. Make sure your work will back up your words, you are active and interacting on social media, you are treating your photography like a business, and you are finding ways to gain more exposure. If you do this, you should be able to become a well-known photographer.

 

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Architectural Photography 101

Architectural Photography is one of the most popular genres ever since. So many people are fascinated with this art perhaps because of the limitless architectural photographic opportunities. If you are living in a city, so many skyscrapers and unique structures will catch your attention. Aside from the famous tourist attractions, old structures and residential homes are potential subjects for architectural photography, too. Your options are just as many as you can think.

Just like other genres, architectural photography has its own set of rules, techniques, and styles. Since architecture itself is a broad subject, photographing and giving justice to the beauty of a structure is indeed challenging. You have to keep in mind proper framing, lighting and composition to name a few. While captivating architectural photos are by no means guaranteed on the first try, you can develop your eye, skills, and personality with practice. If you are here because of these, then I will not keep you any longer. Here are some things that you will need to get you starting.

The Right Approach

Every building has a purpose and a story. The best architectural photos tell those. Thus, knowing the right approach to taking architectural photos is necessary. Before you peek through the lens, study your subject first. Being aware of its purpose and history will be a big help. Alternatively, you can approach the structure as it is, highlighting elements of design and unique features. The presentation is up to you. The first approach will appeal more to the emotions of viewers while the second approach accentuates the brilliance of architecture.

Equipment

Because buildings are gigantic, you want to frame your subject as wide as possible. Therefore, for general work, a normal SLR camera is enough as long as it can do wide-angle shots. It is also helpful to always have a tripod ready. For historic buildings, a film camera is deemed more appropriate.

Angles

Many things must be considered when photographing architectures; the most important is the angle. Before taking a photo, ask yourself what you want to emphasize in the frame. Do you want to show symmetry, or do you want to include people and other elements in the frame? Do you want to show the structure in a different or rare vantage point?

Lines

The most apparent element in architectural photos is the line. So when you think of the right angle, consider the lines regardless if it is straight vertical, horizontal or curvy lines. Parallel lines can make your images look majestic and strong. Knowing the right angles and considering the line will help in enhancing the overall perspective.

Lighting

Unlike subjects photographed indoors, you have less control over the lighting of the architecture. You cannot manipulate where the sun should be positioned, but you can make the necessary adjustment. Experts say that the side-front lighting provides the right amount of light you need. Aside from this, it also provides that long and interesting shadow effect which gives the structure more depth or a three-dimensional look. You will appreciate proper lighting more at night when the structures are lit by thousands of lights, showing a different kind of vibrancy that you will not see during daylight.

 

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Different Photography Genres

Photography is such a unique and broad artistic medium. From film photography to digital photography, even to pin-hole photography. Photography offers are vast creative outlet for photographers and other artists around the world, and it is only continuing to grow.

When you view photography, you may not think of it in the artistic aspect. You may just see a picture, you may see more. Whatever you see is entirely up to you, especially because art is subject to different opinions. What you should know, though, is that photography consists of different genres.

Genres does not mean the same thing as music genres. Instead, a photography genre is another way to categorize the many different photographs from around the world. Some popular photography genres are: black and white photography, landscape photography, action photography, wedding photography, portrait photography, pet photography, and so on.

Different photographers will specialize in different photography genres. Some photographers will practice in all genres (and this is the case for more photographers). Each genre offers a chance to grow artistically from every photo session. This is because the photographic aspects that we need to consider while performing this art are never exactly the same. Below is an overview of the listed photography genres, and why they are unique.

 Black and White Photography

Black and white photograph, the classic photography genre. Black and white photography was around long before colored photography, and it is still used around the world to this day. Black and white photography can now be done straight from your camera, developed on film, and even photo edited on your computer.

Black and white photography is a great way to set a mood. Your entire photo will encompass the mood of your black and white photography, but the absence of color adds something extra. The absence of color in this photography genre removes the color distraction and allows you to create a different interpretation of the photograph than if it would be in color.

 

Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is perhaps one of the harder photography genres to work with. There are plenty of landscapes around the world, but what you put into your landscape photograph is what you get out.

It is very simple to snap a photograph of a sunset or a mountain. However, what are you hoping to get across with landscape photography? Landscape photography requires you to create an image that will make people feel and/ or see what you saw while taking the photo. This can best be done with mood lighting (such as the sunlight or artificial light), and with the placement of the landscape. While you cannot control the placement of the landscape, you can control your own position and the angle of your camera.

Action photography

Action photography requires much attention and focus. If you are distracted whilst taking action photos, you may not get the shot you are hoping for. Action photography also requires that you have all of your camera settings at the right settings to get the perfect image. Photography aspects to consider here are shutter speed, ISO, and your f-stop.

Action photography can be viewed pretty much anywhere. From sports magazines to TV commercials, even in newspapers. Sports are a very common subject for action photography. However, nature photography can become action photography as well. From a whale fin coming out of the water to a bald eagle flying across the sky—that is considered action photography.

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is a very popular photography genre, and it is considered to be one of the most specialized photography genres out there. Whilst performing wedding photography, you are not only practicing your art, you are being trusted with special moments for other people.

Like action photography, wedding photography requires a lot of focus and skill. Wedding portraits require that your camera settings are either adjustable, or in the right place so that you can create the perfect photo. This photography genre also requires you to interact with others, which means you need to make sure that you are giving off a friendly and caring persona.

Portrait Photography

Perhaps the photography genre that is bigger than wedding photography, is portrait photography. Portrait photography can be viewed almost anywhere. You see many portraits in magazines, on the TV, on social media, even in books. Portrait photography is a very vast photography genre, and the possibilities are almost limitless.

You have more control over your subjects when it comes to portraits. That is not saying you control the model, but you can control the way they position themselves, what items are in the background, the location, etc. Portrait photography allows photographers to experiment and learn more about their art as well.

Real estate Photography

Real estate photography is an awesome niche and can be very lucrative for photographers. Real estate agent need pictures of every house they list, so there is always a need for work! You can learn the simple tips and tricks of the trade by googling real estate photography. It is important to catch the right angles of things. Check out this awesome picture of a bathroom done for me by my friends over at Plumbing Services Deerfield Beach!

 

 

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Camera Quality of a Smartphone vs Camera Quality of a DSLR Camera

Chances are, you have heard of a DSLR camera, and you have already heard someone say “I do not need to hire a photographer, I have my iPhone that does the same exact thing”. In today’s world, smart phone cameras have really evolved from the standard cell phone camera from just a short time ago. No longer do you have to worry about pixelated images being produced from your smart phone camera, you can edit you photos right from your phones camera app—the possibilities are almost endless.

Today’s smartphone cameras have gone as far as adding “filters” or “AR stickers”—both really fun spins on the world of taking pictures. Filters are used commonly, especially amongst social media platforms. AR stickers are fun for decorating your pictures and adding something extra to them.

With the takeover of smartphone cameras, you do not hear much from those who are going about different ways of taking photos. One of the biggest ways to take photos in the photographic industry today is a DSLR camera.

A DSLR camera has the potential to create high quality, vector images that are as vibrant on the computer screen as they were when the photographer snapped the photo. DSLR cameras are much different than digital cameras, for many various reasons (a different topic for a different day). There are some relatively inexpensive DSLR cameras on the market to this day, but most of them do cost a pretty penny. Which is probably why smartphone cameras are gaining much popularity.

There are positives and negatives to both types of cameras, DSLR cameras and smartphone cameras, but let’s go ahead and compare the photo quality of each.

Smartphone camera quality

For this section we will compare the quality of the Samsung Galaxy S8, and the iPhone 7—two smartphones that are extremely popular on the cellular market.

The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S8 has the following specs:

  • Front camera: 8mp, F1.7 aperture, 1.22 micrometer pixels, 1/3.6” sensor
  • Back camera: dual 12mp, optical image stabilization, F1.7 aperature, 1.4 micrometer pixels, sensor ½.55”
  • Bonuses: front camera can take selfies, and back camera has the option to save a file as RAW.

(source: http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/galaxy-s8/specs/)

The camera on the iPhone 7 has the following specs:

  • Front camera: 12mp, F1.8 aperture, 5x zoom
  • Back cameras: 12mp wide-angle lens, F1.8-F2.8 aperture, 10x zoom
  • Bonuses: exposure control and 6 element lens

(source: https://www.apple.com/iphone-7/specs/)

In case you were wondering, a RAW file is basically when your camera does not lessen the amount of light that produces your pictures. There is many more photographic specifications for this explanation, but that is what RAW means in laments terms.

Both of these smartphones produce amazing, high quality photos that can be edited simply with the camera app. These photos produced can also be edited on a computer program if you wish. Meaning that the photos from smartphone cameras have close to the same benefits as the photos off of a DSLR camera.

DSLR Camera Quality

For the DSLR we will compare two DSLR cameras, from 2 of the leading DSLR camera brands: Nikon and Cannon.

Some camera specs from the Nikon D5600:

  • 24.2mp
  • adjustable aperture
  • interchangeable lens for various zoom capabilities
  • 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor
  • 24.78 million pixels

(source: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d5600/spec.htm)

Some camera specs from the Cannon EOS 6D:

  • 20.6mp
  • Adjustable aperture
  • Interchangeable lens for various zoom capabilities
  • CMOS sensor

(source: https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/cameras/dslr/eos-6d)

Obviously if you are not into photography, or just not a photographer, period, you are unsure what all of these random facts means. If you click on the source links for these random facts, you will learn a lot more about each camera and what they can do. These are just some of the major factors that go into camera production.

The major difference between smartphone cameras and DSLR cameras

There are many differences between smartphone cameras and DSLR cameras. The major difference though? You have a lot more creative options with a DSLR camera than you do a smartphone camera.

Smartphone cameras give you the ability to edit your photos right there on the phone screen, add extra effects—they are truly fun and usable cameras. DSLR cameras, on the other hand, have less extra effects, but more photograph taking abilities. Which camera you decided to go with, is entirely up to you with what you want to accomplish with your photos.

If you want to take great photographs that are used in magazines, on professional websites, and to build your portfolio, it is probably best to go with a DSLR camera. If you want to be able to snap photos quickly and want to take them for personal reasons, then yes, a smartphone camera will do the trick. The camera you choose is entirely a personal choice based on your photo taking goals.

That brings me back to the infamous saying “I don’t need to hire a photographer, I have an iPhone”. You iPhone photos will turn out great, but you will not be able to get the same product as you would as hiring a photographer with a DSLR camera. This saying is like saying you do not need to hire a mechanic to fix your car because you can fix your engine yourself.

A great photograph depends on the photographer just as much as the camera. The camera is simply the tool, the photographer produces the photograph. Now, that is not saying you cannot get great photos without a photographer—of course you can! That being said, your iPhone takes great photos, but does the person behind your iPhone? If they do, is that enough to trust them with photographing a wedding, with an iPhone?

The camera quality of the smartphone versus the DSLR camera is quite different, but also quite similar. Your smartphone camera has come a long way in the past years in terms of photo quality (anyone remember small flip phone cameras?!), and their quality is only expected to continue to grow. The same goes for any camera in general. The world of photography has many different potentials, and it is best to make sure to do your research on as many of them as you can.

 

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5 Reasons Why Photography is a Unique Artistic Medium

The world and history of photography is very vast, dating back to the 1500’s when the first pinhole camera was created. It was not until the 1900’s that photography took a big leap forward, but the artistic medium of photography continued (and still continues) to prevail.

There is no wonder why photography has evolved so much. With the advancements in modern technology and science, the world of photography continues to grow in a positive way. We are able to manipulate our photographs with computer programs, in order to enhance what the camera captures. Photographs can be printed on various mediums such as paper or canvas.

Photography has not developed just because of the advancements in modern day technology. Photography is an ever growing, unique artistic medium that allows the photographer to truly see their subject. Photography gives us the ability to freeze time, and even go back in time (in a sense). Photography as an art gives the photographer almost limitless options when it comes to creativity—making this artistic medium very unique.

Below are 5 of the main reasons why photography is such a unique artistic medium.

  1. Photography allows you to time travel

If you think about it, a photograph is time frozen. I am not saying this in a way where we can physically go see the dinosaurs or revisit a concert from a year ago. Instead, photography uses various aspects of math and science to absorb light onto a reactive surface that creates the image. As a result, you have a photograph that shows a moment in time.

Saying photography allows you to time travel should not be considered in the literal sense. Think perspective. Look at a picture on your phone, it brings you back to your memory of that specific point in time. So in sense, you are time traveling simply by looking back at your photographs.

  1. Photography is almost limitless

Photography is almost limitless. This phenomenon is mainly due to the advancements in modern day technology, but do not just give the technology all the credit. When you are truly in tune with your camera, the possibilities of creating an amazing photograph are almost endless. You can manipulate your subjects, the lighting, add your own physical effects—the list goes on!

As with saying photography allows you to time travel should not be taken literally, photography being almost limitless should not be taken literally either. There are some limitations to this unique artistic medium, but they are not prominent very often. Photography is a great way to express yourself creatively, and truly produce a photography that is worth 1000 words.

  1. Photography makes you really look at your subject

Anyone can simply pick up a camera, turn it on, and press the shutter button to snap a photo. Simply taking a regular photo is easy, but it takes a certain finesse to really produce a photograph. Another reason why photography is such a unique artistic medium is because it makes you truly look at your subject.

Looking at your subject is simple, open your eyes! However, you need to see your subject and be completely present in the moment in order to get that perfect photograph.

Take for example wedding photography. You are responsible for capturing a very special moment in many lives during this time, and if you are simply just looking and snapping photos, you will not be able to tell the story that you are being paid to tell. Instead you are producing pictures that are at the same quality of a wedding guests.

Be present, and truly see your subjects—this is what photography aims to do. Truly seeing your subject(s) will help you not only relate to your client, but also help you produce the best photograph possible.

  1. Photography Combines Science and Art

The creation of photography simply began with a series of experiments—dating back to the 1500s! The human race has been experimenting with photography for hundreds of years, and we have made the most advancements during the 20th and 21st centuries. What start off as a light reacting with certain chemicals is no a multi-billion dollar market, and a way for artists to express themselves without using a pencil or other artistic mediums.

Photography uses art, which is the product you see in a photograph, and science, which is how the photograph is created. Light reacts with different things, like silver chloride or mirrors, allowing a small machine to create high resolution photographs. If you do not believe this, feel free to do more research on how a typical DSLR camera works, or even how a film camera works. Photography is amazing in a sense where it has the power to combine two completely different subjects to create an amazing photograph.

  1. Photography can be personalized

Offering photographic services to clients is not the only means of going about photography. You have the power to personalize your photography, create art for yourself.

Perhaps this reason why photography is unique can allow a person to be more in tune with their inner selves. Instead of simply taking a photograph for someone else, you are taking one that satisfies the photographer in you.

Let us say you are on a nature hike, just strolling and you find the perfect scene right in front of your eyes. You pick up your camera, position yourself and adjust the camera settings accordingly, and snap the photograph. You now have personalized your own photography!

There are more than 5 reasons why photography is unique, and they may only arise depending on the individual. There are so many reasons to love photography, even if it only means taking photographs for yourself. Photography is in a sense limitless, it is a great creative outlet, and it really makes you look at your subject(s). Photography also allows you to time travel and to help capture moments that others may not be able to capture themselves. To say that photography is a unique artistic medium is an understatement, to say the least.

 

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The BEST Photography Blog

Welcome to the BEST Photography blog in the world!

Ok, well atleast I think so because it is my own! I am really excited to share some awesome tips and tricks for fellow photographers and hopefully to help you increase your photography skills. I have been taking photos and fascinated with photography ever since a young boy, when I got my first camera at the age of only 5, for christmas. I was HOOKED! I remember when film was the ONLY way to even take a picture, AND it would be black and white. We have come such a long way since then with DSLR cameras and many other styles (too many to even begin talking about on this post!).

Give me ANY camera, and I will take a beautiful picture with it, in ways many people can not imagine. I really love how all different people see EACH photo in a different way, and I briefly discuss this in my about section. But I would like to elaborate a little more here.

Every time someone takes a photo, they are setting their own angle. I love this aspect the most. Everyone sees it different! You could have 10 people take a picture in the same spot of the same inanimate object, with the same camera, with the SAME settings, and each and everyone of those photos will be quite different! How cool is that? Everyone is different and so is every single picture!

Uniqueness is quite a thing, and is the sole driven reason for my passion of photography.

Got a bunch of reasons you love photography?
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