One of the first questions people tend to ask when they see a great photograph is, “what camera?”

We will talk more about which camera to buy and what to look for  in a later section.  But, to start off with, it is good to know what the various pieces of equipment are, what they do, and how they contribute to the end photograph.  With this in mind, we will examine parts of a Nikon D70 Digital Single Lense Reflex (DSLR) camera system.


Eyes + Brain 

The single most important piece of equipment we can possess happens to be free, and something we already have - our brain!  Cameras simply emulate our eyes and brain.  But, they are woefully inadequate.  They need our help.  Computers may be able to do binary calculations faster than the human mind, but that does not make them smart.  They have immense difficulties taking input from numerous sources, compiling it, and taking appropriate actions.  We do all this without thought.

When we see someone and immediately recognize this person as a friend, we do not give it a second thought.  For a computer to do this, it would have to first digitize the image into a binary format it understands.  Next, it has to process this digital image into a map that it can compare with similar maps in its database.  It then runs through millions of similar maps and calculates the %same and %different.  Based on the most similar map, it guesses this person is our friend.  After all this, it is still wrong more times than it is right.  We do all of this in essentially the same way, but within a split second, without having to actively think about doing it, while maintaining near perfect accuracy.

Even though the camera can help us take a photograph, it cannot take it for us.  Some camera models even show us where to place our subject by outlining it on the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), they focus for us, they adjust the exposure for us, they decide which images are fuzzy and which are sharp, and which photos to keep and which to throw out.  But, with all this, our pictures are mediocre at best.  The camera cannot yet pop out of our pocket and tell us, “Hey, here’s a ‘Kodak Moment,’” then proceed to frame and shoot the photo completely without our interaction.

With all this technology available in cameras, even the top-of-the-line models, with their exorbitant sticker prices, can still take crappy pics if not properly used.  Conversely, we can produce great works of art regardless of the medium used, even if only with a $0.02 pencil on a scrap piece of paper.

The definition at the top of the Introduction Page states that photography is an art.  As such, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to take a photograph.  It is an interpretation of the artist - the one who creates the photograph.