Another great quote about photography:
the left side of our brain, the logical side, is busy worrying about camera settings—white balance, f-stops, shutter speeds, histograms, focus points— while your right brain is demanding, “Shut up! I’m trying to take a picture!”
The point here is that you need to get so familiar with your camera that dialling in the right settings comes as second nature. You can then concentrate on the picture itself using your in-built creativity, unshackled from the technician that has been holding you back.
I just bought a compact camera to be my “carry everywhere” camera. I have been trying to get used to it, thinking it would be simpler than my DSLR. The thing is that it is less controllable and consistent than my DSLR. In a bid to make things simpler for the average user it is actually harder to use consistently.
But even with my familiar Canon 7D there are times when the technical brain works slower than the creative mind. Here is another example of settings getting in the way of a quality photograph.
As twilight fell on the streets of Sidmouth in Devon, I came across a cute Shiatsu dog and its pretty young owner. I asked if I could take of photo of the dog, called Ted, and the owner agreed. After all, it was wearing a T-shirt and drawing a small crowd of admirers – she was unlikely to say no. A few seconds after I took the photo of Ted, the owner picked him up and I had a couple of seconds to grab a great photo. Unfortunately, as it was so dark, I had my 50mm lens almost wide open, greatly limiting the depth of field. As a result I got Ted in focus but not his owner. Nearly a great shot!! With time I would have boosted the ISO up to allow me to close down the lens a bit….I still like the photo but it has a technical flaw that means it will never be “great”…