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What Matters in Photography?
You can guess many factors, such as the amount and direction of lights, creative compositions, angles, bokeh quality, and many other things. But in my view, one thing trumps all of that. drumrolls
It’s the moment. If you capture the right moment, the rest doesn’t matter. You can have a boring composition, not so perfect lighting, no bokeh, etc. But if you capture the moment, you have the most crucial thing in photography.
Too often, people focus on a technicality but lose the thing that gives soul to a photograph. The one thing that is precious enough in photography is freezing the moment still with the camera.
Take a look at a genre of news photography, where the job is all striving for that momentous moment. Or those who shoot famous people, i.e., Royal Photographers or celebrities. It’s the moment that matters. They need to be there at the right time, at the right place, as those photographs will be in history.
But suppose you take a look at Kate Middleton’s photography of the Royal family. I believe her photographs are far more interesting than any pictures taken by news photographers’ as she is closer to her children and the family. It has a more intimate feeling to them. To get lots of great moments, a photographer needs to have that kind of access to their subjects. I know this because I, too, photograph my children, and it always feels special no matter what. I am always there in the moment.
But, wouldn’t it be more precious if that moment is taken creatively, with artistic composition, and infused with exciting lights? Of course, it is. That’s where experience pays. Good photographers need to balance all those factors in getting the perfect moments, often in a split of a second.