Guy Tal • Our Changing Priorities

From manual to fully automatic; we have come a long way since the photographic medium was invented. Yet, some of us believe that such technical achievements are not very important

It was not too long ago that photographic expertise revolved around such things as metering, exposure, focus, and image development; a sharp well-exposed 4x6 print, for many, was the pinnacle of photographic achievement. Those who ventured beyond the recording of personal memories and into the realms of expressive imagery, let alone art, were few, and their work required extensive technical knowledge and years of practice to hone.

In contrast, capable camera systems, photo-editing software, and photographic desktop printers are within easy reach for many today. A rudimentary understanding of histograms can substitute for the complexity of metering and the Zone System; smart automatic focus now can out-pace most manual users in most situations; and many software packages reduce complex image processing to a few clicks of a mouse. Certainly, those who wish for greater control may still achieve it, but, for the most part, making sharp well-exposed images, and even high quality prints, is ...

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About Author


I am a full-time photographer, writer, and naturalist living and working in the Colorado Plateau – a scenic and diverse desert region of the western United States spanning an area larger than most countries and states.

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