The Camera Vs. The Eye

The Eye and the Camera do not see exactly the same way. When an individual looks at his or her surroundings, their eyes roam and scan the surroundings, focusing on objects close by or in the distant. Even though the camera and the eye both have a lens, the eye is more complex and able to focus on an object while still incorporating the rest of a scene with peripheral vision. The brain filters this scene creating an image that is less chaotic.

The camera is not able to perform this task. It is unable to filter the clutter, chaos or any other extraneous information. It just records the information.

To compensate for this “visual chaos,” the photographer must actually control what the camera records and exclude extraneous information. He/she must separate the objects in the scene.

This can be done with selective focus( aperture ), perspective, lighting, and shutter speed:

1.Selective focus: The lens of a camera has the ability to change depth of field. A photographer can manipulate how many objects are in focus by changing the aperture on the lens(f-stop). Opening the lens up(smaller aperture-lower number) creates areas in the image that will be out of focus thereby leading the eye visually to more focus areas in the picture.

2. Perspective: The angle that one photographs a scene can isolate an image more. This can be achieved by shooting from a different height; moving closer to or further away from the subject; or moving to the left or to the right of the subject.

3. Lighting: Using the proper lighting can help to remove the chaos from an image. This can be done by using a flash to brighten up the subject and darken the background; using a reflector to bounce light on to the object; or photographing the object at a different time of day.

4. Shutter speed: Shutter speed can be used to create or isolate the subject. Using a slower shutter speed can create a blur effect; or panning(moving the camera while taking the picture) can focus the viewers attention on the subject of the photograph.

The fine art photographer will use these methods to create an image that is organized and well thought out.

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