When I was first learning photography, I was often disappointed by my images. I’d go to a beautiful place, and take many photographs. Later, when I’d examine the results on the monitor, I’d find that what had been so appealing in person wasn’t captured by the camera. Sound familiar?
Ansel Adams once remarked that a good photograph is knowing where to stand. Where we stand—or kneel, sit, or lie—determines the camera’s point of view.
The seemingly mundane task of selecting a point of view is one of the most creative aspects of photography. When the camera’s position changes, the relationships of the visual elements in the viewfinder are rearranged. We can redesign the world as the camera sees it, simply by moving.
Tastes vary, but I've never seen an image with a watermark that wouldn't have been better without it.
The disadvantage of using a watermark is obvious. It introduces a distracting visual element that doesn't belong in an image. The effect of a watermark on an image ranges from mildly distracting at best, to ruinous at worst. When I see a photograph with a watermark, the watermark is almost invariably the first thing I look at. If it's large and obtrusive, it's also usually the last.
Few things improved my photography more than learning when and how to set the exposure manually. That knowledge allows us to get good exposures in situations that automatic exposure can't handle. Setting the exposure manually also encourages us to make conscious, creative decisions about exposure.
I've heard some photographers say that they don't see any reason to use manual exposure. If that's your view, here's why I think you should reconsider.
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