One of the biggest misconceptions in the world of photography is that the camera records exactly what your eye sees.
If you have ever taken a shot of a waterfall, sprinting child or sunset, then you know that this is simply not the case. The human eye and a camera (no matter how fancy) are two separate entities. The former has the capability to see a range of light and color that is practically limitless, while the latter has major limitations.
Think about the last time you snapped a photo of a subject in a room saturated with fluorescent light. I bet you anything that the blues in the photo looked surprisingly green. That’s because the light being emitted from the tubes has a green tint. In addition, if you are shooting in low light conditions you might record shadows that appear much darker in a photo than they do in real life.
The saying: “A picture doesn’t do it justice” also speaks to the limitations cameras have when recording a large scene. For example, if you have ever visited the Grand Canyon, you know that not even the highest quality panoramic photo is able to communicate the sheer beauty of the massive natural wonder. I have tried on many, many occasions to translate the tranquility of a Hawaiian sunset, but no matter how many angles I experiment with or filters I test, there is simply no way to transfer the awe-inspiring scene to a print.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I plan to give up and take photos in my head instead of with my camera. By employing a few time-honored techniques and manipulating camera features, such as shutter speed, aperture, and white balance, I can attempt to document scenes or subjects in their most natural state. Hopefully, with a little practice, patience and perseverance I will be able to do them justice.