The Arka Tech

The diversity of photography: A student learns the aspects of the art

CLAUDIA HALL/THE ARKA TECH: Using a VSCOcam filter on Instagram does not make you a photographer.

With the creation of Instagram came a wave of iPhone-ographers. By taking an artsy photo of a flower and using a VSCOcam filter, you’ve got yourself a hundred likes. If you are one of these people, I’m not condemning you. I do it too. But I don’t consider this photography. There’s a lot more that goes into photography than just snapping a cool photo.

I’ve been pursuing photography for eight years now. When I started out, I used a small point-and-shoot camera and took photos of nature. A few years down the road, my parents surprised me with a Canon Rebel XS, which is a DSLR (one of those fancy large black cameras) but not a high end one.

During my sophomore year of high school, I started a business. I wish I could show you all of my horrible photos that I once thought were incredible. I didn’t actually know how to use my camera if it wasn’t on automatic settings. Though I was improving every day, I didn’t have actual control over my camera. This went on until last semester when I decided to take a photography class. In the course of three months, I learned all the technicalities of photography.

There are a lot of things you have to think about when taking a picture. Aperture controls the amount of light let in, also known as the depth of field. The shutter speed controls how long the shutter stays open, or how much data is recorded.

There are so many different effects you can achieve. If you leave the shutter open for a long time, you record more movement. If the shutter is open for a split second, everything looks frozen in time. The lower the aperture, the blurrier the background. The higher the aperture, the more in focus the background is. There are an infinite number of ways to take the same photo, which makes it even more challenging. I’ve only just brushed the surface of understanding the vastness of it.
During every photoshoot, I think I’m doing a fantastic job. But afterward when I’m looking at the photos on my computer, I find 10 things I could have done better.

But that’s the beauty of photography. Right when you think you’ve mastered it, you get a dose of reality and get to learn even more.