Published in Kanon

I must first apologize to those who have missed out on the “photography lessons” that I promised to post quite often, but haven’t actually put one on the blog in a very long time. The reason for this long delay is that starting this month, I am writing a monthly article on photography in the Russian magazine “Kanon”(kanonseattle.com), and I think it would be best if I synced the lessons from the blog to the magazine. In other words, I will post the English version of the article on this blog every month also.

The first lesson is very similar to what I have already posted on January 5th of this year, therefore I will only post a part of the article.

First, here is how the article looks on paper(Thanks to Oleg and his team for making the design and allowing me to be a part of the publication):




The article is about the myths that are widely spread and believed by many. Here are the top five:

Myth 1: “In order to have great photograph you must buy an expensive professional camera.”
This is by far the most popular lie out there; almost everybody I know believes this. Some even envision that the quality of the pictures is proportional to the price tag of the camera. People believe that once they buy that $500, or that $1000 camera, or if they really collect some money and buy the “ really professional” camera, then their pictures will be amazing: they will be so colorful and sharp, they will all of the sudden be so much more interesting; your friends will be so amazed with your images! Well, admit it, that’s probably what you think too.

The truth is that although great equipment is helpful when taking pictures, it is definitely no as important as most people think. There are many, many awful rich “photographers” that own expensive cameras but take horrible looking photographs. On the other hand, there are many very good photographers out there that cannot afford expensive cameras and lenses, yet are able to produce great images.

Myth 2: “The more mega-pixels a camera has the better.”

This one is also very wide spread. Most people treat the mega-pixel count as a “rating” of the camera—the higher, the better. This is also a lie of the marketing world and it is intended to manipulate people into buying the more expensive equipment. When people are not getting good results from the camera, they assume that there is something lacking, something they need more of; the natural assumption is that an upgrade to a higher mega-pixel camera will solve their problems. The truth is, however, not even the Hasselblad H3D 39 mega-pixel camera will increase the overall quality of a picture if the one using the camera does not understand essentials of photography.

Myth 3: “Digital is better that film.”

Many of are so convinced that this is true, that they laugh at the very notion that film is a great medium to shoot on. The truth is that digital is better in some aspects, and film has its advantages too. So to say that one is better than the other is simply false. About two years ago I had a serious struggle whether I should shoot digital or film. It was a hard decision, but I choose digital (although I still absolutely love film) for reasons I will explain in the articles to come.

Myth 4: “The best weather for picture taking is a bright, sunny day.”

If it happens that when I shoot a wedding and it’s a sunny day, I often hear “Oh, I’m so glad the sun came out—the pictures will turn out great.” Most people even think that the best time to take pictures is when it’s most bright, around noon. This cannot be further from the truth—sunny days at noon are actually make the worst time for picture taking.

Myth 5: “You must be able to use Photoshop to have great looking prints.”

Photoshop is the best computer program for editing and retouching pictures, and I do really love the program. It is a very difficult program to learn and master, and therefore few people know how to use it well. This doesn’t mean, however, that you cannot enjoy the beauties of the digital era. There are many other ways of having pictures retouched and edited to make them look fantastic!


2 Responses to “Published in Kanon”

  1. 1 Jason
    March 20, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    That is a very sharp looking spread, great job!

  2. March 22, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    i learn that the best hour to photograph is 7am and after 5pm…but i think it all depends what you want in result…

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