everyone has a different idea of what a good photograph is. most think they know the difference between what is good & bad art. when you stop to take a picture, it's because you have seen something that appeals to you. unfortunately, you only see what you like and pictures are not taken at what you ignore. you may be naturally drawn to a particular type of building, but pay no attention to another, and what one person finds appealing to look at you may not even see. great pictures are being missed, simply because you didn't even know they existed in the first place.
what i'm trying to say is, just because you or anyone doesn’t understand a piece of artwork it doesn't mean that it's bad. it just simply means you do not like it. there are all kinds of artwork that i do not like, but i still call it art.
is photography hard? no, of course not. since SLRs(?) became fully automatic anyone can go out and get a decent camera and take high quality prints, not pictures. taking photographs has very little to do with buying an expensive camera or a massive array of photographic equipment. some people think that just because they have the same type or brand of camera professionals use that they can take great pictures. a better camera does help of course with faster shutter speeds, better exposure, and so on. yet, it seems pointless spending 1,200 dollars if someone doesn't grasp the idea of design, lighting, color, composition etc. . . into the photograph.
nevertheless, sometimes just the opposites of that can occur. i have heard this said before (not to me though of course), "well, they have good pictures because they have an expensive, nice camera". using this logic must mean that Salvador Dali must have used the best paints and brushes. some great photographs have been taken with a pinhole(?) camera which are still taught and used today.
the most popular camera among both amateur and professional photographers is the single lens reflex (SLR) camera. the SLR lets you see the photograph the same way the lens does. a mirror is inside the camera at an angle to the lens. the mirror catches the image from the lens and reflects it up into a viewfinder. this lets quick and easy focusing, increases control over composition, allows you to determine quickly which portions the subject will be in focus, and other variables as well.
SLR cameras allow more flexibility with lenses, flashes, and other attachments that seem to be an endless list. some lenses allow for close-up (macro) photography and zoom (telephoto) lenses bring a scene closer to the lens.
i took this paragraph from John Hedgecoe's "New Book of Photography". i tried to describe what a SLR is in my own words and found it rather hard. before i had always had one with me to show someone the mirror, shutter. . .
a simple and very basic camera that just about any one can make from items around the house (well, besides that photo paper of course) is a pinhole camera. the camera can consist of just about anything that is light-tight with a piece of photo paper at one end and a tiny pinhole in the other (instead of a lens) where light is transmitted. the value of learning how to use a pinhole camera is that one learns about exposure. there is no way of knowing how much light should be let in to expose the paper. when i took photo classes in high school, our first assignment was making a pinhole camera. below is one of the exposures i made that took around 20 seconds.
~ speed ~