When we do a search on the internet, we will find an enormous amount of tutorials and videos about photography. It is about settings, equipment, lenses, post-processing, and much more. These videos can be very helpful to achieve an end result. And that’s what matters.
A lot of photographers love to teach their way of photographing. And yes, I’m one of those photographers. Just like everyone else, I explain the way I use my equipment and how to post-process my footage. What I tell is my personal way of working, my own method. How I do things might be completely different compared to another photographer. In fact, everyone who is posting tutorials on the internet has his or her unique way of working.
All these different explanations might become confusing at times. This means you will probably use the method of the photographer whose work you admire.
Has it ever occurred to you that it doesn’t matter how you use your equipment, your photography technique, or even the post-processing? It is the end result that matters. Perhaps your method or the one you have learned is not the easiest or most efficient way. As long as you end up with the image you like, that is what counts.
Example 1: The Use of Camera and Lenses
There is a lot to say about equipment. On every photography website, you can find reviews and advice on how to use cameras and lenses. If you are looking for a good camera or lens, it can be very difficult to find the best one for the job.
Most of the times it doesn’t matter that much which camera you use. If your camera gets the job done, then it is a good one. Perhaps a certain camera has options that can make your life much easier, but don’t lose yourself in the never ending discussions about features and possibilities. Just go out and do the job. The moment you run into problems, which stand in the way of a good result, it is time for an upgrade.
Example 2: The Use of Camera Settings
Modern cameras have a lot of different available settings that can make the use of the camera much easier. But besides the sometimes exotic functions and possibilities, you need to have a correct exposure. It doesn’t make any difference if you use a manual or an automatic exposure setting. If your photo is exposed correctly and it has the depth of field you want, it is okay.
Perhaps there is also another way to get the correctly exposed photo. But even if you force yourself into using a method as explained by some tutorial or video, the photo won't get any better.
This also applies to the use of autofocus settings. There is not one single perfect setting, but there are many different available that will work in your situation. Which one you should use depends on the tutorial you read or watched and your personal preferences. The only thing that matters is a sharp image. How you achieved this is of less importance.
Just make sure your preferred setting is working for you and enables you to achieve the wanted results. If you run into difficulties, your method may need to be fine-tuned.
Example 3: The Use of Filters
Some love filters, others don’t. I’m one of the landscape photographers that loves the use of filters. But it doesn’t necessarily mean filters will produce a better result. They are just a way of working, the method I prefer. Filters are never the only way of achieving the image I like, nor are they the perfect method. They are just one of the many ways to achieve the result you like.
Just think of it this way. The people who will look at the photo won’t care how the image is made. They just see a great photo. Only other photographers may want to know how it was done. Perhaps you have used exposure bracketing or you used the dynamic range capabilities of your camera. Or you have used filters to get the image you wanted. Either of these methods is a good method if the end result is to your liking, even if it is not the most efficient way.
Example 4: The Use of Post-Processing Software
There are a lot of different ways to post-process your image. You can use the software provided by the manufacturer or one of the popular programs like Lightroom, Capture One, or Luminar. But no matter which program you use or how the program works, just make sure you get a good end result. How it is done or what software is used is of lesser importance.
Perhaps you use a method that takes you hours of work, while another method will do the same thing in just a couple of minutes. Just like I mentioned in the previous section, the client is just looking at the end result. It doesn't matter how that result is achieved.
Should You Forget About All Those Tutorials and Videos?
You might wonder if you shouldn’t waste your time on those tutorials and videos. If the path to the end result is of no importance, why should you listen to all that advice?
I'm convinced it is very wise to see how others work and how they achieve those results you like so much. Although the client will only care about the end result, other methods may show you an easier way or a quicker way, or perhaps they will show you a method that will increase the overall quality of your work.
That is why you should continue to read tutorials and watch videos. You might already know how to get the result, but you will still learn a thing or two. And for those who are so willing to share their way of photographing, continue to do so. It is great to help others improve their photography. Just remember, in the end, it is your result that matters, not the path towards it.
Do you read tutorials and watch videos about your photography? Do you feel you are still learning and evolving your photography? Are you sure your method is the best one available? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.