What and how affects the photo?


The title photo collage was obtained using photographs taken on the lens MSO USSR SSD UPP-1 ★ KHARKIV ★ F-7 CM ★

My rating factors:

1. Photographer - The main element during photography. If there weren’t a person, the camera wouldn’t turn on, would not be installed in the correct position near the model or landscape, would not focus and would not take a picture at all. The photographer manages the entire shooting process, he is fully responsible for the shooting process, is responsible for the result, and no go-ahead is acceptable. If somebody called himself a photographer, He must be able to take pictures and get great results even on the phone, soap box and tin can. And this requires much more than just picking up a camera and pressing a button.

But, of course, a person himself cannot control everything, because the next factor that affects the creation of photography, I will name the external factors.

2. External factorslocation, the mood of those involved in the shooting, the type of shooting and the time allotted for shooting. Let me give you an example: when a photographer is filming his reportage, he cannot force someone to look exactly where he needs to be, or ask to do something, he can only catch moments, look for a good angle. Also, when shooting a landscape, it suddenly starts to rain - the photographer will not be able to get a perfectly blue sky, but he can get a rainy picture. The psychological attitude of those involved in the shooting is very much influenced. It is not always possible to customize and arrange the participants for the shooting or, for example, to change the model's hairstyle. Artistic photography is greatly influenced by the help of a make-up artist, a thoughtful idea, etc. An experienced photographer will be able to squeeze the maximum out of the resulting situation and will never blame such a combination of circumstances.

3. Light - element both technical and natural. Light is the key to success... Light is what creates an image on film, or on a matrix, or in extreme cases, gives a summer tan. It's difficult for a photographer without light. The photographer also controls the light - he correctly positions the participants in the direction of the sun, selects the shadows. From the technical side, the photographer enjoys flash, even during the day, reflectors, softboxes, creative lighting systems. This is especially true in the studio.

3.1. Assistant photographer. I did not highlight the assistant photographer as a separate item that affects the photo, because the assistant photographer can be attributed more to the photographer who organized the photography, and since the assistant photographer is most often involved in organizing the necessary lighting, the assistant is part of the lighting system. In some cases, an assistant is indispensable. With an assistant, you can get a good photo much faster, and there is always someone to talk to :). Usually, serious shooting involves a lot of people, the so-called team of the photographer. The photographer’s team is also very, very important for creating good shots.

4. Post processing using software (e.g. using Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.). It's no secret that in our time the absorbing part of the photo is digital, and sometimes it requires digital processing. A lot depends on the skills of a photographer or another person to correct a frame using software. Everyone knows that from a soap dish you can “pull out” a photo no worse than from a fancy DSLR. It takes time, skill and strength.

Spoiler alert: today, harsh post processing has become a kind of scourge of photography. From any, even the most disgusting photo, you can create a 'masterpiece' by adding a million and one filters there :).

5. The lens - an indispensable tool in the hands of any photographer. A well-known proverb that the photographer buys a lens, and on delivery the camera. The lens gives exactly the picture that we see, it creates it, warps, complements, works with sharpness, GRIP and other smart things. A lot depends on the speed of its focusing and focal lengths, aperture. Therefore, the lens is so important in photography.

6. The camera. By and large, this is a black (sometimes more glamorous) box, with curtains that sometimes open to apply light to the film, matrix, etc. At what earlier, the film and the camera were also separate. Now so much attention is paid to the camera due to the fact that there is a matrix instead of a film, which has a number of characteristics that many scientists are working on, and which more people are discussing. The camera allows you to simply dock the work of the photographer, lens, flash (light) and save the image on a film or memory card.

7. Printing device. The most-final result of all the attempts of the photographer depends on him. Printers have different print quality, color profiles, this is not an unimportant moment.

A colleague provides a new service 'professional photography of pictures for replication, reproduction or printing in catalogs', can anyone be interested, details here.

8. Display. Sometimes, I would say, very often the photo does not reach the print and is shown on the display. Of course, the better the display conveys colors and shades, the better the photo will look. Millions of articles have also been written on this subject.

Such a list was compiled by me in order to show that the technique itself, namely camera and lens are not the main sources of good photos. I think many people know and understand that good pictures can also be taken on the phone.

Some useful findings:

  1. It is not always necessary to chase an expensive professional camera, even on the most simple camera with interchangeable lenses you can get wonderful photos. I give my examples from the most primitive and oldest 6 megapixel, slowest and very ancient SLR Nikon D40 (EXIF see below for photos). The main advantage of interchangeable lens cameras is matrix size, and for all cropped cameras, it is almost the same, just like for full-frame cameras and cameras of a different type. In practice, you can get the same photos, especially when working at low ISO from cameras of different levels, for example with Nikon D40 и D7000, Pentax-k30 and Pentax K10, Canon 350D и Canon 60D. My examples on the ancient Canon 350D:
  2. It is not always justified to chase expensive high-aperture optics, even with a whale lens, you can take good pictures. Here are some examples from simple whale lenses: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (EXIF on right).
  3. The brand of the camera does not show the level of professionalism of the photographer. All battles about superiority Nikon \ Canon\ Pentax \ Sony \ Olympus, etc. only distract from the very process of creating photos. Good photos are not Nikon D5, Canon 1Dx, ability to manage them. I advise you to show love for good pictures instead of showing love for your brand.
  4. My experience of working and teaching people the basics of photography shows that a huge number of useful functions in modern cameras remains not only unclaimed, but generally not understood by beginner photographers. Therefore, in a huge number of cases, you should not buy an expensive camera, but restrict yourself to a simpler one. By the way, for this, manufacturers are not in vain dividing models into amateur, advanced, professional, top-end, flagship, etc. I advise beginners start with any cheapest SLR cameraIn any case, if the hobby for photography is claimed, the camera will have to be changed. Also, I recommend a look here.

Therefore, no matter what technique you photograph, it is important how you do it. The idea of ​​the whole article is that not worth chasing a fancy camera and lensesOf course, the camera is also important in photographing, but the listed factors are more important aspects.

The image gallery below was shot with a very ancient camera Nikon D70 and even more ancient lens Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (MKII, Nikon JAPAN). All photos are shown without processing. (large format can be downloaded here here):

If you still don’t believe that an expensive camera or a super-duplex lens will neither make you a professional nor help improve your pictures, pay attention to the promotions that I spend on the site:

  1. Promotion 1
  2. Promotion 2
  3. Promotion 3
  4. Promotion 4

From the actions it follows that even advanced and even professional photographers who took part in the action, many of whom I personally know, could not even approximately guess with the help of which this or that photo was obtained. And even for pictures taken with cropped camera and a 'dark' lens, users wrote for some transcendental full-frame cameras and super-fast optics. Therefore, my actions only confirm the fact that technology (namely photographic equipment) is in some cases of secondary importance. In studio shooting, some parameters of cameras and lenses are further leveled.

In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic and they will answer you, as well as you can express your opinion or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend large catalogs, for example E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.


Respect the work of photographers, and remember that it is a person who photographs, and the camera affects the final result almost in the last turn. If we consider camera sophistication to be the only measure of the photographer’s professionalism, then we will all fall into the trap of stupidity.

The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. My Youtube channeland Radozhiva's group on Facebook и VK.

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Comments: 208, on the topic: What and how affects the photo?

  • an25673

    Good afternoon! Thank you all for the tips and tricks, it turned out even better than I expected, of course, but there is still such a question, I mostly shoot on hikes, very often in the mountains, where overweight and volume are a problem. I can’t take more than one lens with me, so I ask for advice on which one lens to buy, I take pictures of my wife on hikes in the background of the landscape, the landscape itself, sometimes the city from which the hike begins. Nikon D3100 camera, I do not plan to change the camera. The priority is not a big light lens.

  • an25673

    Yes, I myself look in the direction of 35 mm., I had 18-55, I’m fifty dollars and somehow I don’t really want to return to 18-55 after a fifty dollars, it's a pity fifty dollars are not suitable for hiking. I don’t know anything about 16-85.

    • Vitaly N

      There is a heavier option, but the quality is at the level of a half-fifty and 35-ki and at the same time the zoom, since you really want to get by with one lens: https://radojuva.com/2013/12/sigma-17-50mm-2-8-ex-dc-os-hsm/
      And with stabilization, unlike fixes.

    • Michael

      16-85 lens is good, the main thing is to find a copy - the quality floats

      • Vitaly N

        But only he did not go very far from 18-55. The same dark, but certainly constructive and quality is better. But to fifty dollars too far.

        • Michael

          to the darkness in the mountains do not care. Image quality is good, from 35 mm on similar apertures it is almost the same

          • Vitaly N

            But taking into account the weight - why should he, if there is already a light 18-55? And with the same weight, you can take a sharper 18-140. All the same, one field of berries.

      • Denis

        after he was dropped? Or do new ones have quality?
        16-85 a good lens, better than any 18-55
        but on the D3100 instead of 16-85 I would rather take 18-105, as a cheaper

        • Michael

          Well no. The new ones. The party was, by all appearances, "not very". Upon closer examination, all lenses washed out the lower right corner, then again the good ones went. If dropped there should be at least some differences ...

  • Aigul

    Hello! Please tell me for a novice photographer, I have a Nikon D3100 camera, is it possible to purchase an additional lens for a photo shoot in the studio? And which one would be advised.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes you can. Nikon 35 / 1.8 DX

  • an25673

    Yesterday I also bought a Nikon 35 / 1.8 DX, the sharpness on F4 is like that of a razor, it is not close to compare with 18-55 and 18-105, and even in my opinion it is stronger than Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f / 1.8G, plus price the new one is now quite good, I took for 4099 UAH.

    • Vitaly N

      Congratulations. A fifty dollars is noticeably less sharp, but on the crop for the portrait is the most. That is, stopped at 35 ke?

  • an25673

    Yes, I decided to try 35 mm, I liked the first impression, but I want to take some bird or something else, my wife has a mega zoom CANON with a fifty-fold increase, she shoots them a video.

  • Victor

    Hello Arkady. Thank you for your work.
    I would also add to the list of what affects the final product - a good photo. This mood is also inspiration. Which goes somewhere over the years) That feeling when your eyes are burning and you can get a good shot from any technique, even from an “iron”.

  • Olga

    Loved it

  • Erbolat

    Good day to all!
    I saw a video on Youtube about one person, a photographer who drowns for “not processing” and, according to him, he takes pictures right from the camera and gives these sources to clients. In this article, the processing is at the top, and this person says the opposite. His name is Alexander Medvedev. And he has training courses on such a shoot.
    Who, what will say on this topic?
    It would be interesting to know and Arcadia opinion.
    All good!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Everyone has their own approach, this is normal

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