Since I received some flack for linking to my blog last time I'm copying and pasting my newest post here: The Big Lie Casual photographers often stare at their pictures in horror. Wondering how a majestic scene became an uninteresting image. “You had to be there. The camera didn’t do it justice,” is the despondent mantra of post vacation slideshows. The toss away line became an appeal to ancient wisdom after countless repetitions through the decades. The harsh truth is the photographer didn’t do justice to the scene. But why didn’t they? Blaming disappointing snapshots on a lack of care or concern is too easy. Nobody wants to take bad photos. The cause We glimpse the hidden cause of lousy photography every time a person says, “Amazing photo. You must have an expensive camera.” This statement results from a lie that’s been repeated since birth of photography. A lie that’s responsible for most people believing the camera determines a photo’s quality. From childhood we’re told, “What you see, is what you get,” with a camera. After all, that’s why photography is so darn easy. Simply point your lens at something appealing and click the shutter. Photography--unlike painting, sculpting or music--doesn’t require skill; just equipment. I believe this falsehood is the primary source of the second-rate photographs we’re subjected to everyday. The truth is humans and cameras see the world in fundamentally different ways. Cameras see an objective view of reality. Humans do not. The truth Humans perceive a highly edited and simplified version of reality. We live in a highly chaotic world making it impossible for us to process everything around us. Our brains evolved highly efficient information filters to prevent melting down from sensory overload. Unfortunately this means we tend to miss things if we aren’t focused on them. Speak with a police officer or reporter who’s interviewed witnesses at a chaotic event if you doubt your brains ability to willfully ignore things. You’ll be shocked at how many different versions of the event people recount. The most difficult skill for a photographer to learn is seeing the world as a camera does. Why isn’t this explained to new camera buyers? The way forward Many dreadful photographs would be avoided if every camera came with a simple pamphlet highlighting the largest differences between our vision and the camera’s. Once a photographer understands these differences the importance of things such as uncluttered backgrounds, dynamic range and lighting becomes obvious and intuitive. I believe they’ll automatically change their behavior when interacting with a camera just as they do when dealing with a person who speaks a foreign language.