Photography is like Golf

July 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

The title of this blog update might not make sense if you don't play golf (I'm making the assumption you are a photographer). Golf is a sport that has both a technical side and an artistic side. So does photography.

 

Before you strike a golf ball, you have to understand certain technical details. These are things like the wind direction and wind strength, the humidity in the air, the condition of the "lie" of the golf ball (is the ball teed up, in the fairway, in a divot or in the rough), the golf stance (and the resulting effect on the golfer's posture and swing), and finally the distance the ball needs to travel to it's intended destination. 

 

In photography, there are technical details that need to be understood before capturing the image at the desired exposure. These are things like the available light, the range of shutter speeds available based on other parameters (for instance ISO), intended affects of the various camera settings (for example, a "slow" shutter speed to impart a sense of motion), and the available apertures based on other parameters.

 

So the golfer assesses the technical details and considers the possible results and then makes some decisions. He/she decides which club to use and what kind of shot shape (ball flight) needs to be created to realize the desired result. The photographer does the same thing. The photographer decides which camera settings to use (aperture, shutter speed, ISO setting) in conjunction with the image composition to create the desired result.

 

So what else is in common? The visualization of the end result. The golfer imagines the curve and flight of the golf ball given the stance, wind, club, etc., before he/she executes the swing. The better golfers are able to visualize the shot and then execute what was just visualized. The photographer does the same thing imagining the resulting image given a slow or fast shutter speed, large or small aperture and "slow" or "fast" ISO setting. The resulting image reflects the sum of these technical inputs.

 

In both photography and golf, the results are not always what was intended. But here is where the photographer has it all over the golfer. There is no LightRoom or Photoshop for golfers.

 
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Have a good weekend and keep shooting (or golfing).

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