Whether you are a beginner to digital photography or a well seasoned pro, chances are as technology (and even style trends) change, there will be something new that you want to learn photographically. You may be a master with camera settings, an expert in different photographic disciplines, or perhaps you are a flat-out beginner who is just getting started in photography. So the question is, what’s more important to you when learning a new photography technique, the “How” or the “Why?”
There are plenty of places where we can learn photography from, such as books, forums, online videos… but in today’s fast paced world we all tend to have a “want it now” mentality (myself included!). When you look at the outstanding photos that others have posted online or in print, you become inspired to take beautiful photos yourself. Perhaps you’ve seen a nice portraiture and were wondering how you could take a similar photo? What I am getting at here is this: Would you just rather someone told you the settings to put your camera on, quick and simple? Or would you prefer to know a bit of the theory behind ‘why’ you use those particular settings and ‘why’ they help you achieve the effect in question?
Sure, it’s easy to know the settings and angles, and you will be able to take great photos in no time – which seems to be the problem facing today’s photographer; no time. If you just want the “how” then chances are the next time you see a photo you’ll be asking it again “How did you take that photo?” But, if you learn the “why” behind the process, you’ll never be left in the dark.
When it comes to photography, what’s more important to you – the How or the Why?