Van Gogh Painted in "M" Mode

November 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

You hear it all the time from the uneducated in the photography world... "P" is for Professional.  Sorry to bust your bubble, but "P" stands for "Program Mode".  If you had read your camera's manual you would have known that.  Instead more and more people lately want to buy a camera, set it to "P" mode, "spray & pray" that they get a good shot, and call themselves a "Professional Photographer".  Most Professional Photographers shoot in either Semi-Manual (A, S, AV, or Tv) to Full Manual (M) Modes, not "P" Mode.

Some people like to rebuttal this with the comment of "Did anyone ask what brushes Van Gogh used or just marvel at the end results?"  The "End Results" are not famous due to the brushes Van Gogh used, but due to the unrestricted flow of his imagination and his skill and knowledge at being able to put what he saw in his mind onto canvas.  Van Gogh painted in "M" mode.  The same goes for Photography.  Shooting in "P" mode limits you to the creativity that you can achieve.  Sure you can make a picture using "P" mode, but you are creating an image that the CAMERA has computed. All that is, is a "paint-by-numbers" type of image.  By shooting in "M" mode, you have FULL CREATIVITY access to achieve the image you wish to create.  Full creative ability will help you create your own type of "Van Gogh Masterpiece", instead of a "Paint-By-Numbers Camera Computed Image".

Now I'm not saying shooting in "P" mode is a bad thing.  If you are just starting out learning the Photography Craft, then fire away!  But don't stay in "P" mode.  Learn your camera, expand your knowledge, work your way up to "M" mode, learn how to light properly and create your masterpieces.  "M" mode is where the "Magic" starts.  "M" mode is where you become a "Master Professional Photographer".

Those of us who have put a lot of blood sweat and tears into our craft get a little upset when someone buys a camera, turns to "P" Mode, and calls themselves a Professional Photographer, willing to be hired for pennies and gives away the images on a disc. You are essentially devaluing the Photography Craft by doing this kind of thing.  Think of it kind of like an illegal immigrant coming into America, offering your employer that they will do your job for a fraction of what you are paid.  They have no clue on how to do said job, just that they are willing to accept less pay.  Now how would you feel if you lost your job because of this?  This type of scenario is what happens to Professional Photographers every day by Amateurs and Hobbyists in the Photography Industry.  I'm not saying NOT to pursue your passion in Photography, just to NOT claim the title or to contract yourself out as a Professional when you are really a Hobbyist.

Education is Vital in ANY industry.  Not educating yourself in photography and accepting jobs as a "Professional Photographer" or even just as a "Photographer" simply because you have a nice Camera is like hiring a Plumber solely because they have a nice Pipe Wrench or hiring a Carpenter because they have a nice Hammer.  

Van Gogh painted in "M" mode and so can you by being true to the industry, educating yourself, and educating others.


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