Momiji and Photo Details

Today, I answer the question why don’t I give technical details of my photos. Also, momiji (autumn leaves)!

Why I Don’t Give Technical Details for My Photos

On many photo blogs you often find lots of technical details, all kinds of metadata, after every photo. Things like: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, megapixel count. Maybe others. I rarely post any of this information.


A number of reasons come to mind. These include, in no particular order:

  • I don’t think the technical details are useful for the vast majority of my audience
  • I don’t think the details are all that useful to the majority of photographers
  • I think the details can get in the way of enjoying a photo

The first point is almost self-explanatory. Most of my audience are not photographers and numbers such as ISO or shutter speed mean nothing. It is little more than worthless noise to this group, numbers that clutter up the page, give nothing useful, and are to be ignored. That’s not good. I don’t what anything on this page to be ignored if I can help it.

The second point needs a bit more explanation. Too often I think beginner photographers simply copy settings and expect similar results. There is no learning in this. If they don’t get the same results, they often have no idea why and it can prove frustrating trying to figure out what went wrong; and even if they do get the same results, they also have no idea why. Trying to learn photography this way is no different than these Learn X Language in 10 Minutes a Day While Playing Video Games; it is a false shortcut to expertise, ultimately more harmful than good.

To the last point: when all our energy is on how something is done, I think this detracts from the thing itself a little. When you go see a magic show, if you are spending the entire show trying to figure out how the magician is doing it, you are liable to miss the magic. Now obviously there is intensive study of works of art where you do want to get into the nitty-gritty details of things, but before you study something you must enjoy it.

I’m sure some of you may say this is a silly mystical zen idea. Maybe so… Such is the danger when one lives in Japan and studies old ways of thinking.

If my reasons don’t persuade you and you really want to see the technical details of any of my photos, I leave the metadata in when I upload to Flickr and Smugmug, so you can find as many details as you want for all my photos at these sites.

Daily Photo: It Begins

This is from a few weeks ago when the leaves were just starting to change, hence the title I gave it. The colored leaves begin with just a hint of the beauty that is to come.


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