Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Art and Science of Photography

I always thought I was a left-brain person - good in logical analysis but poor in arts. When I was a secondary student, I liked mathematics and sciences. In the university, I studied engineering. After graduation, I worked as an engineer.

At the mean time, I picked up photography…

The two important aspects of photography are composition and exposure.

Composition – how to position subjects and background in a photo – is an art.

Exposure – in technical sense – refers to amount light received by the film or sensor (CCD/CMOS). A picture is underexposed if it is too dark, or overexposed if it is too bright. Exposure is determined by 3 factors: exposure time (also called shutter speed), aperture of the lens, and sensitivity of the film or sensor.

Exposure is usually a science but it can also be an art. For example, in the two pictures shown below, I altered the exposure time. Can you spot the difference?

If you look carefully, you will notice that the water in second picture (exposure time = 1/2 sec) has a 'silky' appearance.

While most people hold camera in horizontal or vertical position, I sometimes tilt it at an angle – say 45º. While ordinary camera users usually take photos at ‘eye level’, I often squat down or stand on chair to get a different perspective.

I come to realize that my right brain isn’t so bad after all. I can be creative too!


I took this picture from the top of a table. These guys thought I was crazy. I used to think artists were weird people. Today I understand them (^_^) .


  1. I like the silky appearance.

    As for the last photo... People having meeting and you stood on the table and take photo???? *speechless*

    Are you a E&C engineer?

  2. Not meeting lah. Informal discussion. They brought a Spanish guy to do the job and they were 'coordinating', e.g. be the driver.

    What is E&C?

  3. electronics & communication... eh, u are the engineering student ler... :P

    where is the spanish guy? Wakaka.. more interested to see that... Engineer becomes driver??!?!

  4. princess,
    The Spanish guy is not in the photo.

    I studied electrical engineering in U but work in communication field.

  5. there's a lot of thing to learn if really want to take the photo according to one's desire, design. I'm still learning. Sometime I want to explore but time doesn't allow me to do so when I follow the tour.

  6. kai,
    You are right. Following tour is too rush. I often prefer to travel on my own pace.