So growing up I was a big fan of sci-fi, in particular Isaac Asimov. And in the classic “I, Robot” the artificial intelligence had developed to the point that the robot community had conspired to revolt against mankind. They figured that we weren’t capable of making decisions that were in our own best interest. Well I’m here to point something out to you. We might not know it but we photographers have already been subject to this revolt in regards to our photography, AND LOST. I’ve seen to many people buy a top of the line camera and not know anything other than auto mode and program mode. To the extreme, I once meet a person who made a living taking pictures for a newspaper and didn’t know how to take a picture manually.
But back to the Robots, we have allowed the computers in our cameras to make all our decisions for us. We’ve allowed them to gradually take control out of our hands and take control of our photographic life, our creative choices and esthetic decisions. So much to the extent that all we have to do is turn a dial to “auto” and point and shoot. The camera will then take a series of guesses based on averages, conditions, statistics and algorithms that it will base its decision on as to the best aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for a giving scene, this is “artificial intelligence” at its core. It can’t really see anything, or know what it’s creating. So it can’t really make an educated choice as to the best exposure.
Basically what it comes down to is the computer takes the shutter speed that it thinks will freeze the motion and give the corresponding ISO, and then the aperture that will give you the most DOF (depth of field) to hold a focus. It has no idea if you want to blow out the background to see your friends face, or bring the background way down to create a silhouette, veiling your friend in shadows and secrecy. Only you can imagine this kind of vision. So we’re going initiate our own revolution and take our cameras back, turn that dial to “M” Manual, and invoke our own creative vision and start to create our own art. Keep tuning in.