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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

About The Author

CNET Editor

Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.

Focal Point

10 things to hate about photography

(Credit: Canon/Nikon/Boxing gloves image by Jean Scheijen, royalty free)

That headline is pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?

In no particular order, here are 10 things that drive me up the wall when it comes to painting with light.

1. The Canon vs. Nikon debate

Why not tackle the elephant in the room first? Ladies and gentlemen, there is no "right" camera brand, nor is one superior to the other. Nikon girls and Canon boys can live happily ever after. It's about what you do with the equipment that matters, not what insignia graces the front of your camera.

Each system has its limitations, so it's about learning to work around problems you have. Finally, if you get really fed up, go ahead and change. No one is going to call you out once they see that your photos are exactly the same, or better, than before.

2. There's so much proprietary technology

Photographers themselves are great people. When it comes to camera systems, however, things just don't play nice with one another. Where's our universal RAW format? Why should I have to buy a specific external viewfinder that only works in one camera's hotshoe and not in another's?

3. A camera isn't the same as your eye

As much as imaging technology tries to replicate the intricacies of the human eye, it's still not possible for a lens or camera to see in the same way as we do. For many applications, this is a good thing; after all, seeing the world through a fish-eye every day would get pretty tiresome. But even with incredible improvements in areas such as high ISO performance, it's still not the same rich, vivid image we see when viewing with our own eyes.

4. It can be ridiculously expensive

This is probably true about most hobbies, but photography can be a bottomless pit of expenses. Invest in any number of filters, lenses, memory cards or tripods, and expect a stern talking-to from your bank manager. There's always another piece of equipment that would round out your kit perfectly.

Willpower is an amazing tool — thank goodness it doesn't cost a thing.

5. Photoshop can't fix everything

Photo-editing software is making great leaps and bounds, like the amazing applications for content-aware fill in CS6. Still, there are plenty of things that Photoshop can't do, like refocus a dodgy shot. Lytro, please mature more quickly.

6. The perils of storage

Staying organised with a vast collection of photographs can be difficult. For example, I have boxes of negatives gathering dust in one corner, and then there's my Flickr account, Snapjoy storage and several hard drives filled with images. Not to mention all of those photos on Google and Facebook.

For many applications, having photos in different places works well; I like to keep more personal photos on one site, accessible to only a select few. Most of the time, I just want to know that my photos are all safe and sound in one place — without having to remember an infinite number of log-ins.

7. Not being quick enough to capture that photo

There have been so many situations where I see an absolutely beautiful shot on the street, or a glint in my subject's eye that I would love to capture for posterity, but I'm just too late to capture it.

This one falls sorely into the realm of user error if it's to do with adjusting an exposure or changing focus. Most of the time, it's actually to do with not being brave enough to capture that photo. I can't wait for the Google Glass project to finally see the light of day, because it might actually mean that all of these photos can be taken.

8. Connectivity shouldn't be an optional extra

This one is specifically to do with digital cameras. It's taken so long for manufacturers to think about integrating some sort of wireless solution into their products that they have been well and truly beaten by the smartphone. As consumers, we expect our products to work seamlessly, and we shouldn't have to go through an elaborate process of taking out memory cards, and then manually transferring images over to a sharing service. Make it easy and transparent to win our hearts, and our dollars.

9. Digital is better than film, or vice versa

Rather than the Canon versus Nikon debate, which is all about brand loyalty, the film and digital debate is about fidelity. Some photographers spend more time arguing about the merits of film's dynamic range rather than actually taking photos. Then there are those digital photographers who turn their nose up at film shooters for being stuck in the dark ages. Needless to say, they're probably also the ones who go and run the "Add Noise" filter in Photoshop for that vintage look.

10. Sometimes, I forget to take the lens cap off

Admit it. You've done it as well.

Let me know what things irk you about photography in the comments below.

Add Your Comment 10

Post comment as

ClaireJ posted a comment   

people who over-photoshop their images... It's not the image you took ggrrrrr


AliceW posted a comment   

What irks me is horrid lens creep on name brand zooms. There's no excuse for it and it gets in the way of what I want to shoot when I point the lens up or down only to have the focal length shift.


NirajV posted a comment   

10. Sometimes, I forget to take the lens cap off
Admit it. You've done it as well.

No, I refuse to admit it and have never done it. Its because the camera has an electronic viewfinder and not an optical one and so you immediately know if you have the lens cap on or not. The Canon vs Nikon issue is overrated and I'd suggest other alternatives that would reduce these 10 things to hate about photography to maybe 5.


anysia posted a comment   

My pet peeve is the the slight control/button variations on the same camera makers. As I describe it, it's like learning how to speak Spanish fluently, but heading off to Italy.


ShaneR1 posted a comment   

3. A camera isn't the same as your eye

Why would you want your camera to be like your eye?
If I had a piece of kit that made my photos appear how my eye sees the world I would probably bin it. The brain changes colours of objects due to perspective and assumed shadows. It also has to fix all the defects within the eye such as blind spots and regions of the eye that have less photo-receptors.
A snapshot of what the eye sees of the world would be horrid.
What we want from out cameras is to make a 2D image that we can focus our ,in perfect, eyes on that makes the world look better than how it really does. Catch the feelings of the moment, rather than just what we see.


Dragonmeister posted a comment   

Bloody proprietry battery shapes!!!
Why can't they make all Li Ion batteries shape like standard cells (eg 2 AA's)?
In the event you are away from a powerpoint and need power.

Calling handgrips on DSLR 'Motordrives' ....... There's NO 'motordrives' in DSLR's.

Thank you ....... Rant over :)


blaah posted a comment   
New Zealand

I totally agree with all of these, particularly the ones about taking photos as our eyes sees it, and that the equipment is so expensive.


scatrd posted a comment   

Some days it is simply finding the motivation, or inspiration to take photos.


JamieM1 posted a comment   

What I hate the most is that I do not get as much time to shoot as I would like.

That and my travel budget is pretty much non-existent.

Great read and it ALL makes so much sense!


rkc_62 posted a comment   

I have to delete so many worthy photos, or drown in thousands of images. If I only keep the best few from each shoot, there's always the choice between the one that's technically better, the one where their smile is brighter, and the one with the cool accidental background. It's sad that you CAN have too many photos in your collection

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