What goes on behind the camera
It is a truism that the more that you know, the more that you realise you do not know. Photography is wonderful example of this and despite taking pictures for many years I tend to be less happy with the results than I used to be. I suppose that it has something to do with the change in which I look at things - and the increased number of technical options at the point of taking the picture.
I seem to instinctively select the image to take, rarely thinking about the frame or the balance until I come to look at the result. At this point I throw out hundreds in order to be left, if lucky, with one reasonable shot. However it is a huge step from there to having a picture that others like and appreciate.
It is very easy to rely on the automatic settings and for many this is good enough. However, if you want to change the colour tone at the point of taking, if you want to control the light, if you want to stop or blur the action, you have to venture away from the auto setting. And once you start that, you will want to find out more, control more, make the picture more how you would want it, and not how the camera wants it.
That said, there are times when I have been more than pleased to rely on the auto setting (without the flash) particularly when photographing birds in flight and children - something about their ability to move quickly and pay no heed to the light, the speed, etc.
I suppose that most of my work could be classed as documentary photography. I particularly like to photograph people who are not posing for the camera. Having said that, many of the people I photographed in India posed, though not in the modern/traditional sense. These people look at the camera but there is no smile; their eyes look straight at you, through the lens and seem to say "Look in here and see my life..."