“We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds.” —Arnold Newman

Above: Image, Gina Milicia, Kochi, India

After 30+ years of driving I finally taught myself to back my car into a tight car park using the side mirrors. This is a skill I’m very proud of but I could have saved myself the time and trouble by using a reversing camera. It takes all the guesswork and danger out of reversing. The car does all the thinking for me. I can relax knowing that every time I need to reverse into a car spot my car will know exactly what to do.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that letting a machine do your thinking takes the spontaneity out of life. I enjoy challenging myself and trying to improve each time I do something.

Taking photos in auto mode also takes the spontaneity out of photography. When you shoot in auto you are handing your power of decision making to a machine.

Each day I’m seeing new advances in technology that make it easier to take photos. Face detection autofocus takes the guesswork out of focusing and gives you pin sharp images every single time.

TTL flash works out exactly how much flash is needed in a shot and delivers a perfectly exposed image every time.

Camera technology gets better each week but it’s no longer the humans taking the photos it’s now the machines and that’s what I have a problem with, the machines have taken the human out of photography.

When you shoot in auto it’s less about art and more about science. You’re allowing a machine to make all the decisions for you.

Photography is visual storytelling and when you shoot in auto it’s no longer your story. Great photography is not about perfection it’s about capturing a mood or emotion. If the only emotion your viewer experiences is “wow that’s sharp” or “look at the resolution” then what’s the point?

A machine or camera can’t think or feel or choose the decisive moment only humans can do that.

Are you taking the photo or is the camera doing it for you?

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Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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