As photographers, there are many things we think and worry about, and many aspects that we want to improve. And it’s all perfectly normal, in many cases even desirable. But what happens when we start wasting time on things that are not important for our craft? In his recent video, Scott Choucino lines up 11 things many photographers obsess about – and it’s wasting so much of our time, energy, and money.
Chromatic aberrations: Photographers seem to dwell on this, but Scott mentions that in most practical and professional applications, chromatic aberrations don’t ruin a photo.
Lens sharpness: There seems to be an emphasis on having extremely sharp lenses, but Scott mentions that a lens of decent quality is usually sharp enough for most professional applications. And the truth is, those obsessing about how sharp your photo is aren’t your average viewers but just a handful of other photographers.
Color fringing: Like chromatic aberrations, color fringing is often a concern for photographers. This is also my soft spot and I obsess about it when I spot it in my photos. But as Scott notes, this is often easily fixable in post and doesn’t significantly affect the overall image quality in most cases.
Vignetting and lens distortions: Just like the previous issue, these are also easily fixable in post and, according to Scott, should not be major concerns. This is unless you shoot artifacts where absolute accuracy is required.
Technical perfection: Scott says that pursuing technically perfect images is a waste of time as it doesn’t necessarily equate to a great image. He emphasizes the importance of taking good, well-lit, and well-composed photos over achieving technical perfection.
Microcontrast discussions: Scott adds that obsessing over which lens has better microcontrast is unproductive and unnecessary. Engaging in technical discussions about lens specifications and coatings is really boring, especially at social gatherings. And we both confirm this, as he says he used to be the guy talking about it… And I was a girl who often had to listen about it at photographer gatherings. :)
Gear discussions: Scott implies that spending time discussing and comparing minor differences in gear, like talking about the milliamps in batteries, does not contribute to success in photography. And just like discussing microcontrast and other specs – it’s incredibly boring!
Spending time on forums: Scott mentions that spending time on forums reading about minor technical details is a waste of time. You can spend that time much better – on the creative pursuit of photography.
Minor gear differences: The difference between the best and worst lens in a camera system is minuscule, as Scott emphasizes. Focusing on these minor differences and obsessing about them is unproductive, and it’s a huge waste of time and energy.
Focusing on small technical details: Just like the differences between cameras and lenses, worrying about small technical details of your gear is also counterproductive and tiring. Thinking about things like pin cushioning, lens coatings, and other minor details is not a productive use of time for a photographer. This is especially true when it detracts from the actual act of taking photos.
Trying to notice subtle differences: Finally, stop worrying about things that only extremely discerning or specialized individuals would notice. Things like subtle differences in audio cables for audiophiles, or chromatic aberrations for photographers. This is generally unproductive and wastes too much of your energy.
In essence, Scott emphasizes the importance of focusing on the creative and practical aspects of photography rather than becoming overly concerned with technical perfection and almost invisible details and differences. After all, it’s much more important for your photography to work on your skill and knowledge than it is to have the absolutely perfect gear.