Learn Photography


Getting Started >

3 - Way-of-working: So What?

Why is it important to look at your way-of-working?

The examples of ways-of-working in the last section were somewhat philosophical or intellectual.

Let's see how being a bit philosophical or intellectual can be practical.

You'll buy the right camera, for example, if you think about your way-of-working.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

In the last section, Cartier-Bresson's way-of-working at the moment he pressed the shutter was being present at that moment.

As mentioned, he used a Leica.

It's a small, quiet camera, that can be focused quickly even though it's manual focus.

Cartier-Bresson's Leica fit his way-of-working:

Always like a cat, tip toeing ... 1

Ansel Adams

For Ansel Adams, his way-of-working was more methodological, and not at all instantaneous like Cartier-Bresson's way-of-working.

Therefore, Adams used a view camera. As he set up his tripod, screwed on the camera, and placed a film holder in the back of the camera, he was thinking about the print he would be making later.

The sheet film used in view cameras is 4x5 or 8x10 inches. The sheets are most often developed individually. Adams could give each negative the best possible development for the lighting at the time of exposure, and the print that he had pre-visualized at the time he pressed the shutter release.

A view camera fits well with his way-of-working—pre-visualization.

1 Cartier-Bresson, H. (Interviewed). (1972). The decisive moment [Narrated slide show]. New York: Scholastic Achievement Series.