So you’re a photographer. But are you an artist or a technician?

EL wire special effects
(Image credit: Future)

It’s easy to be a technician. It’s easier than being an artist, that’s for sure. To be a technically proficient photographer you just have to learn some science, memorize some controls and be systematic in everything you do. 

However, the better you get at being a technician, the more of your attention it demands. And while you’re being a technician you’re not being an artist. And if you’re not an artist, why are you even doing this?

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at