The choice of focal length, shutter speed and other settings affect the outcome when the shutter release gets pressed and when being trained as a photographer, objectivity is essential. The photographer has to master all the techniques that will compose the work through practice and studies, but after education comes personal taste, which is purely subjective.

What does the word “subjective” mean?

It means that an individual reaction to something is based on and influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. The important word here is “personal”, because any type of art speaks to each of us in very different ways. 

For example, a group of individuals standing in front of a painting may all agree that they appreciate the artwork. But each one of them will appreciate the piece in different ways and for different reasons, no matter how subtle those differences are. Because each of them has had different life experiences that have brought them to that place and point in time.

No matter how much you as a photographer attempt to put into an image, the viewer will bring their own subjectivity to the act of seeing it. It could easily remind them of something you had never thought of. That’s up to them just as your choices were up to you. 

To an extent, reality is what you preconceive it to be. Go looking for something in particular to photograph and you’re liable to miss a lot of other possible subjects. Simply because you weren’t looking for them. 

Each of us is an individual, each the sum total of their experiences and preferences. That creativity that draws us to photography is our opportunity to express our own unique perspective of the world.

The camera sees only what is within the frame.