It is easy to determine the difference between a photograph taken by a skilled photographer using a high-end Nikon camera and a picture taken by an amateur using their point and shoot camera or phone. Things like image quality and the use of the skill of the trade allow even an untrained eye to spot the difference with without even knowing exactly which elements make the photographer’s work stand out. While an amateur might be able to replicate a few of these techniques slowly, a photographer trained with a Nikon SLR camera can easily apply all of these techniques quickly to capture that timeless image perfectly.
The first major difference an onlooker might see is proper use of depth of field to help identify and isolate the subject. The subtle changes required to aperture setting are simple to make in a practiced hand using a high end camera, but nearly impossible to make in time to capture a moment with substandard equipment in an untrained hand. By placing the focus directly on bride and groom and lowering the depth of field, a skilled photographer can turn what might have otherwise been a cluttered and busy photo on the reception dance floor into a captured moment between a happy couple in love, simply by adding a slight blur to the surrounding objects.
While a camera phone might be able to use a flash to capture a moment in a dark room, it takes real skill and professional equipment to immortalize that instant into a true work of art. By using a diffused hand held flash synchronized via a hot shoe and matching the speed of the camera’s shutter, the right tools and skills easily transform what might have been made a flat white image by flash, into a stunning full color display.
Lastly and most importantly, a professional Nikon camera allows a trained hand to move away from automatic focus into the realm of manual focus photography. Quick adjustments can be made simply by moving a dial on the lens, without taking away any focus from the moment. This sort of focus can be achieved on a point and shoot or camera phone, but only after digging through a on screen menu of options and forcing the moment to become staged instead of easily capturing a true and spontaneous moment like only a professional photographer with a professional/high-end camera could obtain.