Photography is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as being “the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or an optical sensor).” Photography is a rewarding hobby or career that has many uses in the business and manufacturing world as well as having recreational and personal uses. There are many different types of photography such as landscape, portrait, abstract, still life, color, black and white, and narrative photography.
In landscape photography, there are usually no people in the photo. These photos typically depict nature scenes and commonly feature subjects such as weather, defined landforms, mountains, deserts, rivers, etc. Because the definition as to what qualifies as “landscape photography” doesn’t have any rigid rules, it may also include such subjects as industrial setting, urban settings, or almost anything to do with nature.
The focus of a portrait is typically the face of one or more persons. A portrait captures the expression, mood, and personality of the subject in the photo. In portrait photography, the photographer has full control over the lighting conditions and can use it to their advantage to create the desired effect in the portrait.
In abstract photography, the focus is not generally on a “literal view” of the subject, but concentrates more on such aspects as patterns, angles, textures, proximity to the subject, shape, form, curves, blur, or even expression of movement. There is not a standard definition of abstract photography because of the fact it is based upon an abstract concept. The main features of this type of photography are that it is not a literal representation of the subject, and focuses on aspects such as form, color, and curves rather than the actual detail of an image.
Still Life Photography
Still life photography is unique in that not only does the photographer take the photo, he/she actually creates the subject of the photo. Still life photos are those that depict inanimate objects that are typically arranged in a small grouping. Some examples of this might include a grouping of various fruit pieces, or a small collection of pottery pieces. Still life allows the photographer to create the design element as well as control the lighting used to shoot the subject matter.
In narrative photography, the photo itself is used to tell a story. This is sometimes referred to as documentary photography. Narrative photography involves using scenes and images that are carefully selected for purposes of telling the story, and images are captured throughout an event as the story unfolds. In order to fall within the “narrative” category, the photos must include not only objects, but the influences and interactions of characters.
Wedding Photographer vs. Having Friends or Family Take Pictures
Many people hire a professional wedding photographer to capture their special day, while others rely on a friend or family member to take pictures for them. Unless the friend or family member has a really advanced camera and has experience in this area, chances are they will not be able to create the same images as a professional. The experienced wedding photographer will be able to work with all types of lighting and circumstances, and will know how to efficiently make sure that all of the desired poses and arrangements of people get photographed. Before choosing a wedding photographer and investing that kind of money into photos, make sure to ask to see a portfolio for examples of the photographer’s work. Even though your friend or family member might be a great amateur photographer, to really capture the magic of the wedding and reception, a wedding photographer will be prepared with the right equipment for the right shot.
Studio Portraits vs. Personal Snapshots
Snapshots are perfect for capturing those everyday moments and activities. Everyone should take plenty of them so they can always cherish those memories. Snapshots are generally more casual and spontaneous and may not always show everyone looking their Sunday best. This is the essence of capturing life as it happens. However, there may come a time when a more formal portrait is desired, with everyone clean and combed and wearing their best outfits. This is the time when a formal, studio portrait session is the right choice. An indoor studio portrait setting allows the photographer to work in a setting where he or she can control the poses, lighting, and other aspects of the shoot to make sure you get the perfect shots.
Black and White vs. Color Photography
Black and white photography can be achieved by either using black and white film, or by using programs that remove the color from the shot. Some photographers choose to use black and white to create an older look to the photo, or to focus more on the lines, shapes, lighting, or intensity of the image rather than just the color. It is also thought that by using black and white in a photograph, that it changes the way we perceive the shot because it eliminates the biases associated with our color vision. Color photography shows us the colors as how we see them as they naturally appear. For many photographers, it is simply as personal choice as to which type of photography they choose to do. Fortunately, with today’s digital photography, many programs are available that can create black and white or sepia tones from the original color photograph.
Digital Photography vs. Traditional Film Photography
With the introduction of digital photography, the ongoing debate about which is better, film or digital, continues. Both methods can produce beautiful photographs, and both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Depending upon the camera (either digital or film), there may be slight differences in certain aspects of image quality such as spatial resolution, noise and grain, dynamic range, and effects of sensor size. Most people who have switched over to digital cameras use have done so because of the convenience and flexibility they offer. Photos can be seen immediately for review and can be deleted if desired. Digital photos are also easy to print and do not require developing the film. Digital cameras also perform better in lower light conditions than traditional film cameras, which make them a good choice for beginning photographers.
Here we have taken a closer look at several types of photography, as well as done comparisons between various types of photography. All have their own unique ability to create and capture beautiful images.