Since the time of Stone Age Man, when images of animals and men hunting were first used to decorate the cave walls, we have been fascinated by the captured image. Although it wasn’t until the invention of photography that he truly turned this fascination into an art form that everyone could enjoy regardless of artistic ability. People all over the world photograph themselves, their family and friends, their pets, and their landscapes, whether or not there is a particular circumstance or reason for doing so. But how much do we really know when it comes to photography? Below are some of the different types of photography to help us learn more about the different ways of taking pictures.
Amateur photography has grown in recent years with the arrival of cheap digital cameras and this digital photography that has become easily accessible to the amateur due to the low cost of both the equipment and the reproduction of the images, which we will see briefly in this Article.
Black and white or monochrome photography
The first thing to consider is black and white or monochrome photography. It is not simply about presenting a black and white image. Black and white photography explores contour and character, tone and texture, aesthetic art, and the beauty of the subject. The two components of black and white photography that give depth and sensation to the image are shadows and reflections, if we learn to use them we can create great images.
Color sometimes obscures the texture and shape of subjects, attracts our attention the way flowers attract insects and birds, and ripe fruit attracts attention on a tree. Sometimes that’s what we want, but black and white can emphasize the texture of the subject.
The variety of ways that different colors turn into different grays means that you can have pretty fine control over which parts of your image will be light and dark, in addition to lighting levels. The absence of light can be as important as reflections. Good deep shadows can add depth and solidity to an image. It allows us to separate the effects of color and lightness, in other words, black and white photography allows us to use color more effectively.
Action photography can be where the photographer takes pictures of a sporting event or of children playing, anything intact where there is movement. Set the shutter speed to freeze the action or try a slower shutter speed to blur motion. This blur effect can create a sense of drama and movement. If the subject is moving through the frame, try to follow the subject, this is called panoramic, the effect once perfected is that the subject is sharp but the background has motion blur giving the impression of speed.
Action shots of athletes, moving people and animals, and other moving objects create wonderful photo opportunities. However, capturing fast action with a digital camera can be challenging.
Certain settings on many digital cameras allow photographers to shoot action in a point-and-shoot mode designed specifically for moving subjects. Other times it is up to the photographer to manipulate the digital camera to get the best possible photos.
Digital cameras with less shutter lag capture better action shots. Regardless of your camera specifications, you can further minimize shutter lag by prefocusing before taking the photo. To do this, hold the shutter button halfway down and then once the camera has focused; press it all the way to take the photo.
The fast shutter speed allows photographers to capture great shots of moving subjects. If your digital camera supports a slower shutter speed, some wonderful action shots are still possible. It may take some practice, but try panning the camera, keeping the lens on the action of the subject.
Shoot in continuous mode if available to you. You might feel like the paparazzi when you first start out, but you’ll love how this quick mode doesn’t let you miss a shot! Digital cameras that support continuous shooting work very well for action shots because they can write all the photos to memory at the same time instead of one by one.
Stay ahead of the action and position yourself accordingly. If you are playing shooting sports, camp next to the goal line or find a good spot where you can get clear shots from athletes.
Invest in a good lens. Many action shots will benefit more from a digital camera with a 200mm lens, although you can swap lenses for different effects. Zoom lenses do wonders for sports action shots.
Aerial photography is best if you want to shoot a landscape or urban landscape. Unfortunately, we cannot all afford our own helicopter, but great effects can be achieved from the top of tall buildings, bridges or mountains. So while true aerial photography may be out of reach, we can still have the illusion of aerial photography.
Travel photography isn’t just about vacation snapshots. It’s about capturing something of the feeling, the emotion, the essence of a place. It is about telling the story of the people and the landscape; captures the mood and setting. But you don’t need expensive vacations abroad; Travel photography can be your record of the next town or city or even the neighborhood. Como is an exciting local city to explore, but with the added bonus that it’s not too far to travel.
When photographing people in their local context, there are a number of techniques that I try to use, but keep in mind the principle of treating people with respect.
I’ve already talked about taking contextual shots, but a great way to do it is to think about what’s behind the people you’re photographing. Ideally, you want something that is not too distracting but adds to the context of where you are filming. Another technique for taking photos of people that ignores the ‘contextual’ rule is to find a position with a lot of light and a dark background. This can really help the face you are filming stand out and grab the viewer’s attention.
Some of the best photos I’ve taken of people while traveling have been where I accurately framed people’s faces. This means getting close to the person or having and using a good zoom lens.
Go natural shots (non-posed shots): While posed shots can sometimes work quite well, they can also lack some authenticity. Photograph your subject doing something from their normal daily life, at work, at the market, at home or just crossing the street, etc.
Most of the photos I’ve taken of people over the years while traveling have been of individual subjects alone in the shot. This is partly just my style, but it is something that I have come to realize in the last few months. Adding a second person to an image takes a photo to a different place. The shot is no longer just about a person and their environment, but it somehow becomes relational. The viewer of the photo begins to wonder about the relationship and a new layer is added to his image.
Very often it is the shots of people dressed in national costumes that attract photographers when they travel. While these shots can be very effective, I wonder if they are always truly representative of a culture. Very often these people have dressed up especially for a show or tourist attraction and most of the people in there look quite different. Mix the types, gender and ages of the people you take photos of and you can end up with a very effective collage of faces from a country.
It is against the nature of most travel photography, which is usually very quick and spontaneous, but if you can spend time with people, if you have the opportunity to sit with a person for a longer period of time and photograph them in a longer way. This allows you to tell the story of the individual and can lead to some wonderful sequences of shots using different photographic techniques, lenses, and situations, while the person relaxes more around the camera.
Keep your camera on your eye to take those spontaneous shots among the most posed. It is amazing what images you can find when the person is not “ready” for you to take. These shots often include people interacting with others or expressing real emotion. I find that setting my camera to continuous shooting mode often leads to wonderful spontaneous shots. If conditions permit, do not replace the lens cap until you put the camera away.
When it comes to choosing a lens, I find a focal length between 24mm and 135mm to be a good range to work with. Opting for wide-angle lenses can also produce interesting shots, but you will often find that they distort the subject’s face a bit. Choosing a longer focal length can help make your subjects feel a little more comfortable.
Underwater photography has become more accessible with the advent of inexpensive underwater cameras. Whether you want to take pictures in a pool, lake, river, or the ocean, underwater photography can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things you can do.
The difficulties you encounter when shooting underwater can be summed up in one word, “limitation.” Communication and travel below the surface are limited. Natural light and visibility are limited. How you address these limitations depends on your underwater skill and your photographic equipment.
However, the most important advice you can get has little to do with photography and everything to do with your safety. An aquatic environment can be dangerous, even if it is a swimming pool. No photograph is worth your life. Depending on the type of underwater photography you want to practice, you must first acquire the appropriate specialized knowledge and training and obtain certification from a qualified instructor. This applies to all aspects of underwater activity, from basic swimming skills to advanced underwater diving techniques.
This list is by no means exhaustive; are just a few of the different types of photography you can discover. There are many other forms of photography, from infrared to medical, street, landscape, portrait, macro, and panoramic photography. Photographic work can be divided into dozens of categories, many with many subcategories. But for now, have fun with your camera and discover the joy of photographing your chosen subject!
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