Discover Photography: The Art of the Image
Since the time of Stone Age Man, when images of the animals and men hunting were first used to decorate the walls of cave, we have been fascinated by the captured image. Although it was not until the invention of photography that truly made this fascination into an art form that everyone could enjoy regardless of artistic ability. People all over the world take pictures of themselves, relatives and friends, pets and landscapes whether or not there is a particular circumstance or reason for doing so. But how much do we actually know when it comes to photography? Below are some of the different kinds of photography that will help us learn more about the different ways of taking photographs.
Amateur Photography has grown in recent years with the advent of cheep digital cameras and this digital photography that has become easily accessible to the amateur due to the low cost of both equipment and reproduction of the images, that we will have a brief look at in this article.
Black and White or Monochrome Photography
The first are to consider is black and white or monochrome photography. This is not simply presenting an image in black and white. Black and white photography explores the contour and character, tone and texture, the aesthetic art and beauty of the subject. The two components of black and white photography that give depth and feeling to the image are the shadows and highlights, if we learn to use them then we can create great images.
Colour sometimes obscures the texture and form of subjects, it draws our attention the way flowers attract insects and birds, and ripe fruit catches your eye on a tree. Sometimes that’s what we want, but black and white can emphasise the texture of the subject.
The variety of ways that different colours convert to different greys means that you can have quite fine control over just what parts of your picture will be light and dark, in addition to lighting levels. The absence of light can be as important as the highlights. Good deep shadows can give a depth and solidity to an image. It allows us to separate out the effects of colour and luminosity, put another way black and white photography allows us to use colour more effectively.
Action Photography may be where the photographer takes pictures of sporting event, or of children playing, anything intact where there is movement. Either set the shutter speed to freeze the action or try a slower shutter speed to blur the movement. This blur effect can create the sense of drama and movement. If the subject is moving across the frame try to track the subject, this is called panning, the effect once perfected is the subject is sharp but the background has the movement blur giving the impression of speed.
Shooting Action Shots of Athletes, people and animals in motion, and other moving objects create wonderful photo opportunities. However, capturing fast action on a digital camera can be challenging.
Certain settings on many digital cameras allow photographers to photograph action in a point-and-shoot mode specifically designed for moving subjects. Other times it is up to the photographer to manipulate the digital camera to achieve the best possible photos.
Digital cameras with less shutter lag capture better action shots. Regardless of your camera’s specifications, you can further minimize shutter lag by pre-focusing before you snap the picture. To do this, hold down the shutter button halfway and then once the camera has focused; press it down all the way to take the shot.
Fast shutter speed allows photographers to capture great shots of moving subjects. If your digital camera supports a slower shutter speed, it is still possible for you to shoot some wonderful action shots. It may take some practice, but try panning the camera, keeping the lens on the subject’s action.
Shoot in continuous mode if it is available to you. You might feel like the paparazzi when you first get started, but you will love how this quick mode doesn’t let you miss a shot! Digital cameras that support continuous shooting work nicely for action shots because they are able to write all the photos to memory at the same time instead of one by one.
Anticipate the action and position yourself accordingly. If you are shooting sports, camp out by the goal line or find a good location where you can get clear shots of the athletes.
Invest in a good lens. Many action shots will benefit most from a digital camera with a 200mm lens, though you can interchange lenses for different effects. Zoom lenses work wonders for sports action shots.
Aerial Photography is best if you want to photograph a landscape or cityscape. Sadly we can’t all afford to have our own helicopter, but great effects can be achieved from the top of tall buildings, bridges or mountains. So although true aerial photography may be out of reach, we can still have the illusion of aerial photography.
Travel Photography is not just about your holiday snaps. It is about capturing something of the feel, the emotion, the essence of a place. It is about telling the story of the people and the landscape; it captures the mood and the setting. But you don’t need expensive foreign holidays; travel photography can be your record of the next town or city or even neighbourhood. As a is an exciting local city for me to explore, but with the added advantage that it is not far to travel to.
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.