Photography – Art, Composition and Meaning

Photography is considered an art. Photography tries to captures certain events and convey the meaning of these event to people. Photography and painting are art forms that have common foundation – imagination. It is said that, ‘Good photographs convey a significant message’.

Perhaps one of the most common mistakes amateur photographers make is not considering the composition of the photograph. A change in perspective and placing of the lens can make the difference between a forgettable photograph and a priceless one. Good composition is a must in superior photography but there are some famous photographers who violate all the rules of composition and still come out with excellent pictures. It is because they have a great knowledge of composition and know how and when to break it. So knowing the rules of composition is extremely valuable.

The key to good photography is to get the right ISO and depth of angle. A great photographer spends time to familiarize themselves with everything their camera is capable of, either by reading the manual or trying various settings when taking pictures. Lack of knowledge of the principle elements of photography means the photographer will not achieve his goal of becoming a great photographer. Someone with an expensive DSLR camera will not succeed in becoming a competent photographer without the right knowledge. Having the right knowledge of cameras, a passion to learnt, ability to connect with the events or particular place, and knowledge of how to connect with the viewers are key to great photography.

Macro photography is another well known type of photography. In simple terms it is a method of taking extremely close up pictures. This kind of photography is very interesting as it can highlight some simple but beautiful features of objects and many people specialize in macro photography.

With digital cameras, you can take thousands of pictures and there is no cost. This allows you to try out different things time and time again, so you learn how to take better and better photographs. Get down to their level when you photograph animals or other small objects. Use a plain background to create more contrast and effect. Move in close when you photograph flowers or animals. Lock the focus on an object so that it does not come out blurry. Try to know your flash range and above all -always be aware of the light.

A Broad View of Photography

Photography is defined as the process of making pictures by means of the action of light. The light reflected from an object forms an image on a material sensitive to light. This image is then chemically processed into a photograph. The word photography has its origin in Greek meaning, “to write or draw with light”.

Nearly all photographs are taken with cameras. A camera works on the same principle as the human eye. Like the eye, a camera takes in rays of light reflected from an object and focuses them into an image, but the camera records the images on a film. This image can be made permanent and can be viewed by any number of people.

Photography enriches our lives. Photographs help us in learning about people in other parts of the world. They also help us to revisit historic events in the past. They can remind us of special people and events from our own lives. Millions of people throughout the world enjoy taking pictures of their family, friends, vacations and important occasions.

Some photographs, like great paintings, have lasting effect and value as works of art. Such works, through the photographer’s imagination and technical skills, are breathtakingly beautiful and symbolize significant ideas.

In addition to recording things and people we can see, photography plays a crucial role in capturing images outside our range of vision. Cameras can travel to places that are inaccessible to humans. Pictures made on film sensitive to heat radiation help physicians detect certain kinds of cancer and other disease.

Photography has had a history of its own. During the mid twentieth century, photographic styles became increasingly varied, especially in the United States. Photographers experimented with different printing techniques to accomplish unusual effects. The artistic possibilities of color photography were not fully explored until the 1970’s. Photography today is firmly established as both an art form and an essential tool in communication and research. Professional photography includes a wide range of styles and themes than ever before. One of the most useful technical advances for both amateur and professional photography has been the instant processing of film.

Photography offers a good range of career opportunities. To be a professional photographer, one needs to have general academic qualification as also a technical knowledge of photography and must have a genuine passion to carve a niche of his or her own.

People Photography Made Simple

One of the great things about taking photos of people is their every-changing expressions, moods, and look in their eyes. When taking photos of people, you can have several opportunities at once. If you sat in a room with someone for an hour, how many different photos do you think you could get? Even just a slight turn of the head, an unexpected smile or a pensive look, will each give you a great photo subject. Ask your self, what is typical of this person? The way they move? Their gestures and their facial expressions?

The most wonderful thing about ‘people photography’ with a digital is that you can see what the picture of that person is like on the LCD even before you take it! You can position the light in the way you want it, take the picture and if it still isn’t right you can take another one until you are satisfied with the lighting. You can even do a few in black and white, a few in sepia and a few in colours, change the ISO as you go and generally have a fabulous time. Or you can just delete it there and then. You can try all this, plus shoot them at different angles, and everything between. And if you have colour filters…..well, you are only limited by your imagination.

It is always great taking photos of friends using your digital camera, because you can always show them the shots you have taken instantly. Of course they do always want to see the shots immediately. I tell them to wait, because it slows the creative process for me the photographer and it will make them too self conscious, when the best shots are natural and relaxed.

So in order to take great shots of people, you have to be artistic and natural, which is a combination of a good artistic eye, confidence in camera handling and usage, and confidence in your own ability. And attending to the technical aspects, as well, which is understanding composition and good lighting.

Taking good photos of people requires a good amount of pre-emption. You see a good photo of someone relies on their natural goodness to shine through. In order to do this, as a photographer, you need to be able to either bring this out or capture it. The best thing to do is pretend as if you were a fly on the wall and pretend that they can’t see you if you are in a social situation. I have been asked to be the photographer at many social occasions because my own style of photography for people is candid. Candid is better. And when people see me and the camera and put on a posed, unnatural shot I simply turn away politely and wait until they are smiling and laughing and go back quickly and take the shot. They usually say “But I wasn’t ready!” And my reply is “exactly!”

If you are in this situation of a social environment like a dinner or a party, and you want good natural shots of people, then the first thing to do is watch people for a while. When you watch people you can then establish the relationships they have, who they naturally levitate to and how they settle into a conversation. Once you have seen this, then you can mentally assess when the best time to take the picture will be. What you are doing is getting a feel for what the emotions and energy of the people is like. The energy of the people will determine your photograph.

Best wishes,
Amy Renfrey