In photography — although all the results account for the same conceptualized form of art — there is an enormous range that we can explore and choose from. Our cameras have been designed to force us to learn how to manipulate them correctly to achieve the desired results. Early on, it was a lot more complex to know how to work these devices correctly. In today’s technology, our cameras come equipped with a lot more features that enables pretty much everyone to look like they know what they’re doing.
Nevertheless, real photographers have the skill to take certain types of pictures that some fancy new cameras have a bottom for, without that bottom. Like I mentioned before, there are various categories within the art of photography that we can delve into. Today, we will touch up on three of the ones that many professionals take a special liking to.
Black and White Photography
This type of photography can often be misjudged as plain and easy to achieve. Some of us amateurs make this assumption, and use crappy black and white filters to try to make our pictures look more interesting. This is a terrible ground to stand in and I will explain to you why.
In order to create a high quality Black and White photo, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. First thing, we need to attempt to always shoot in RAW format. This will allow us to fully perceive the color range of our picture (and yes, shoot in color) so that later on in the editing process, we can note the variation in tones. In addition, you will want to have as long an exposure as possible, which will enable you to get a defined result.
When aiming for these pictures, you want to look for contrast, negative spaces and textures. These are the things that will look great in Black and White. The goal is to create a photo that has tonal contrast and that gives you the closest thing to pure white and pure black.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Today, many people think that an HDR photo is anything that gives you great definition and that has a high saturation. Although they are not completely far off, it is not as simple as that. HDR photography is, per se, a conglomeration of 2 to however many pictures you want, merged together to create a perfectly balanced photo.
When trying to create this type of photography, there are essentially four things that we need to know:
- What we call a “dynamic range” refers to the lightest light and the darkest dark of a picture. Being so that with your camera, you need to archive a combination of photos that give you both of those, and the in-betweens.
- In order to have enough material to work with, you will want to take as many pictures as you like of the same subject, but gradually change your exposure. This will grant you enough variations of the same picture to build a beautiful HDR image.
- When attempting HDR photos, you will want to go for something like a landscape, or a subject that is virtually still, because you will need the same exact picture over and over and a moving subject will disrupt this.
- Last but not least, use a tripod. You can freehand your HDR pictures, but chances are that you will move, even a millimeter, and then struggle later on when you are in the editing process.
Panoramic images have a few different definitions, but the technical one states that they are photos of wide format that have a ratio between height and lenght of at least 1/2. These pictures are quite attractive and can be achieved very simply if done correctly. Typically, you will see panoramics of city skylines, featured events, or landscapes.
The rules for creating a panoramic picture are very simple: you will need a tripod, because you want to make sure your alignment does not vary within your pictures (for editing purposes). Secondly, you will need to adjust your camera’s settings accordingly so as to secure that all of your pictures will follow the same color range. Lastly, when taking all of your pictures, make sure you always photograph at least a quarter of your last picture onto your next one; this will help your editing software recognize the sequence of the image and merge it proportionately.
All in all, these variations of photography are what allows us to explore our imagination inside of the guidelines and resources of previous professionals that have created these awesome categories. Anyhow, we should as well learn to dig into our own creativity and build and discover our own ways of performing the art of photography.