Photography—snapshots to photo-art

Article 1106180117
Photography is a science and technology used to capture images. With the advent of digital technology these captured images can now be digitised and stored as computerised document files. Negatives can be scanned to digital files, or rephotographed using a digital camera.

To produce photo-art from photography has little to do with the technology. All photo-art starts with photography and that does have a lot to do with technology, but not all art is created by the photographer—a digital artist may work with stock images from a library and the only technology involved might be a computer and software!

Photography is the means of capturing an image to produce a visual document. A snapshot is a visual recording of some action, time, place, or event. To produce a convincing work of art from a snapshot requires a little thought on the part of the photographer. So before learning the art, one should become familiar with photography, the equipment and the basics of light, exposure and image composition. Not all photographers become photo-artists and not all digital graphic artists become photographers, but many photographers will put creativity into their photos at the camera end of production.

You do not require an expensive SLR camera to take good photos. In fact the SLR is designed as a system camera full of interchangeable components for professional applications, or to configure it to a dedicated type of photography, which is usually a professional endeavour! However many amateur enthusiasts just might not be satisfied unless they can match, or better the professionals in their passion for recognition and maybe even attempt to become professionals, so will outlay the bigger dollars for a DSL camera system anyway.

If you can’t see yourself returning sufficient income from your photography, can you justify the expense of professional equipment? Can you make your mark as a creative amateur without expensive professional equipment? It is probably wiser economically to start with lower budget gear and when you feel you have out-grown it and it is holding you back, then upgrade—unless your intentions are professional from the start!

There are three ways to look at the art in photography:

  1. The image, its’ composition, clarity of subject, distractive elements, quality of light, contrasting elements and uniqueness.
  2. The technical execution and post-production applied; focus, depth-of-field, sharpness, softness, contrast, exposure, cropping, dynamic tonal range, modifying filters, special effects and digital pixel manipulation.
  3. The story an image tells (implied); the cognitive intrigue: The situation, mood, expressions and actions depicted in the image, as well as the emotional impact you feel from viewing the image.

Getting the technical aspects right is just a matter of practice. Having a digital camera with manual control options will make that creative photography a little easier—especially if lens filters can added, as will mastering your post-production editing software. However to give your images that WOW-factor is a bit more illusive. So what is this illusive WOW-factor?

Written © by Gavin Lardner


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