Your memories make you who you are! Starting from birth to death, every second spent on this planet is memorable and needs to be cherished. While we certainly cannot go back to the past, we can “re-live” these moments with the power of photography. Every single frame captures some of the most beautiful times spent with our loved ones. Using different types of photography adds a creative and artistic touch to these pictures and enables us to see everyday things differently!
Unlike the usual point-and-shoot photography of the past, these new types of photography require special skill sets, technical knowledge and the right equipment to take a “perfect shot”.If you are keen on taking up photography as a hobby or as a profession, this article can be of great help!
But before we begin talking about the 15 most popular types of photography with pictures and details, let us take a peek into the background of photography.
History of Photography:
Photography is a relatively new art form that began in the early 11st Century with the invention of the first Camera Obscura. It was a boxy camera that took blurry unprintable pictures that could only be projected on a smoother surface. In 1826 the world’s first printed photograph came into existence after much experimentation with the printing techniques.
It was in 1880’s that the idea of a commercial camera was introduced by George Eastman through Kodak company. The camera was compact and had flexible rolls, which could take upto 100 shots. This was relatively inexpensive and made a camera accessible to everyone. In the 1950’s, Nikon introduced the concept of SLR cameras, which revolutionized professional photography.
In the digital era, the concept of photography is taken to a next level. Physical prints are now replaced with digital versions that can be saved on “cloud”. High-definition pictures can be taken wherever, wherever using handheld smartphones with advanced settings. Post-processing works are now done on computers instead of the stifling darkrooms. Different forms of photography are introduced to cover a variety of subjects, themes and topics instead of confining the art to recording events and occasions.
Types of Photography: Every Photographer Should Know:
Check out the different styles of photography in the world, with details and pictures taken from various sources(with due credits):
1. Landscape Photography:
This is one of the popular types of photography styles that captures the beauty of nature. The subjects include outdoor elements like mountains, water bodies, seasons, farms, sunrise, sunsets etc. Apart from nature, this photography can also include man-made elements like buildings or gardens. Wildlife photography, which includes both flora and fauna, is a sub-category of this genre.
Typically, photographers use the landscape mode in the cameras to capture multiple objects in a frame or pan63oramic lens for a 180-degree view. To create various effects, aspects like depth of field, aperture, shutter speed are experimented with. Using tripods can ensure image stabilization and prevent blurry images.
2. Architectural Photography:
Also called the “Urban Landscape” photography, Architectural photography focuses on details like buildings, constructions, monuments, temples or even cityscapes. The subject can be either interior or exterior and its represented in a creative form. Architectural photos are mostly taken during the day time but the night modes, when taken in proper lighting can be very impressive.
While advanced camera phones can take great shots, using different types of lens allow you to capture the buildings in different ways. Any photographers use the Tilt-and-shift lens to eliminate perspective distortion, where the object looks very different from our normal eye view.
3. Abstract Photography:
This is a new type of photography which has no proper definition. The photographers use their creativity to express their concepts in a dramatically different way. Elements like light, shadow or shapes can be randomly captured to represent an idea or theme which otherwise cannot be seen with a normal view. The usual details shown in a traditional photograph are ignored and the visuals trigger the imagination of a viewer.
Abstract photos can appear differently to each person, based on their ideology and current status of mind. Simplicity and mystery are the keywords of this photography style. Composition, angle of view and lighting play a very important role in minimizing the unwanted clutter and achieving a sharper, clearer photograph. Post-processing may be essential to manipulate the images and create a sense of amazement.
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4. Portrait Photography:
This is one of the basic types of photography which captures the details of humans such as features, expressions and emotions. By using proper lighting and backdrops, a normal person can be portrayed in an artistic way. Portraits can have many purposes like business, clinical studies or occasions like weddings or special events. The body part, which forms the main subject of the photograph is put under sharp focus, keeping the other areas in soft focus.
Lighting plays a key role in Portrait photography. Some of the many lighting plans used in this style are key-light, high-key, low-key, fill-in-light etc. Even natural sunlight can be used at specific times to take rich shots. Effects like silhouette can be taken by placing the camera in specific angles to attain the right play of light and shadow.
5. Wildlife Photography:
Wildlife photography is one of the popular types of photography which captures wildlife in their natural habitats like forests, national parks etc. Behind the stunning visuals is a lot of effort by the photographer who has to patiently wait for the animal or bird to come out of its hiding. They also need a good understanding of the animal’s movements and behavior to capture the photos at the right moment.
To get the best of wildlife photography, you will need special lenses that have a long focal length to capture the subject in a full-frame. Depending on the type of habitat, additional gear like flash extenders, drones, camera traps etc. may be needed to get exceptional shots. Also, investing in cameras with high image stabilization to capture moving animals without ruining the shot.
6. Lifestyle Photography:
Lifestyle photography captures people in real-life situations, as they are. There is no pre-made setting or waiting for the “right” moment. Instead, the photos capture the natural expressions and moments to create compelling visual stores about people. It can also be called Candid photography, but the effects are more professional and strikingly good.
Lifestyle photography is one of the challenging types of photography, where situations can be out of control. Typically they are taken in everyday locations to represent the natural lifestyle of the people. But, in recent times, planned or staged photos are also categorized in this genre, where the subjects are taken to locations they have never been to and enact a particular scene.
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7. Newborn Photography:
Newborn photography is one of the specialized types of photography. This difficult genre involves clicking pictures of babies who are no older than 2-3 months. The photoshoots demand a safe environment for the baby, with controlled lighting to prevent their tender skin and eyes from getting damaged. You must also get complete details of the baby schedule like feeding time, sleeping time and current health status.
Baby photography props are available on websites, which come in all sizes and budgets. From cute hats to fluffy fabrics and unique costumes, you can invest in a couple of them to make your shots look more interesting. Also, go for mirrorless cameras that are noiseless and won’t wake a sleeping baby. Try to use natural sunlight or softbox, diffuser and light reflector, which are safe on their sensitive skin.
8. Macro Photography:
Macro photography is one of the most amazing types of photography which takes extreme close-up shots of tiny objects like insects, flowers (inner details) etc. You can either choose the natural environment of the organism or bring it to the studio if dead. The subject is then magnified to fill in the frame and in the process, capture even the tiniest of the details. However, close-up shots of bigger objects cannot be termed as Macro photos.
Before attempting to take a macro photograph, you must understand the concept of 1:1 ratio. This magnification ratio defines the relationship between the size of the subject in focus on the sensor vs its size in reality. For example, if you are shooting a 1cm size bug, then its projection on the sensor will also be 1cm. To achieve this, you must invest in macro lenses which are usually expensive.
Other cheaper alternatives to these lenses are extension tubes, clip-on lenses or using complicated techniques like Reverse lens macro photography.
9. Aerial Photography:
Aerial photography is one of the cool types of photography which captures scenes from up in the sky. The photographs give us a bird’s eye view of our surroundings and give us valuable data on the topography, soil conditions, vegetation etc. Previously aerial photos were shot from aircraft, helicopters or hot air balloons. But, the challenging nature of these mediums made many photographers switch to drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s).
Drones come in different budgets and advanced features that can capture strikingly good images. Before attempting to take a shot, photographers often analyze the aerial view of the location using google maps and find out the rules of regulations for a drone in that area. Depending on the time of the day, you might have to use certain filters and advanced settings to avoid blurry and over-exposed images.
10. Event Photography:
Event photography is one of the exciting kinds of photography that captures the special moments and occasions of people. This genre has evolved from basic point-and-shoot to using advanced techniques for capturing all the fine details. Photographers are hired to cover the guests and the happenings in events like weddings, birthdays, parties and celebrations.
Photographers usually have a fixed setup for posed photos and portable setup for taking candid shots. They move around, waiting for the best timing to capture people’s expressions and engage the audience to make them feel comfortable. Apart from taking documentary kind of pictures, the photographer must also raise the bars of his work by suggesting creative poses and usage of special props to give people their picture-perfect moments.
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11. Timelapse Photography:
In Timelapse photography, the images are captured at a much higher frequency than the normal range of viewing it with an eye. Also, multiple images are stitched together in post-processing work to get a highly detailed picture, which otherwise cannot be achieved using a single image. This type of photography is used to capture subjects like traffic conditions, blooming of flowers, the sprouting of seeds, landscape or weather conditions, celestial motion.
One of the most important elements in a timelapse photography style is a tripod. You will need a sturdy tripod to keep the camera undisturbed for a long time to capture the swiftly changing scenes. Advanced accessories like Intervalometer are used by professional photographers to control the number of pictures taken during a particular time interval.
12. Fashion Photography:
This is one of the prominent types of photography which captures items and people related to the fashion or glamour world. It involves using special equipment, choreography and aesthetic locations or setup to capture the beauty of the accessories. There are four sub categories in this genre – Catalog photography, High Fashion Photography, Street Photography and Editorial fashion photography, which have different objectives to achieve.
This style of photography is widely employed for advertisements and fashion magazines to present the clothing or accessories in an eye-catchy manner. It is a lucrative genre that can fetch you good money and reputation but also has a cut-throat competition at the same time. Along with a high-end camera and lighting equipment, you will also need a good team to assist you with clothing and makeup to get the best shots ever!
13. Street Photography:
This is a subtype of candid photography that captures random people and situations in public places. It usually doesn’t require any prior permission or the knowledge of your subjects and can be taken anywhere, anytime. Photographers often find an interesting moment or character on the streets, which are creatively captured in their cameras. It’s important to use compact equipment than heavy studio equipment to avoid making it look obvious on the streets and catch unwanted attention.
Choosing the right lens can make a key difference in the quality of photos. Experts recommend switching to the AV mode and deciding the right manual ISO and f-stop parameters depending on the time of the day and the amount of lighting. You can overcome the risk of blurry shots by adjusting the settings to increase the shutter speed.
14. Underwater Photography:
This type of photography captures the life underwater and uses submersible equipment. Apart from possessing great camera skills, the photographer must also master swimming and diving techniques to play safe. Underwater Photography is largely used for studying marine life like fishes, corals, caves, underwater landscapes, wreckages or even take photographs of people inside the water.
There are many challenges in this photography style. The subjects constantly move and the situations underwater can go out of control in seconds. Also, getting the required amount of lighting can be difficult and even if you do, the colors and contrast may get affected because of wavelength absorption by water. This is where modern underwater cameras with proper lenses and accessories like diffusers make a significant difference.
15. Food Photography:
Food photography is one of the most sought-after genres in recent times. It is often combined with travel photography, where photographers take outstanding pictures of local cuisines as part of their travel. However, true food photography is a still-life photography in which the subject i.e food is made to look attractive and colorful using special lighting techniques, arrangements and plating techniques.
Typically, Food photography is used for featuring the products in magazines, on menus, Instagram pages, blogging sites or even in advertisements. You will require separate gear to capture the details of every element on the plate, like macro lenses, tripod and reflectors. Using props like vintage crockery, rustic plates, classy napkin and tableware etc. can elevate the beauty of your pictures to a whole new level.
Those are some of the major types of photography followed by photographers in recent times. Apart from these genres, there are many other categories like black and white, indoor photography, medical photography, night photography etc. Depending on the area of your interest, you can explore from one of these types and acquire the necessary skill and experience to master it. Try following the relevant blogging sites and Instagram accounts of popular photographers to upgrade your knowledge on the techniques. Happy Clicking!