What is photography?

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    The creation of a picture is the goal of photography, which is the art of capturing light with a camera, typically using a digital sensor or film. It is possible to picture wavelengths of light that are not visible to the naked eye, such as ultraviolet, infrared, and radio radiation, provided that the appropriate camera equipment is used.

    Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in France is credited with taking the first photograph that could be considered permanent in 1826 (other accounts suggest 1827).

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    A Brief History of Photography and the People Who Made It Succeed

    The introduction of Eastman Kodak's "Kodachrome" color film in the 1930s marked the beginning of the widespread use and accessibility of color photography. Before that, practically all photographs were monochromatic; nevertheless, a small group of photographers, toeing the line between chemists and alchemists, had been utilizing specialized procedures to obtain color images for decades prior to that time. If you have not yet done so, it is highly recommended that you look through the intriguing photo galleries that contain color photographs that were taken throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    These scientist-magicians, who are credited with being the first photographers to use color, are not the only ones pushing the frontiers of one of the newest creative forms in the world. The history of photography has always been a history of the people who worked in the industry, including artists and inventors who guided photography into the modern era.

    Therefore, in the following, you will discover a concise introduction to some of the most significant names in the history of photography. Their discoveries, innovations, thoughts, and photographs continue to influence our own pictures even to this day, whether in a subtle or not-so-subtle way. Even though this is just a high-level overview, the following are some of the photographers whose names you should be familiar with before delving deeper into the technical aspects of photography:

    Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

    • Invention: The first permanent photograph (“View from the Window at Le Gras,” shown earlier)
    • Where: France, 1826
    • Impact: Cameras had already existed for centuries before this, but they had one major flaw: You couldn’t record a photo with them! They simply projected light onto a separate surface – one which artists used to create realistic paintings, but not strictly photographs. Niépce solved this problem by coating a pewter plate with, essentially, asphalt, which grew harder when exposed to light. By washing the plate with lavender oil, he could permanently fix the hardened substance to the plate.
    • Quote: “The discovery I have made, and which I call Heliography, consists in reproducing spontaneously, by the action of light, with gradations of tints from black to white, the images received in the camera obscura.” Mic drop.

    Louis Daguerre

    • Invention: The Daguerreotype (first commercial photographic material)
    • Where: France, 1839
    • Impact: Daguerreotypes are images fixed directly to a heavily polished sheet of silver-plated copper. This invention is what really made photography a practical reality – although it was still just an expensive curiosity to many people at this point. If you’ve never seen daguerreotypes in person, you might be surprised to know just how sharp they are.
    • Quote: “I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight.”

     Alfred Stieglitz

    • Genre: Portraiture and documentary
    • Where: United States, late 1800s through mid 1900s
    • Impact: Alfred Stieglitz was a photographer, but, more importantly, he was one of the first influential members of the art community to take photography seriously as a creative medium. He believed that photographs could express the artist’s vision just as well as paintings or music – in other words, photographers could be artists. Today’s perception of photography as an art form owes a lot to Stieglitz.
    • Quote: “In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

    Dorothea Lange

    • Genre: Portrait photography
    • Where: United States, 1930s
    • Impact: One of the most prominent documentary photographers of all time, and the photographer behind one of the most influential images of all time (shown below), is Dorothea Lange. If you’ve ever seen photos from the Great Depression, you most likely have seen some of her work. Her photos shaped the field of documentary photography and showed the camera’s potential for power more than almost anyone else in history.
    • Quote: “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”

    Ansel Adams

    • Genre: Landscape photography
    • Where: United States
    • When: 1920s to 1960s (for most of his work)
    • Impact: Ansel Adams is perhaps the most famous photographer in history, which is remarkable because he mainly took pictures of landscapes and natural scenes. (Typically, famous photographers have tended to photograph people instead.) Ansel Adams helped usher in an era of realism in landscape photography, and he was an early champion of the environmentalism and preservation movements in the United States.
    • Quote: “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.”

    Three Basic Elements of Photography

    What is photography?

    Exposure

    Exposure is the foundation of every shot. Exposure is how much light your shot was exposed to, and this affects the final image, whether on film or digitally. No picture without light. Exposure is the eye. In total darkness, you can't see anything. We don't see objects directly; we see light reflecting off them. When you wake up in the middle of the night and turn on a bright light, your eyes haven't adjusted, so it's too bright and you can't focus. This is also true in photography, which is why photographs are either underexposed or overexposed (too much light leading to an overly bright image)

    Exposure is determined by three essential elements, which we will look at individually here. Create lasting memories through your Yarra Valley wedding photography that will be cherished forever. 

    Aperture

    The size of the hole through which light passes in order to reach the lens is controlled by a setting known as the aperture. This is typically achieved by manipulating the aperture blades, which can be adjusted to make the opening of the lens either smaller, in which case a lower amount of light is permitted to pass through, or obviously larger, in which case a greater amount of light is permitted to pass through.

    A camera's aperture is expressed as a number of f-stops, such as f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, etc. The larger the lens opening and, thus, the greater the amount of light that may enter a lens when the f-stop number is reduced. Because of this, lenses that have lower f-stops and a sharper image quality are typically more expensive than lenses with the same focal length but a smaller aperture. This is because more expensive lenses are better able to perform in low-light environments. Because of this, whenever someone discusses the largest possible aperture, they are typically referring to the smallest possible f-stop that is available.

    Remember that the aperture is stepped down, which will double the quantity of light that will enter the sensor for every one stop that you go down. This is the most crucial thing to keep in mind. This is, of course, granted that both you and the camera or lens obey the original aperture stops as shown below. This is because many contemporary cameras now feature half stops, such as f/4.5, f/7.1, etc., for a more exact aperture.

    Aperture is a key focusing factor. Large depth of field, needed for landscape photography, requires a small aperture (high number). This focuses the foreground and background. To achieve a shallow depth of field, where one point is in focus while others are blurred, a low f-stop should be used (low number). This creates the beautiful bokeh we love, which adds dramatic effects to macro and portrait photos. The fact that you can post-process this effect in Photoshop shows its popularity.

    Shutter Speed

    Shutter Speed is how long the camera exposes and records incoming light. This is easily changed and measured in fractions, 1/60, 1/125. 1/60 shutter speed means the shutter is open for 1/60 of a second.

    Most cameras have a larger range of shutter speeds for the user to work with, from Sonic the Hedgehog-like speeds of 1/4000, great for capturing moving action such as wildlife or freezing sports events, to long exposures of over a minute long, perfect for landscape photography or low light photography with a tripod.

    Panning the camera to follow a subject can also create motion blur because it keeps the subject in focus. Still, moving backgrounds blur naturally. It's a common way to convey motion. We have an exclusive range of wedding photography Mornington Peninsula services. Check them out here. 

    ISO

    The importance of ISO in determining the correct exposure cannot be overstated, despite the fact that its role and function are not as readily apparent as those of the two factors discussed above. ISO is typically measured on a scale that ranges from 100 to 200 to 400, etc., and it is recommended that the number be as low as possible.

    This is due to the fact that when using a higher ISO, an image will typically have a greater amount of "noise," meaning that the image will not be as sharp as it would be when using a lower ISO. Therefore, why don't we take all of our pictures with a low ISO? I hear you say. To put it more succinctly, there are times when it's just not possible, particularly in challenging conditions like low light. Increasing the ISO gives you the ability to capture images that you would not normally be able to capture, but at the expense of increased noise. Increasing the ISO is an option if you are more concerned with capturing the scene rather than having it be in pin-sharp focus. When you use a higher ISO, you are increasing the sensitivity of the image sensor. As a result, the sensor now captures not only more light coming into the camera but also more noise from the environment, which results in a decrease in the image's clarity.

    Whether or not the image you capture at a high ISO can be used depends on the quality of your camera and lens. Obviously, more contemporary cameras, such as the Canon 5D Mark 3, produce some excellent results even when the ISO is set to a high value, such as 12,800. Compare that to my old point-and-shoot Sony N-1, where even at ISO 800 the shots taken were noisier than a crowd in Korea watching a Gangnam Style concert.

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    Principles of Photography

    Sometimes what we consider to be less significant aspects of our pictures end up being the most important aspects that give the picture its appeal. Photographers have a tendency, either consciously or subconsciously, to adhere to or break the rules that create visual harmony in their photographs. This impulse can occur either consciously or subconsciously.

    Pattern

    The idea of similarity has the capacity to induce a sense of ease in those who view it. When we try to make sense of our surroundings, our eyes are naturally drawn to patterns, and this behaviour is not altered when we look at photographs. In photography, the use of patterns can help create a sense of visual harmony as well as a sense of familiarity.

    For instance, in pictures with patterns, the small elements that break the pattern might be something that is a contrasting colour. This could be something like a dot or a line. When we observe something that is out of place in relation to its environment, we do so as a part of our natural instinct to survive.

    Negative Space

    the area behind a subject that does not contain anything that can attract the viewer's attention. Although minimising dead space as much as possible is generally a good idea, leaving some of it in an image can sometimes result in a striking effect. When there is nothing else in the photograph that can divert the viewer's attention away from the subject of the photograph, they are forced to concentrate solely on that one thing. The fewer available perspectives there are to consider, the more compelling the topic at hand becomes.

    Every one of us comes into any given subject with our own set of preconceived notions. Because we imagine how these things will change the look of our photographs before we even take a picture of them, we end up giving them a more favourable impression in our minds than they actually have when we look at them.

    The quality of a photograph suffers when the photographer has a propensity to concentrate solely on the primary subject and to view the space surrounding it as something that can be adjusted at a later time. It is essential to take into consideration all of the components at the same time in order to produce an image that is harmonious.

    Continuity

    This is the logical component of photography that enables us to at least comprehend the general location of the subject of the photograph. When something is too far away on the horizon to see or too far out of our range of perspective, we use lines and paths that direct our attention to what we can assimilate based on our own logical reasoning capabilities. This helps us when something is either too far away to see or too far out of our range of perspective.

    Balance

    What is photography?

    You can make people feel uncomfortable by creating something that is unbalanced or even disturb them by blurring things into the background that are not represented that way in reality. If you use all of the knowledge that has been presented so far about composition and psychological aesthetic, you can do this. For instance, you can put the audience at ease by incorporating symmetry, a component that conveys low levels of conflict and even a sense of fairness in the situation. Our exclusive range of Melbourne wedding photography will help you not miss a thing on your wedding day.

    Grouping

    When trying to make sense of an image, our brains have a natural tendency to group similar elements together. This principle can also be used to classify people or things into categories with shared meanings or characteristics by grouping them together. However, you need to be careful with this one because proximity can also cause problems. If there are too many elements in conflict with one another in the background of your picture, the picture could become abstract. When looking at a photograph, the viewer's perception can be altered if there is something in the background of the scene being captured.

    Closure

    As a means of completing the narrative that is suggested by a photograph, our minds have a propensity to finish the story by imagining details that aren't actually there. It is important to keep this in mind when working with abstract images or images that feel unfinished. A photographer who deliberately leaves room for viewers' own interpretation of a photograph has opened the door to many possible narratives for those who view the photograph. This gives the impression that the image is in disarray, whereas an image that has been effectively set up for closure conveys a feeling of completion and provides a space in which issues of circular thinking can be resolved.

    Colour

    The use of colour in a photograph does more than just add aesthetic value; it also contributes to a great many other aspects of the image. It establishes the tone, determines the timing, and places the topic in context. Because they do not merge into one another, colours that contrast with one another are striking because they cause arbitrary lines to be created between two subjects, which compels the viewer to stare for a longer period of time. Images with cool tones can create a darker or more mysterious impression, whereas images with warm colours create a lighter and more calming impression.

    Light/Shadow

    When looking at photographs, the light is one of the primary focal points of our attention. The absence of light is frequently disregarded as irrelevant. Shadows have the ability to draw attention to a particular area of an image and contribute to the overall composition of the picture. In addition to this, you can use them to inject a little bit of drama or interest into a photograph. Additionally, they have the ability to accentuate the light, which helps draw the viewer's attention to the image's highlights. The creation of equilibrium in a photograph requires the presence of both subjects.

    The photographer is ultimately responsible for determining how to make use of these components. When a photographer is able to establish their intentions for a photo and create stunning work, it is because they have a solid understanding of the elements of design and how they complement one another.

    The majority of people are aware of what a photograph is; however, not everyone has a solid understanding of the art of photography, where it originated, and what is involved in this complex form of artistic expression. Because we are so accustomed to encountering these photographs in our day-to-day lives, we frequently fail to recognise the significance of the photographs that surround us. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

    Photography is frequently referred to as "the Universal Language" due to the fact that it is capable of communicating with people from all over the world regardless of the actual language that they speak. It has the potential to appeal to everyone and can frequently say much more than words alone can.

    FAQs About Photography