Photography

The photographic process allows an image to be reproduced using light.

This process has developed over many years to now enable mass production and sharing of images through magazines, posters, fine art pictures, advertising etc.

Photographic techniques include traditional (analogue) photography, digital photography and camera-less photography.

  • traditional photography uses light-sensitive film negatives and light-sensitive paper to create an image
  • digital photography saves images as files that can be manipulated on a computer

Whatever camera you use, it's useful to put on its manual setting rather than using it in automatic mode. This puts you in control of the aperture, focus and shutter speed which gives you more control over the final photograph.

A Bitesize video guide to camera types.

Photography genres

There are many different genres of photography, including studio, portrait, fashion, landscape, street photography, documentary, wildlife and macro (close up) photography. There are specific skills and considerations you need to think about to take successful photos in each genre.

Working in a studio gives you most control over lighting and composition and you can plan everything in advance. It is still important to experiment with different viewpoints, angles and moods.

Studio photograph of a wrench and nut

Using a tripod will help prevent blurry wildlife images of moving or distant animals. Even although you might not be able to get close to your subject, you can still experiment with different depth of field and lighting effects when using a long lens.

Wildlife photograph example of leopard looking off to the left of frame

Choosing the right lens and distance from your subject is key for macro images. Experimenting with depth of field can help show the whole subject in great detail or highlight a key area against softened surroundings.

Student macro photograph of bubbles

With landscape photographs it is important to think carefully about your viewpoint and how wide a composition you want.

Move around to change the relationship between elements in the frame and experiment with different arrangements between foreground, midground and background.

Try working at different times of day and in different lighting conditions. Including a focal point will help make sure your photos have interest and impact.

Landscape photograph of a tree growing from a rocky outcrop

Ethics

curriculum-key-fact
Always consider the ethics of what you are doing, especially where the young and the elderly are being photographed. Release forms may need to be signed, especially for vulnerable models.