What is photography?


This was my first Seminar in Photography Theory. The task was to get into groups and discuss photography and answer a few questions together.

We had to first make a list of different types of photography, then we had to write down what they’re used to photograph and where they’re commonly seen.

Types of Photography. What is photographed and how?  Where is it seen?

Black and white – This is Subjective, as anything can be shot in black and white but it’s frequently seen in all types of Landscapes and Portraits. I frequently see black and white photos in exhibitions, magazines and on social media sites like Facebook and Flickr.

Landscape – When shooting Landscapes it can vary, as a Landscape isn’t just your typical shot of mountains and hill tops, it can be if that’s what you’re aiming for but a Landscape can be anything from hill tops and nature to the urban scenes of cities. Have seen Landscapes just about everywhere now, But I often see them in magazines, exhibitions, on social media and on Television.

Fashion – This is mainly focused People/models and photographed in a way to show off either a product or a new line and or style of clothes to soon be released. This is often found in magazines and online.

Event – Event photography can usually range as many things can be considered events but the main ones that a very common are Weddings, clubs/pubs and festivals/gigs/bands. These are most likely found online via social media sites like Facebook, twitter and Flickr.

Sport – Sports photography is obviously more commonly seen if you watch sports, which I don’t, but it can’t be rounded down to a specific genre of sport. They can often be seen on online and in news papers.

Astrophotography – Astrophotography is a new favourite of mine, this is all focused on space. There are many wonderful things you can photograph, like the stars, gas clouds, planets, moons and galaxies etc.. It’s great fun but difficult to grasp. If you where to have a go you would need a sturdy tripod, either a wide angle lens to capture the night sky from the ground or a telescopic lens or a telescope to photograph deep space. I don’t often see this type of photography on the high street but I often see it on photography sites like Flickr and Viewbug.

Journalism – This is an important genre of photography, as it’s they report the news,  photograph disturbing scenes of war torn cites and risk their lives to go out and photograph the what we aught to know. This type of photography is always seen on the news, in news papers and online via social media sites.

Architectural – This is focused on buildings and bridges etc… You will see Architectural photography almost anywhere, like on a Real estate agents, online, for advertisement agencies and in exhibitions and galleries.

Portrait/studio – This is a very specific type of photography, studio and portrait photography focus around photographing people and can range from family photos all the way to fine art photography. This can be seen in photo albums online or personal, social media sites like Facebook/Flickr, exhibitions and art galleries.

Macro – Macro photography focuses on small things and on zooming in and focusing on an object in incredible detail. This type of photography can show us the smallest of creatures in immaculate detail, opening up a whole new world of possibilities in photography. I personally mostly see stuff like this online via Flickr or Viewbug.

Speed camera/Surveillance – This type of photography, you normally wouldn’t consider to be photography but these are used every single day, to monitor and watch us. to photograph ad record our every movement.

The Selfie – I don’t class this as photography whats so ever. but unfortunately it is, photography is using a camera to take a photo. But to me photography is much more. You can find these anywhere on social media, literally anywhere.

We then had to answer the following questions and discuss them as a group.

1. Do any of the types of photography you have listed have anything in common? if so what? Portrait and fashion as they primarily focus on people.

2. Are there ‘groups’ or ‘families’ of photographic activity? if so, what do you feel connects them? Technically, all photography merges into one big group, filled with sub-genres of photography. You could make a family tree or a time line of photography, it’s history and all of its sub genres.

3. What are the differences between different types of photography practice? Are those differences technical, contextual, or something else? Yes, everybody has there own preference when it comes to photography. Weather it be taking photos with digital or film or what they photograph.

4. Do you think some types of photography are more important or valuable than others? If so, why? No, because photography is subjective. Yes some different types offer more or give us more information on the rest of the planets well being, like journalism but then again it’s photographers who go out everyday and discover and capture new things some more important than others but some more beautiful than others. To me all photography is important in its own right. Photography is there to capture the impossible and to show us the unbelievable beauties of the earth we live on. So all types of photography is equally as good as the last.

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