Photographers have so much that they could take a picture of, and so many angles to take it from. This article will explore subject matter.
Portraits and People
When taking portraits, it is as important to consider the background as much as the subject itself. It is, after all, the background that will complement the subject.
If taking a portrait for a UK passport, it is a requirement that you should use a plain cream or a light grey background and that your subject should clearly contrast with the background. This is to make the person clearly identifiable to the authorities when they look at the passport. Another consideration is that they should be holding a natural expression and not be smiling falsely.
You might have heard of the term mug shot. The origins of this date back to the 19th century. Following the Paris Commune’s defeat in 1871, Eugène Appert was hired by the Prefecture of Police of Paris to take portraits of their convicted prisoners. Then, in 1888, Alphonse Bertillon would invent the modern form of mug shot when he would feature in his composition a full face with profile view and standardize the angles and the lighting.
As a popular subject matter for the photographer, landscapes bring into play the wide-angle lens and the panoramic shot. Interestingly, the panorama was a visual medium of 360 degrees which was patented under the title of Apparatus for Exhibiting Pictures. This was by the artist Robert Barker in 1787. However, the name would not appear in print until 11 June 1791, when the visual spectacle would be referred to by the Morning Chronicle, a British newspaper.
Tripods are a useful accessory when photographing landscapes. They allow the photographer to raise the height of the camera and to shoot a perfectly still image. All that is needed is a flat piece of ground on which to place the apparatus. One of the hardest types of images to crop afterwards is a crooked image.
A primary consideration when taking photographs of landscapes will be the time of day and the weather. That is, whether you want to capture naturally a light or dark shot in terms of the sky or would like to obtain a sunset. The latter can be particularly spectacular. Three places boasting some of the world’s best sunsets include the Taj Mahal in India, Chile’s Atacama Desert, and The Matterhorn in Switzerland.
In fashion photography, lighting is everything. No photographer will accidentally want shadow on the face of their model. Lighting is best kept simple. Artificial lights can be experimented with along with adjusting the white balance.
Tips for working with a fashion model would be to communicate in a way that has the model feel comfortable. Models new to the business may at first be nervous in front of the camera. Props are often used to display the model and their clothes to their best. Despite being a two-way process, it is the photographer’s job to make the model look good. To take as many shots as required to obtain that perfect smile or create that certain mood. Any emotions strived for should come out in the final photograph.
Fashion photography may involve shooting pictures for catalogues and putting together a portfolio for a model to obtain work.
Animal photography is something practiced by the amateur and professional alike. While the amateur might photograph their dog or cat, a professional is likely to progress onto wildlife. A lot of patience is required here as the animals, even if they know you are watching them, are not going to naturally behave in a way that satisfies the kind of photograph that you are looking for.
The kind of equipment that would be useful includes, again a tripod, so that it is not necessary to hold the camera for long periods of time, covers to shield the photographer from the rain, and a telephoto lens to obtain shots from a distance. In addition, a hood to protect the camera lens from bad weather. It is better not to get too close to the animals, whether they are considered dangerous or not, as if animals are spooked, the photographer is likely to end up with no shot at all.
So, lots of areas to consider for the photographer. It is just a matter of finding a subject or a location to focus the lens on.