This lesson is an introduction to the basics of photography. This lesson with introduce you to the idea of what a photograph is, to the people who use photography, and what different styles of photographs there are out there.
To understand exactly what the word photography means, you can start by breaking down the word into 2 parts, ‘photo’ and ‘graphy’. ‘Photo’ is the Greek word for light. ‘Graphy’ means something along the lines of drawing. So photography can be thought of literally as ‘drawing with light’.
However, a more functional definition of photography could be, according to the World English dictionary:
“The process of recording images on sensitized material by the action of light, x-rays, etc and the chemical processing of this material to produce a print, slide, or cinefilm.”
So light combined with film = photography.
The second definition of photography is:
“The art or practice of taking and processing photographs.”
In summary, photography is both the technical process of creating photographs and the art of taking the actual photos.
The field of photography can be divided into three primary styles: art photography, documentary photography, and commercial photography. The different types of photography used today include digital photography, film photography, and motion photography.
The photographer is using photography as a form of personal artistic expression in a visual format. They aim to push the boundaries of the visual world in some manner.
Documentary Photography (Reportage, Photojournalism):
Using photography to document a news story about a person or topic. The photographer attempts to report the situation in an unbiased manner without influencing or interfering with the subject being documented.
Photography intended for promotional purposes such as in advertisements, stock photography, fashion, and wedding photography.
Public Record Photography:
The use of photography to create public records such as police officers and salesmen who create use photography for work purposes not related to the other categories.
Modes of Photography:
Photography recorded onto digital storage rather than film.
Photography recorded onto physical film.
Photography moving at many frames per second.
Ansel Adams is an example of an art photographer who specialized in landscape photography. Dorthea Lange created art photography who shot in a documentary style. Henri Cartier-Bresson was a documentary photographer who shot in an artistic style. Commercial photography examples include wedding photographers and fashion photographers. You can determine the type of photographer a person is based on the person who is paying for the photo.