Photography Assignment 1Understanding different applications of photography
Fashion• Fashion photography is used primarily to display clothing/accessories, and is used in print publications and advertising.• With new technology and the evolving fashion industry, fashion photography has adapted and changed. The genre has become far more experimental than before, where the model has become more of a focus.• With such a huge influence of Photoshop in the industry, fashion photography has changed drastically, with more focus on the model than before. Blemishes are airbrushed out and body shape is altered, all to make the item advertised look even better.
In order to compare images, I found one cover photo from 1947 and one from 2009,both for Vogue, a huge publication with images of all sorts of fashion photography.The first thing I noticed is the amount of skin shown on the 2009 cover; breasts,thighs, legs and stomach are all shown, which would have been socially unacceptablein the 40s, where the model is completely covered up.In the image by Horst P. Horst, we clearly see the garment on display and the focalpoint of the photograph, whereas in the modern day cover, we see no clothingwhatsoever on the model. This could suggest that fashion photography has becomemore conceptual rather than being about displaying clothing. I have also noticed thatthe presence of the model is much more prominent in the modern cover, whereas inthe cover from 1947 the model’s face is in the background, which may mean fashionphotography is leaning more towards portrait, to showcase a particular model as wellas clothing. Horst P. Horst for Vogue, 1947 Mario Testino for Vogue, 2009
Macro• Macro is a genre of photography in which the photographer uses a microscopic lens at a close range to capture images of miniature details on small objects that would normally be invisible to the naked eye, and make them appear larger in size than normal.• This is typically used in nature photography, and the most common Macro images found feature high-detail shots of plants or insects. Macro photography is also used in forensic investigations.• With the arrival of digital cameras and zoom lenses, it is easier for photographer to take high-quality pictures, whereas before this technology was created an SLR camera had to be fitted with a compatible lens.
The first image, by Sharon Johnstone, is a typical macro shot, which featuresmoss with drops of dew dripping from the ends. The three stalks are put intothe foreground with the use of a focused lens, and depth of field. Incomparison, this landscape shot by Ansel Adams is very much the opposite,with everything in the wide shot being in focus.The macro shot clearly puts the droplets in focus, and appears to enlarge them;this shows the focal point, whereas in the landscape photograph, the point offocus is unclear, where little to no depth of field is used.In The Threesome, the image appears otherworldly with its use of colour andfocus, making the droplets appear larger than usual, but in The Tetons andSnake River, the shot is used to display the natural beauty of the landscapecaptured, which is a significant difference between landscape and macro natureshots. The Threesome, Sharon Johnstone The Tetons and Snake River, Ansel Adams
Portrait• Portrait photography is used to capture the true likeness or personality of a person or group where the expression/mood is clear.• There are formal/informal types of portrait photography. For example, a school or wedding photo is more of a formal type of portrait whereas an example of informal would be more like capturing a photo of a friend on a camera phone. Portrait photography is also used in capturing photos of celebrities or notable figures.• It is not necessary for the image to stay limited to the face, although it should be the main subject of the photo.• Since portrait photography can be featured anywhere, i.e. at home, a client’s favourite location etc., shots have become more natural without the need to force a smile, which enhances the photograph especially when photographing children.
The two portraits I chose to compare are vastly different, firstly the use of colour in portraitphotography can help evoke the correct mood in the subject portrayed.I noticed how throughout the years portrait has become more experimental and more daringin order to capture a shot that describes a certain person. For example, the 1991 shot byAnnie Liebovitz sparked a lot of controversy, some arguing the shot was making her an objectof sexual desire, whereas some considered this a hugely empowering shot.The editor of Vanity Fair, Tina Brown stated the cover was “Anti-Hollywood, anti-glitz”, whichcould mean that portrait photography is becoming more and more conceptual, in order tocreate a memorable impression. In the shot of Churchill, he features a stern expression,seated. While showing the mood of Churchill, the picture is arguably less expressive as theshot in 1991.Winston Churchill for Life Magazine by Yousuf Karsh, 1941 Demi Moore for Vanity Fair, by Annie Liebovitz, 1991
Photojournalism• Photojournalism is the type of photography featured in articles to accompany a story. It is required of the picture to be honest and unbiased in its image from the journalists point of view, and generally the photo will have some sort of narrative itself. There is no editing present in these photos.• Can be a part of a hard news story or celebrity gossip (paparazzi)• It could be argued that photojournalism is the most candid genre of professional photography, seeing as the images tend to be frank and factual as opposed to portrait photography where the subject is posed.• With the development of the internet, instant image development and broadband connections, sending images from the field to the newsroom take only seconds, when before it would take days to develop the film and arrive.
I picked a particularly famous photo from photojournalism, by Nick Ut, andchose a photo from social documentary photographer Lewis Hine.While both photos are used to tell a story, the first photo was used toaccompany an article, providing more of a fact than the photographer’sparticular opinion on the subject, whereas the second was intended to shockor provoke thought in the viewer as the photographer thought child labourwas wrong. Lewis Hine used his images to help change the child labour lawsat the time, whereas the article by Nick Ut was used to present anewsworthy story.Both photographs were taken with no depth of field or camera filters,meaning both photographers intend to deliver a truthful view of the scenerather than mislead the viewer.Nick Ut for The Associated Press, 1972 Child Labourer by Lewis Hine, 1902
Landscape• Landscape photography is used to display or preserve the natural beauty of a space in the world; traditionally these are usually nature shots with little to no people or man-made structures involved in the image in order to focus entirely on the natural surroundings.• Since lighting plays a key part in the quality of landscape photos, the development of digital and colour-capturing cameras has improved the overall quality of landscape images, giving photographers a better chance to capture natural lighting.
Ansel Adams captures the beauty of a natural landscape in his picture, whereasSharon Johnstone simply focuses on the microscopic details of a needle and dropletsin her macro shot. The subject of the landscape shot is far more clear to the viewerthan the macro shot, where the image is far more experimental.One effect present in the second image is depth of field, which separates thebackground and the subject through the use of a focused lens, this would suggestthat every part of the landscape in the image is worth looking at, giving an insightinto the photographer’s view. The macro shot is clearly used to portray themicroelements of objects in order to create a spectacular image, whereas thelandscape image is there to present the obvious beauty in a natural scene.Pasture, Sonoma County, by Ansel Adams Tropical Droplets by Sharon Johnstone
Advertising• The most commercial area of photography, where the photographer is paid to capture images to advertise a certain product. Advertising images can include fashion, cars, food etc. A sellable product is always on display.• Makes the product stand out (makes you want to buy it).• The heavy influence of photo editing software (Photoshop) has enhanced advertising photography as a whole, and is used to enhance the look of a product beyond its natural state. The development of the industry has allowed for more experimental and abstract images to appear, which makes certain images to be more memorable than others.• Images used in advertising usually is very memorable, and makes the audience want to find out more about the product.
The shoe advertisement from the 1980s features a sportsman holding the product, whereas the modern day ad features a man mid-run with the shoes on. This shows the development of ideas and new concepts in order to capture the eye of the audience, where in 2012 the ad must be more sleek and instantly recognisable. I also noticed the large amount of text used in order to accompany the first ad. This could suggest that in 2012 it is a harder challenge to capture an image where the audience does not have to sit and read, and the idea of a much simpler image with very little text and a simple yet powerful image is needed in order for the audience to feel the need to purchase the product.Diadora shoe ad, 1980 (exact year unknown) Nike shoe ad, 2012