The art of photography is about making photographs—not taking snapshots.

In this digital age, all of us are exposed to numerous different types of photography. Most of us who have a passion for the art form can tell the difference between bad and good, but other more subtle intricacies remain the domain of photographers alone. Like any work of art, it is easy to label our love for photography that crosses our path with gushing comments like ‘That’s amazing,’ ‘That’s awkward,’ ‘That’s disturbing,’ ‘That’s just weird!’ or, worst of all, ignore it as it has completely failed to touch us. For the good things, understanding the subtleties of the art form and the talent and time that has been devoted to achieving it can help us appreciate the art of photography even more.  

As a photographer, I feel the utmost passion when I capture whatever catches my eye. I capture moments and transform them through my lens into visual stories that convey emotions, provoke thoughts, and ignite imagination.

My eyes are trained to see beyond the ordinary when I approach a scene. I carefully consider the composition, seeking balance and harmony between the elements within the frame. That’s why the art of photography is a deeply personal and creative endeavor. Each photographer brings their unique vision, experiences, and interpretation to create a distinct body of work. Besides the technical aspects of taking pictures, photography has this visual magic that allows us to express ourselves with emotions and perspectives we may have overlooked.

So I guess this article is a first step in explaining what different types of photography mean to us in the Wall Art Prints community. It is an introductory perspective on how we make sense of the big wide world of photographic art.

Movements and Finest Photographers

1. Landscape Photography + David Muench. Landscape photography presents a place in the world that appears as if it is infinite or not going anywhere in a hurry! Therefore, much landscape photography concentrates on nature and the outdoors. But artificial interferences to the natural environment are also being captured. Muench is in line with color landscape photography. The now-common use of prominent foreground elements leading the eye through the frame to the background in the distance was a style that Muench pioneered back in the 50s and 60s. You would walk into any bookstore or library in America in the past 50 years and be hard-pressed not to see his books or calendars even if you do not know his name. Photographers continue to capture landscape photography to explore the relationship between humans and our habitat.

2. Documentary Photography + Rich Lam. As technology advancements enabled photography to become a more mobile medium, documentary photography emerged in the 1870s and chronicled historical events and everyday life. Documentary photographers chronicle urban and rural living conditions to incite reform movements. Lam, a photojournalist, has taken a unique photograph entitled Vancouver Kiss (2011). It depicts a couple kissing and lying on the streets with people running in the background and police trying to clear everyone out. Everyone thought this was a romantic scene of a couple. Lam later revealed that the girl was run over, the guy was comforting her, and the kiss was just a part of the situation. Documentary photography is strongly linked to photojournalistic practices, with powerful images representing causes and movements of social change.

3. Portrait Photography + Cindy Sherman. Since the invention of the daguerreotype, portrait photography became a popular method to commission cheap and relatively fast portraits as an alternative to costly painted images, which were formerly the norm. Photographers such as Sherman experimented with self-portrait photography. With the advent of new photographic technology, more portable analog and digital cameras, portraiture was no longer confined to the studio. Photographers could now experiment with different scenery and lighting, gaining a more creative hold on the timeless subject of portraiture.

Final Thoughts

Photography has become a recognized art form. Yet, not all photographs are considered art. The art of photography is about creating pictures, not taking clichéd photos or snapshots. Remember, there is more to photography than meets the eye. 

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