Photography – a kind of visual art, in which the artist embodies his creative idea in the form of images (pictures). When creating a colorful piece of photographic art the artist skillfully combines artistic fiction and reliable information. Photography emerged in the mid-nineteenth century and has come a long way from funny pictures to full-fledged fine art.
Photography for many years was available to a small circle of people. Technology of printing pictures remained very complex until the end of the twentieth century. Good cameras were very expensive. But with the invention of digital photography and the mass spread of smartphones, photography became a common phenomenon. Modern technology allows anyone with good artistic taste to create bright and colorful images.
Genres of photography
Photography as an art form includes a division into basic genres.
Portrait. The earliest genre of photographic art. Originally portraits were taken in a strict classical style for albums or publications in periodicals, but nowadays photographers boldly break these outdated canons.
Landscape. A very popular commercial photographic genre. People often decorate their homes with charming images of wildlife species.
Still Life. Often contains a deep hidden meaning, although they usually take familiar inanimate objects to create a work of art.
Nude genre. Used by creative individuals to visually demonstrate the beauty of the human body. A popular genre among bohemian photographers.
Documentary Photography. Has a high social value. Vivid, natural shots have a strong emotional impact on the viewer.
Street Photo. Part of the modern urban subculture. Thanks to the skill of photographers, the daily life of the metropolis opens the viewer in a new light.
Reportage. A photo genre for professional journalists. It is used to cover an event or other editorial assignment.
Reproduction. Ideal for up-close and personal acquaintance of a wide range of people with outstanding works of fine art.
Photo Hunt. Allows people to enjoy snapshots of animals without compromising the health of our little brothers.
Macro Photography. Used to take high-quality pictures of miniature objects. Allows a person to see in detail what is normally hidden from our gaze.
Night Photography. Requires special skills of the artist and the presence of special equipment. Great demand among viewers are night views of megapolises.
Wedding Photography. The days when wedding photos with the newlyweds and guests were taken in salons are long gone. Modern professional photographers create unique artistic albums about the festive event.
There are many genres of photography. Alas, the format of the article does not allow for a detailed description of each of them. And new genres in photo art appear in our culture with enviable consistency. In addition to the aforementioned, we provide the following list of genres of photography:
- Food photography;
- Event photography;
- Newborn photography;
- Children’s photography;
- Architectural Photography;
- Sports Photography;
- Fashion Photography;
- Pictorial Photography;
- Golden Hour Photography;
- Aerial Photography;
- Pet Photography;
- Tourist Photography;
- Underwater photography;
- Subject Photography;
- Advertising Photography;
- Real Estate Photography;
- Interior Photography;
- Adventure Photography;
- Revealed Photography;
- Multiple Exposure.
Styles of Photography
As with other fine arts, there is a division of styles in photography. The distinctive characteristics of each style are noticeable in many ways:
- The use of color;
- The nuances of composition;
- Techniques of photography;
- Interpretation of the main theme.
The most well-known to the general public are the styles listed below.
Pop Art. A striking representative of this trend – Andy Warhol. The style was created to erase the distinction between high and utilitarian art. Characteristic features of the works are bright colors, abstract motifs, streamlined forms and high contrast of objects.
Retro. Allows the viewer to get acquainted with the life of previous epochs. Photographers use special film and shooting techniques. Very often for the realization of their ideas artists abandon color pictures in favor of nostalgic black and white images.
Glamour. It emerged in the 20s-30s of last century during the rapid development of the film industry. This style is a laudatory hymn to chic and luxury. It is dominated by impeccable images, often using photos with languid looks of beautiful women.
Vintage. Related to the retro style, but with some features. Modern technology makes it easy to achieve the desired visual effects: from faded colors to barely noticeable scuffs on the pictures.
Grunge. It appeared in the 80-90s of the twentieth century. It is easily recognized by its characteristic feature – the unflattering display of the surrounding space and the presence of disfigured images. This is a protest style, popular with radical young people.
Many brilliant photographers of different styles, genres and eras have left their mark on the history of world art. Worthy of mentioning dozens of artists, but the author of this article will have to make a difficult choice at his own risk. A few famous names are presented to the reader. I have also added a few innovators in this matter, as I consider them to be very talented.
Marc Riboud is the patriarch of French photography, a genius of reportage photography. In 2004, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris held a named exhibition of works by the great master.
Alfred Stiglitz – American photographer, desperate fighter for the recognition of photography as a full-fledged art form. His works were the first in the United States to become exhibits in museums, along with paintings and sculptures.
Alexander Vershinin – a popular photographer of the 21st century. Among his works especially stands out landscape photography. The peculiarity of his work is to convey the feelings of the landscape. Each photograph has a special vibe that does not leave the connoisseur for a minute.
Ansel Easton Adams is a master of black and white landscape photographs of the American West. He is the author of several authoritative books on photography. His photograph of Titon Ridge and the Snake River is one of several images on the gold record of two Voyagers that flew in 1977 to distant stars.
Guy Bourdin is a French genius of provocative fashion photography. For over 40 years he collaborated with Vogue magazine, designing brilliant advertising campaigns for the fashion houses Chanel and Versace.
Cindy Sherman – American photo-artist, author of the most expensive album of photos in the history of photography “Images from Untitled Movies”.
In this article I have tried to describe the most famous genres of photography, as well as the most famous and talented photographers. Unfortunately, the article would get too long if I start listing all the photographers. Therefore, my selection includes those photographers who have left a mark in my heart.