Applications of Photography

Photography is the practice of taking images by recording light and other types of electromagnetic radiation, either electronically using an image sensor or chemically by using light-sensitive material like photographic film. There are many different applications of photography used within the industry. Some of the ones that I am going to be discussing are: photojournalism, fashion, medical, documentary and newspapers.

Photojournalism: Photojournalism is a form of journalism that shows images taken to tell a certain news story.  It is usually known for just still images but can also be referred to as video footage that is shown during broadcast journalism. The reason that photojournalism is different to other types of photography, such as documentary or street photography, is because it is meant to be both honest and impartial, whilst telling the story in journalistic terms. A photojournalist takes pictures that will be featured in the news and be seen in communities everywhere. Their job requires them to be well informed about current events in the world and to deliver news in a creative format. An advantage of photojournalism would be that the images taken are distributed into the news, so that they’re raising awareness of current situations are going on in the world. A disadvantage would be that some of the images can be focused on very sensitive subjects that could cause people distress. Also, the photographer might have to travel long distances to get the perfect images.

James Nachtwey is an American photojournalist and war photographer. He has won many awards including The Oversees Press Club’s Robert Capa Gold Medal five times and two world press photo awards.

Fashion: Fashion photography is used to display clothing and fashion accessories in things such as fashion magazines, like Vogue or Elle, and advertisements. Fashion photography has been around since photography first started. In 1856, Adolphe Braun made a book containing 288 photos of Virginia Oldoini, a Tuscan woman at the court of Napoleon the third. These photos show her in her official court garb, which actually made her the first fashion model.

The advantages of fashion photography are that the images are extremely interesting to look at, as well as being creative and very different to a lot of photography work out there. A negative of fashion photography however, is that it is a very competitive industry because there are so many people who want these jobs, but there is so little opportunity because there are already many professionals doing this. Another disadvantage is that it can be a very hard industry/career to get into because it’s extremely competitive.

There are many famous fashion photographers in the industry, but I believe that some of the most influential are; Juergen Teller, David LaChapelle, and Karl Lagerfeld. These photographers work has influenced the work of many people and their images will be iconic forever.

Medical: Medical photography is a specialised area of photography that is used to document clinical procedures. They require a lot of skill and practice so that no information is interpreted the wrong way. They will often use these photographs in research and training, and the job requires a lot of patience. Medical photographs document patients throughout various stages of illness, injuries and also before and after surgeries.

A lot of medical photographers will have degrees in photography either from college or university and a lot of the time, will also have a degree in the sciences. A medical photographer must have a very thorough understanding of both the photographic and optical principals. It is also required that they have strong knowledge of digital imaging software as they must edit, upload and output the images they’ve taken, whilst keeping colour and scale balance the same. Advantages of medical photography are that the evidence is used to teach people, so it’s extremely useful. Some disadvantages of medical photography are that it’s a very competitive industry so it’s quite hard to get into it. The photographer also needs to know hoe to use a computer to a very high standard and also needs to know how to use a camera very efficiently as they need to make sure that the photographs and videos are taken to the highest quality.

Documentary: Documentary photography is an extremely popular form of photography that is used to cover both important events or environments, but also events that take place in everyday life. Documentary photography is usually featured in newspapers and professional photojournalism, as well as being extremely popular in academic or artistic forms.  Documentary photography provides real and interesting representations of people, places, objects and events. many of these shots will be used in news reports.

Some of the most famous and influential documentary photographers include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange and Pieter Hugo. Advantages of documentary photography are that people can pursue it as a hobby and it’s a very helpful way of looking into different events from a more personal perspective. A disadvantage of documentary photography would be that someone could go too far and get involved in someone’s personal business, and they wouldn’t be happy about that at all.

Newspaper:  Newspaper, or press photography capture snaps of live events using advanced cameras. A newspaper photographer is able to capture the atmosphere and feelings of whats going on at an event for newspapers, magazines or journals.

Some of the more well-known press photographers include Robert Capa, David Burnett and John Stanmeyer. A disadvantage of press photography is that you have to have a lot of patience. you must also be highly organised and be able to work alone for long periods of time which some people are not able to do. An advantage of press photography however, is that you need to be somewhat creative and quick which a lot of people are.


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