As opposed to painting, photography requires a different set of skills, knowledge, and talent. However, photography and painting share common concerns about composition, color and others.
There are many types of photography, but for the purpose of this discussion I’ve identified three areas that fundamentally have singular approaches:
- Still Object
Even though these areas have numerous styles, conceptually everything depends on two things – freedom to create a desirable composition and the allotted time to accomplish it.
In studio photography there is virtually unlimited freedom to choose light, arrange objects and time frame. With this luxury, studio photography developed sophisticated light manipulation and high resolution equipment. Artists, therefore, differentiate themselves in object arrangement and perspective.
Still object photography does not allow the photographer to change arrangement and provides limited freedom to choose light. The use of time is up to the photographer with notable exceptions like the famous story of Ansel Adams’s “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico”. The allowed time gives artists the control to choose when to take a shot for the best possible natural or city light, as well as the ability to move to the location and choose a lens to capture perspective. Setting up high resolution equipment is also a common practice.
Candid photography restricts freedom of composition the most and makes time an extremely valuable resource. The photographer has to develop strategies and intuition in order to predict composition. Under these conditions photographers develop skills that increase the success rate of their pictures. Candid photography heavily relies on chance. While failures are to be expected, you may discover a pleasant surprise once the picture comes into fruition. The gambling of image capture makes candid photography a truly unique art and my personal preference.