5 Types of Photography Styles to Master
Ain Alalam – Rashad Iskandrni
Creativity is in the eye of the beholder, capture your type of photos with Sony Middle East & Africa
Budding photographers, this is your time to experiment with the various genres of photography to find your niche. Once you’ve found what you enjoy, hone your skills towards that genre and excel in it.
With so many different genres of photography to choose from, here are the 5 types of photography styles to master. Most importantly, when it comes to any kind of photography, a sturdy camera, a set of lenses, and a dash of creativity and patience will come in handy to shoot outstanding photos.
#1 Portrait photography: Capturing fun elements in the most natural state
Credits: Koree Films
Portrait photography is a common genre among photographers that capture an individual or group. Think wedding shoots, graduation ceremonies, or maternity shoots. Lighting and backdrop play an important role to express the mood and tone of the image. As a portrait photographer, the key to your success is your ability to make your clients feel comfortable in front of the camera, so their natural expressions will show, and photos will turn out looking natural and effortlessly beautiful.
To take captivating portrait shots, you’ll need to know a few basic tips:
1) A clean background is important to ensure that viewers will focus on your model.
2) Engage your model so they will feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. Advise them on the best colours to wear so that it will complement the shoot.
3) Give clear instructions and guide them on the poses. Check out Pinterest or fashion magazines for inspiration on poses that will make your model look lean and confident.
4) Natural daylight is your best friend. It is important that your model is well-lit, so try to capture your model under natural daylight to achieve a beautiful outcome for portrait photography.
5) A good focal length is key to capturing beautiful photos. Play around with different focal lengths, such as the 35mm, 50mm, or 135mm, to get your desired look.
Must-have product: The Alpha 7R IV (AED12,499 body only) has a superb resolution of 61 megapixels full-frame with a 35mm back-illuminated. With its real-time eye autofocus for humans, animals, and movies, you’re able to capture crisp portrait photos instantly. The camera’s 15-stop dynamic range also helps you achieve accurate colour accuracy with minimal edits
Be inspired by: Abdelrahman Gabr Koree (Koree Films) for beautiful mood images as you prepare to take your portrait photography up to the next level!
#2 Landscape photography: Leading the viewers to the scene
Credits: Tariq AK
If you find yourself always snapping photos of beautiful clouds against the tall buildings in Downtown Dubai or calm lapping of waves at our beaches, then you may have a knack for landscape photography. Landscape photography is about the art of capturing images of nature and the environment around us in a way that brings one into the scene. As a landscape photographer, it is important to learn about the geographical and natural elements of the landscape you are shooting. As you let the lines lead you, do remember to pack along wide-angle lenses which will come in handy as you emphasise on big landscapes.
A well-composed landscape photo can tell a million stories and evoke emotions from your viewers. So, here are a few tips to help you master the perfect landscape shot.
1) Break up your photo using the Rule of Thirds. This helps to create a balanced and aesthetically pleasing picture. To use the rule of thirds, align your subject through the grid in the viewfinder or the camera’s LCD screen.
2) Take advantage of leading lines on trees or buildings to guide the viewer to the main subject.
3) Be creative. Take photos from a different angle to get a different perspective of your subjects.
Must-have product(s): Get started with the new Alpha 7IV camera (AED10,499 body only) and the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM (AED8,639). The new Alpha 7 IV boasts a 33-megapixel full-frame back-illuminated CMOS image sensor to achieve superb image quality and performance. Its wide, 15-stop dynamic range offers impressive details with minimal noise in landscape photography. With the addition of its 10-bit colour depth, photos of the sky and vast ocean view will look realistic with natural gradation.
Learn from: With the magnificent views around us, it’s easy to capture landscape images, however, it can be difficult to master. Check out Tariq AK’s photos for good examples of landscape images.
#3 Wildlife Photography: Capturing animals and wildlife in their most natural state
Credits: XCIV Pictures
Unlike portrait or street photography, wildlife photography requires patience and can take almost your entire day as you wait for the perfect moment for that one money shot. Over the years, we are also seeing an increase in birdwatchers across the island. So, before you spend an entire day capturing the perfect sighting, prepare yourself with these essentials:
1) Invest in a good camera with a fast shutter speed that allows you to capture multiple frames per second. It is also important for the camera to have superb autofocus, so you can capture birds and other wildlife animals clearly and from a distance. Most importantly, it should have a high ISO to achieve high-quality images of wildlife creatures.
2) Pack accordingly. Research on the location and the wildlife that you’ll be capturing to know what lens or extra gears you’ll need to bring.
3) Research the animals you plan to take photos of in order to get the best shot. Find out about the way the animals live from their daily habits and the time they’re most active.
4) Respect the wildlife and its environment. If you didn’t manage to capture the perfect photo, be patient and try again another day. Resist the urge to disturb the animal which could harm the animal and yourself.
Must-have product(s): To capture such an exact shot, you will need a top-line camera like the Alpha 1 (AED24,999 body only) that can do it all. The Alpha 1 is a 50.1-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera that offers a high-resolution for stills shooting, speed and sensitivity, and high-speed shooting to capture the brief sight of an exotic animal. Pair this with the FE 100-400mm G Master super-telephoto zoom lens (AED9,089) to capture wildlife images with extraordinary resolution, speed and focus.
Learn from: XCIV Pictures, photographers from Cape Town, South Africa.
#4: Food photography: Make people hungry through your lens
Credits: Remon Michael
Café hopping and restaurant hunting is an enjoyable adventure for most food lovers. To share the love for food, food photographers need to have a creative eye to capture the “essence” of the food in the most appetising way possible. They go to great lengths to ensure that the angle, lighting and placement of the food are aligned. It is important to bring out the textures of your food, but harsh shadows can make a Michelin-starred meal unappetizing. A tip, if you notice a lot of harsh shadows in the frame, adjust the angle of either your light or camera to balance out the shading in the frame!
Food photography is also about styling. It may look simple, but it is a lot of work! Make a basic dish look extra with these ideas:
1) Be creative! Use contrasting colours and patterned plates for your dish or make your plating pop with a creative background.
2) Place accessories such as napkins, utensils, or glassware around the dish. But remember, less is more!
3) Garnish the dish to give it more details and depth.
The Alpha 7III (AED8,299, body only) may seem like a basic full-frame camera, it is however, the perfect camera for food photography due to its high resolution and image quality which boasts of a 24-megapixel sensor. To capture crisp food photos, it is best paired with the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM, a versatile lens that works well under lowlight conditions and produces a beautiful background bokeh effect.
Learn from: Take a whiff of food photography and draw inspiration from professional food photographer such as Remon Michael. Pro tip: do not view his feed at night or your stomach will start growling!
#5: Street photography: Take your photos to the street
Credits: Mohamed Mahdy
Street photography is one of the most challenging and rewarding forms of photography. To document the perfect moment of people in their everyday environment requires patience, persistence and intuition. A good street photo should tell a story about a clearly defined subject with all rules of composition in place. The sign of a good street photo? When the viewer pauses, contemplates and asks questions about it.
Photographing strangers can be intimidating, therefore, a few handy tips can help ease your way into street photography.
1) Be familiar with your gear and pre-set your camera settings. Set your camera to aperture priority mode and auto ISO to capture fast-moving subjects.
2) Shoot from a distance so that you and your subjects don’t feel intimidated. You may consider taking photos of subjects behind the glass or window.
3) Take notice of people with interesting outfits to give your photos an interesting story.
4) If you’re not ready to capture moving subjects, capture silhouettes instead. Photograph your subject against a strong backlight and ensure that the camera’s exposure setting is set to underexposed to achieve a deep silhouette finish.
5) Approach strangers with a compliment before asking permission to take their photos.
Street photography requires a handy camera like the Alpha 7C (AED6,999, body only) or even a digital still camera such as the RX100VII (AED5,099). The options are limitless when it comes to street photography – from capturing photos of artworks on the street to construction workers having a meal by the curb, street photography features the everyday life of people.
Learn from: Get inspiration from Mohamed Mahdy.
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