Photography: the linearity of a constantly changing concept

Photography: the linearity of a constantly changing concept

The years have seen the linear concept of photography change and expand, touch different emotional spheres and use different supports. A completely distorted world that perhaps has never really changed. Photography workshops, photographic trips abroad: there are many ways to experience photography.

But which one is the right one? It does not exist, since photography itself involves different concepts, from the purely material to the infinitely emotional one.
There is no answer, there is the individual experience that meets the instant.

Photography is nothing more than the reaction of some chemical components to light and the simultaneous creation of an image through opening in a dark room or in a closed box. It is a principle discovered in 1727 by the naturalist philosopher Johann Heinrich Schulze, but the studies on optics date back to Aristotle (4th century BC). The definitive discovery of photography took place in 1839, in France and England, thanks to Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot.

In the “first years of life”, photography established itself as a technique through which to depict a landscape. It was used purely for architecture and only later became an instrument to portray the bourgeoisie and the people. At that time photography was considered as a mere tool for representing reality and only with the passage of time photographers have developed personal techniques.

As the camera, and therefore photography, gained interest, an artistic and aesthetic sensitivity developed at the same time.

Progress has been continuous and constant up to digital era, an evolution that has allowed the improvement of techniques and has brought the camera “in the hands” of more people.

Photographic genres: the different workshops on photography

Today photography attracts thousands of enthusiasts ready to immortalize beauty, in any place, whatever form it has. Armed with Reflex and smartphones, many people remember a particular day, an exciting journey, an exceptional moment.
But how many are those who really know what photography is? Technically speaking very few. It is for this reason that in the search for a photography workshop, attention must be paid to the skills of the teacher, his works and his style.

The types of photography are varied and are distinguished on the basis of the topics covered and the recurring characteristics. They have peculiarities that vary according to the technique chosen by the photographer, the equipment and the materials they use. And then there is the photographer, their eye, their inner gaze on the world, which defines the style.

Let’s find out what are the most important types of photography.

Still Life

The term Still Life indicates that photographic genre that represents inanimate objects. To put it in the language of painting it represents “still life”. Protagonists of this genre are flowers, fruit and everyday objects. At first glance it may seem very simple, but it is not. In this case it is of fundamental importance to build the set well, position the lighting and prepare the product (clean it, position it so as to avoid reflections). This kind of photography is common in the advertising sector, in contemporary art and on social media.


The landscape genre is that which portrays a landscape, rural or urban. It’s probably the most appreciated by amateur photographers who cannot resist the beauty of a sunset, the green valleys or the chaotic city streets.

Professionals in the sector know that a lot of knowledge and a lot of effort are required to succeed well in this photographic genre. The composition and exposure are very important. The first landscape photos captured views of cities or places around the photographer’s studio, as a long exposure time was needed. Technological progress has allowed a gradual removal and the discovery of new places.

Fashion & Glamour

This kind of photography is widely used in advertising and in fashion.

The main subjects are clothing, accessories and models. The emphasis is all on charm and sensuality and the other elements lose importance. In this genre, in addition to the exposure and composition of the space, light, makeup and hairstyles are particularly important. A photographer who succeeded in this genre is Oliviero Toscani who used it for his personal social complaint.


The naturalistic genre is the one that focuses attention on nature. It includes the terrestrial landscape genre but also the astronomical and underwater genre. Protagonists of the photos are the flora and fauna immersed in their natural environment. It’s a genre that shows the infinite beauty of nature and for which particular and specific equipment is used. The naturalistic one is a photographic genre within which other genres may also fall.

Photo reportage and documentary

This kind of photography has very specific rules that impose a faithful reproduction of the facts you want to tell. The photographic reportage, in fact, tells a story through images and is often used in journalism in order to document an event (war, natural disasters etc).

Documentary photography is very similar to reportage and it is necessary to report the social and cultural traits of a society. It is a chronicle, through images, of a daily reality. This photographic genre developed in the 1930s when the Great Depression was raging. President Roosevelt established the Farm Security Administration in 1937, a photographic commissioning center that quickly became a collector of snapshots of poverty. This organization was active until 1943 and started the current of documentary photography. Famous documentary photography is that of Steve McCurry “Afghan Girl” taken during his reportage in India.

Art photography

Art photography is the photographic genre that allows you to focus on concepts rather than tangible things (people, landscapes and things). It frees itself from any limit and, although it requires enormous technical skills, it gives prevalence to the photographer, to their idea of ​​photography and to their emotion.

It is through artistic photography that the photographer has the greatest possibility of expressing themselves. Photographers use subjects to express ideas and concepts that belong to them. Every photo is a message.


The portraiture genre wants to represent the physical and moral qualities of the people who appear in the photograph. The greatest existing portraitist is Annie Leibovitz who photographed the most important celebrities in the world (famous is the portrait of a naked John Lennon who embraced Yoko Ono, with her clothes on).

Which is the best? The one who allows you to express yourself.

This list is obviously not exhaustive, there are a series of subgenres characterized by mixtures and specializations of photographic genres. In any case, the genre that a photographer adopts is the one in which he feels he is expressing himself more, a genre through which he can communicate his way of conceiving life. Whatever the genre, once taken, the camera will begin a long journey.

Author: Redazione

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