Why Traditional Portraiture Still Matters

Learning the rules of traditional portraiture, which can be more controlled and usually less spontaneous in comparison with contemporary portraiture, will benefit you greatly when shooting lifestyle portraits. Mainly because there is a lot of careful thought and planning place in designing each traditional graphic, success requires a solid understanding in the rules of lighting, posing, as well as composition— the fundamental elements of the art. In lifestyle photography, additionally , you will want to strive for those same artistic goals, but as opposed to planning each of the elements, it will become your responsibility to capture them instantly as a moment naturally unfolds just before you. In fact, because contemporary photography relies and so heavily on active observation, it really is possibly even more critical that you learn the tactics associated with traditional teachings.

This is especially true when it comes to lighting. Great lighting is an incredibly important part of photography—the word literally means painting or drawing with light (from the Greek roots pictures [light] and graphos [writing]). Learning how you can harness and control light properly and confi-dently will help you with every facet of your artistic career. Why does it matter to know what has come before? Photography is art. It’s taken decades for it to get universally recognized as such, but photography is absolutely regarded as art today. So, to take an analogy through painting, no matter how amazing your creative vision, you still need to know the basics of proportions to bring sketches to life. Once you have reached the point where the creation of art just flows, where you understand the rules so well that you no longer have to think about them, this is when you can confidently practice your craft.

Using enough knowledge and practice, you will reach a point where it results in being effortless. You can photograph your subjects exactly how you want them to be captured, easily moving between lighting changes, swapping out lenses on the fly, as well as responding using ease to the scene as it unfolds before you.. Once you reach that point, you can then become even more daring and inventive with your work. As the old phrase goes, “You need to find out the rules before you break them.

” It is arguable that in contemporary photography it is even more important to learn the rules of traditional portraiture, as there is less you can control when you are trying to capture the unknown in a new and fresh way. Photographing something differently just for the sake of being different doesn’t generally mean it will be compelling or interesting. When you photograph something in a way that draws the viewer in, in a way that is innovative and memorable and truly original, you are also likely to find that you have also managed to harness many of those traditional philosophies—but with your own personal view plus your own modern twist.

Yes, you can absolutely go out and shoot and then work to “fix it” in Photoshop; many photographers do. However, the image is always cleaner when you shoot for proper exposure in-camera. Additionally, when you pair the fix-it-in-Photoshop approach with a full workload (ten portrait sessions to deliver in the next two days! ), it will not be long before you will be far too overwhelmed to keep fixing images after the fact—if you are not already feeling doing this.

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