Photography Applications Essay

In this essay I will be exploring the different applications of photography. I will expand into the advantages and disadvantages, and provide examples of traditional and digital photography for each application.

Traditional and Digital

Traditional photography is the older and more retro form of photography. It dates back to the 19th century and uses photographic film. It is the method of photography used in darkrooms, where the image produced is formed from chemicals and light exposure on a specific style of paper. Digital photography is the modern form of photography using bitmaps and pixels, which is the most common form of photography nowadays.

The advantages of traditional photography is that they go un-manipulated (unless toner is used) and the photograph taken is raw which allows for a true and real effect. Other advantages are that they allow for quicker access and less shutter delay because the image doesn’t need to be saved to a memory drive. In addition to this, no computer knowledge is needed because they are simple to use and they are affordable. However, some disadvantages are that you can’t immediately check the photograph after you have taken it which can be an irritant and also they need to be developed which takes time.

The advantages of digital photography are that the images can be manipulated to the photographers wishes. They can be edited with anything the person likes which can add whatever effect they want and bring different kinds of attention to the photograph. Another advantage is that you can see the photograph straight after it has been taken, rather than having to wait for it to be developed. In addition to this, they can be easily printed off and/or uploaded to the internet for all to see, and they are much lighter and can be more compact than traditional photographs. However, some disadvantages are that they can be expensive and they can also be difficult to focus.


Image result for traditional photography Image result for traditional photography darkroom Related image


Image result for digital photography Image result for digital photography


Magazine photography is photography that is used in the magazine area of the press. They are used to pair with articles to make a story more visually pleasing and more engaging to read, and usually relate to what the article is all about. A lot of magazine photography is conducted through set up photo shoots which are specifically for that article, rather than taken from elsewhere. The main and most highlighted photography in magazines is the photography for the front cover and main article, so this photo shoot is prioritised by the company and can be very elaborate. Traditional and digital magazine photography was equally as elaborate and centralised around – the main difference is the change in style and quality. The advantage of magazine photography is that it gives large amounts of credit to the photographer as magazine photography requires the best and highest of skills, so to have credit to you for this gives you a lot of advantage as a photographer. In addition to this magazine photography is versatile and fun so there is a lot of space to come up with new and interesting ideas of what to shoot. However, a disadvantage is that a lot of magazine photography is highly edited and distorted such as model photography, and whilst this credits the editors skills it can also mean that the original photos aren’t fully appreciated and represented.

Traditional and digital magazine examples:

 Image result for cosmopolitan cover


Advertising photography is photography used to commercialise and promote products and companies. It shows off a product or brand in a positive light and makes the product seem appealing to whoever looks at it. They can be published and put up anywhere so it is a versatile form of advertising because anyone can see and engage with it. Places it can appear are places such as social media, billboards, magazines, newspapers, etc. They often are conducted in a photography studio with strong lighting and backdrops, and there usually is little background features because this distracts from the product. The other convention of adverting photography is a model using the product in order to seem relatable. Traditional and digital advertising photography are not much different because they both aim to present the product in a positive light so the presentation is very similar, however ways of attracting an audience have changed so different forms of advertising have taken place over time. An advantage of advertising photography is that it can be simple to conduct especially if it is just a shot of the product, so this can be easily creditable, but however you could also this is disadvantage as if it is simplistic, if it goes wrong it could be more noticeable.

Traditional and digital advertising photography examples:

0923004925e6d760df071ee82c5ed262 Image result for advertising photography simple cosmetics


Documentary photography is photography of real life situations and events. It involves showing the reality and rawness of a situation and is usually isn’t glamorised – the aim of documentary photography is to create emotion towards what is happening in the image and create a strong visual sense of awareness. Typical documentary photography captures negative occurrences and disasters, such as war and poverty, but it can also capture positive images. Traditional and digital documentary photography will both capture the rawness of a situation so techniques aren’t much different because neither aim to create any false images. The advantage of documentary photography is that it is usually powerful and holds strong messages, so to have your name credited for it puts you on high value as a photographer. It can also be rewarding in the sense of knowing you’re creating something that holds meaning and will inspire. However, documentary photography can be quite harrowing, especially if your work focuses on war or poverty etc.

Traditional and digital documentary photography:

Image result for censored war photography  Related image


Fashion photography captures the new changes in clothing style which is constantly evolving. It shows the new possibilities of what a culture newly deems presentable to wear, so the photography is essential because this is how new ideas spread. Different camera perspectives bring out different elements of the outfit, and different perspectives are suited to different fashion styles, such as elegant or gothic. The photography shows the outfit in the best and most flattering light possible which makes it appealing for fashion lovers to buy. Traditional and digital photography can differ depending on what was fashionable then and now and what features of photography were appealing then and what is appealing now, as fashion is constantly changing thing. Advantages are that it is a creative and expressive field of photography to pursue and can be a lot of fun. However, fashion photography is often freelance which means income can be shaky if it is not consistent so the photographer may need a side job to sustain income. This can be said for a lot of photography genres also.

Traditional fashion photography and digital fashion photography:

Image result for 1950s fashion Image result for 2017 fashion

High street

High street photography is photography of street life and urban environments. It shows the culture and life within the street and captures the mood of that moment. High street photography comes into play with showing what life within the streets is like, it shows the personality of that location and the people within the photo. It can be used as contemporary and modern art and creates a visually pleasing urban aesthetic. The photographer can use different angles and functions, such as low angles to create power on the street and slow shutter speed to show urban chaos. One function of street photography can be to create an image that makes the viewer think and feel inspired. Traditional and digital street photography are similar in the fact that streets will always feature and the style can be similar depending on the picture. However, the purpose and function of street photography could be said to have developed over time. Traditional street photography may have been used to capture a moment in time and as a memory, where as now street photography can be more commonly used to create imagery and mood. However, one disadvantage of high street photography is that you will need the consent of anyone featuring in the image as it is immoral to photography people without their permission especially if publicly published. Although it is advantageous because high street photography is highly favoured as art in this urban aesthetic age.

High street traditional and digital photography examples:

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