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:

0fbbe4a67bd02586e15bea102f209179 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



Photography Evaluation

For my photography project I focused on the theme of emotion. My original idea was to combine colour and emotion. I wanted to show different emotions and for the photograph to pro dominantly feature the desired colour, so for example anger would have been reflected through red and happiness through yellow. My idea changed completely over the course of producing due to time schedules and photography failures, but I personally feel that my end result idea was a lot stronger because the intentions were clearer and so was the theme. My end theme was sadness and the different elements of sadness, conducted through the colour of blue.

The target audience for my photography is young people, of all genders and social classifications. The reason my project is targeted at young people is because a lot of younger people suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, so my photography represents this and shows the different elements of sadness which comforts these people to know that they are understood.

In terms of time management, my project could have been conducted better. Some of my original concept photos turned out well such as for jealousy and happiness, but the rest weren’t so good and the project felt rushed so I resorted to using my sadness photography instead which fortunately turned out much more smoothly. On the positive side, if I ever did this project again I would know to make sure I was properly organised time wise so that my project would run smoother.

For visual language, the composition of my photographs is that the main feature of the photograph (model) is very central and focused on. I wanted to focus on the emotion on the face of the model more than the surroundings so I arranged the camera so that the model was the main focus and there was no distraction. In my photography, the symbolism is the bath and the slow shutter speed. The bath represents the feeling of drowning in sadness, as drowning occurs in water and also the bath is a conventional area for sadness and isolation to occur. The slow shutter speed symbolises the chaotic element of sadness and disturbed thinking – not knowing exactly what is happening or what should happen. The meaning of my photography is to convey the different elements of sadness – the photos with her hands over her face represent the shame of sadness, and the photo with her hand in her mouth strongly conveys the element of fear. There is a consistent pattern and shape within my photography which is reservation and a secluded feel which is shown through the poses of the model. In terms of visual language the representation in my photography represents the feeling of sadness and how it is portrayed and expressed in modern society, and the taboo element of mental health.

To produce my photographs, I directed the model to the places she needed to be and the poses that I would like and positioned the camera in the most visually representative angle. Once I’d chosen the best photos I took them to Photoshop and added a blue temperature filter on to emphasise the blueness which is the conventional colour of sadness.

Overall I’d say that my images are successful. Each photo conveys a different element of sadness and is clearly represented. The image of the model looking over the side of the bath tub conveys and represents the element of tiredness and a lack of energy and motivation. If I were to retake the photo and improve it I would add more light onto the side of the model’s face. The photo with a close up of the model looking down represents and shows the feeling of negative thoughts and perception, and the shots of the model curled up in the bath with her hands in her face, arms around her legs, and close up of hands in her face convey the emotion of feeling small. All four of these images could be improved by taking a steadier and less shaky photo so to improve it I would use a tripod for stability. The photo of the model with her hands behind her head represents the feeling of not knowing what the best thing to do is, and a feeling of confusion. To improve this image I’d take a wider shot and angle the model to face the bath wall so the shower wouldn’t be in shot, to add focus to the model better. For the slow shutter speed photo, I’d use a slower shutter speed so that the model would be more prominent, but it does also look effective the way it is because the unrecognisable element shows a blurred identity. The last photo to analyse is the image with her hand in her mouth, which shows the strong element of fear, which can be paired with feeling sad. The lighting also portrays a slight horror vibe emphasising the theme of fear, which is evident in the expression of the model’s face. To improve it I would take a side by side extreme close up to highlight the fear.

The feedback I got for my photography was very insightful. One piece of feedback I received linked to historical and cultural context, which was that my work was similar to the work of Duane Michals. In this context the comparison linked the similar vibe of clear emotion and creepy vibes.

Duane Michals and my work:

duane-michals-dr-heisenbergs-magic-mirror-of-uncertainty-1998-2 ikk

In addition to this, my work was compared to some of the work of Flora Borsi, particularly one image of a model contrasting cosmetics, sadness and fear. In this context the comparison compared the direct portrait style and the clear emotion within the eyes of the model, and the eerie vibe the images give off.

Flora Borsi and my work:

8dc588c10f7535eb35cf4610a6d9a55d IMG_6225

Feedback also was that the photography had a clear narrative and representation, meaning the intention was consistent and clear. It was also said that the water, lighting, and cold saturation gave a prominent feeling of drowning and strong mood and setting. Some said that it was melancholy and it conveys the different elements of sadness through poses, and the poses were conventional highlighting the theme. Overall, I’d say my photography was successful and the new idea I had was stronger than the previous which resulted in an improved result.

Photography Technicals

Equipment needed:

  • Photography camera – can be rented from the equipment room
  • Lens – comes attached with the camera
  • SD card – can be rented from equipment room or found around the house

All of these items were rented from the equipment room and a form was filled in to ensure safety and responsibility.

Props/features needed:

  • Models
  • Mirror
  • Bath
  • Bath products
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Memory stick
  • Mac computer


  • Bathroom with a bath

Test/Practise Photography Portfolio

Shutter Speed


For this photograph I took a still of a bee mid flight. To do this, I set the camera to the highest shutter speed it had and turned the exposure down for a silhouette effect. The effect of the high shutter speed was that it meant I could capture the bee mid flight as they fly very fast, so the camera needed to be able to catch up and so high shutter speed was the most effective method. In addition to this a high shutter speed meant that the shape of the bee was sharp and in focus rather than blurry. I turned the exposure down which was effective as the silhouette created a deeper mood.

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 11.46.18

For this photograph I took a photograph of a waterfall using slow shutter speed. I chose this because the effect of slow shutter speed on this image is that the water appears smoother and you can see each ripple and curve which creates a calming vibe.

Aperture/Depth of Field

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 11.13.35

For this photograph I used a large aperture for a shallow depth of field image. I did this so that the flowers at the front were more in focus than the images in the back which makes the image look deeper. I also framed it so that biggest bunch of white flowers in the image fell in line with the rule of thirds.

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 11.15.00

For this image I photographed the sea through silhouetted nature and also the colour of leaves. I set the camera to a small aperture and a deep depth of field so that the whole image would be in sharp focus. This turned out to be effective with the contrasting colours of the sea water and the leaves, and also the added effect of silhouetted nature.


Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 12.32.11

For this image I photographed the moon with a bird flying in front of it. Originally, the exposure level was a little bit darker but I turned it up so that the bird would stand out more against a lighter background. The effect was that the image would be calming to look at rather than the moon being very bright and harsh to the eye. In addition to this it meant that the colours of the moon craters would match the colour of the sky.

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 11.48.29

For this photograph I turned the exposure of the camera down. I did this so that the moon stood out more and became a brighter central feature for the photograph, and in addition to this the effect was the light and darker colours contrasted.


Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 11.14.36

For this abstract image I zoomed in to a leaf to show the details of the veins. This was simple to do as it only required a zoom and getting the camera to focus. The effect of this image is that it is detailed and each vein has an in depth effect.