written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 3/30/2011
Here is a look at the way modern photography verges from traditional photography.
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More Than Traditional Photography
Modern photography has jetted far from the technical and aesthetic traditions of photography's past, mainly because of the digital photography equipment and the use of computers for photo editing. These have the ability to quickly produce photos in a large volume, bring creativity into the post-photography process, and sharing has changed almost entirely. This does not mean that modern photography is not based on a more traditional photography in terms of the principles, but it does mean that many of the approaches and techniques used come from a digital format rather than one of costly film. Here is a look at a few of the techniques that are standard for modern photography.
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The major thing that has changed with digital photography is the ability to take photos with little material or financial cost. Digital photography simply captures images as digital files that are then streamed directly into a computer for editing and output. This is a lot different than purchasing expensive film, having it developed, then having it put out as a digital file for editing. This costs both money and time, and there are often a fairly fixed number of possible photos that you can do on a roll. With DSLR modern photography you are not as limited to these constraints, which means that you do not have to spend as much time composing each individual photo. This does not mean that your photos are entirely careless, but instead that you can actually try things out over and over again until you get to the exact image you want. Shoot over and over again at different exposures, lighting patterns, compositions, and lighting setups until you get the results you want. This is a completely different workflow, and is a completely different way to develop an image than what traditional photography has. It also tends to mean that more photos are looked at from a particular shoot than in traditional photography, which will have a lot fewer images.
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One of the primary ways that modern photography veers away is through the use of photo editing software, which is different than the other types of post workflows. The reason is that it allows for an incredible amount of creative control without any expensive materials other than a home computer. Something like Adobe Photoshop is going to create an intense ability to control the image, which has made altered photography a principle of modern photography. You will find that many of the trends used in modern photography are actually popular color patterns, touch-up methods, contrast assessments, and other toys used in the software and not in the capture of the photography. Modern photography is not just the capture of the image anymore, but an entire image construction going from the camera through to the software.
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The distribution is the main way that modern photography built on digital photography is separated from the patterns of traditional photography. Social networking and web communities have become the main focus of photos, allowing them to be seen without the commitment of seeing a physical print of the photos themselves. This also represents the multitude and numbers of digital photos taken since the ability to host and view them in large numbers has become standard. Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, and other social networking sites are now the main location for modern photography and since it is that distribution imperative that is leading people to take photos in a certain way, it will likely have an even more influential relationship on modern photography.