Four types of photo

I’ve taken lots of photos of lots of things and I’m always looking for some sort of emotional response when I see a photo or when I show someone a photo I’ve taken. I have realised that pretty much all photos fall into one of four types, categorised by the content and the emotional response they produce.

Scenic
Scenic shots aim to be contemplative and artistic in the traditional, figurative sense. Photos that fit this category are landscapes and waterfalls, as well as close ups of flowers.

Action
Action shots aim to astonish and amaze. Sports and moving wildlife shots are the main examples but gritty photojournalism that brings the harsh reality of the wider world into your living room also fit here.

Abstract
For me this is the most obscure category and is reminiscent of more modern art. Abstracts are not photos taken for the overall sake of a subject, rather some aspect of the subject that has artistic impact. A shot of a metal staircase with flaking paint becomes a study in lines and texture; a shot of a set of snooker balls becomes a study in colour.

Memories
This is arguably the most common type of shot that most people use a camera for; capturing our lives and the lives of our loved ones, the people we meet and the places we’ve been to. Memory photos have the strongest hold over our emotions and for me are the most important type of shot. The main aim of my photography has always been to document the lives of the people closest to me, so that their lives are recorded for posterity. I have always wanted to be able to walk into my friends’ houses and see my photos on the wall and quite a lot of the time I can do just that.

Much as I like taking photos of people I always find it hard to find people who want their photos taken, although I do keep trying! However, I also want this blog to inspire me to try harder at all the types of photo I’ve mentioned as they all have something to offer both creatively and photographically.

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About photovalve

I am a keen amateur photographer and this is my space on the web to talk about my explorations through the world of photography, both film and digital.
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3 Responses to Four types of photo

  1. Laura says:

    I am enjoying the blog lots! Keep up the thoughts!! I would say that conceptual photography and photojournalistic would be two more types though? I know abstract and conceptual may have some cross over though and generally these types of photography seem to get hyped to be more than they are. I like the fact you talk about the simplicity of texture and lines. Photojournalistic is more than just memories though – it is capturing a message, a voice that may otherwise be lost…. what do you think? xx

    • photovalve says:

      I put conceptual in with abstract and photojournalistic in with action because for me they suit well. I think the point for me is to try and simplify photography as much as possible because it makes me want to try and do it. I think if I had too many categories, say 12, I’d feel so overwhelmed I’d never try. Glad you are reading it though 🙂

  2. I like taking the abstract ones the most. For some reason my eyes are attracted to shapes, lines and patterns in the everyday thing. I see a real beauty in some things that others would just pass by. Keep up the good work Malcolm!

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