On World Photography Day, we need to think about what the practice of photography actually is – an art or a science. Well, photography is as much an art as it is a science. The science behind the lens to take the perfect shot, as well as the aesthetics that have shaped these recordings for ages. Visual thinking as we know it is the normal way of thinking for many – we may forget numbers, but we seldom forget about visuals. Photography in this sense, like any fine art form, increases human perception and enables us to experience emotions that move us and allow us to see the world in a whole new light. Today, on World Photography Day, we are not only celebrating the power of photography, but also recognizing its crucial role in human life. This day is an ode to photographers and their importance in the development of photography into what we know today. The day also marks the global appreciation for photography, which has been democratized over the years and increasingly mainstream for users, brands, and the ecosystem.
As an art form, photography has evolved over the years, and several museums and galleries showcase the brilliance that has been captured by professional photographers. There is always a story behind these exhibitions, or sometimes even a social concern. And that’s the beauty of the medium of photography – its ability to evoke strong human emotions and then initiate a call to action. Unlike paintings, which can be based on fiction, photography requires the presence of real physical models, objects, or images in order to be captured. This expands the human brain’s attention to environmental signals. A photographer is constantly on the lookout for the perfect photo – be it “open” or even planned, which is pretty popular with millennials these days. And there is a lot behind this perfect shot – from the motif to the background to the colors and co.
When I talk about millennials, I come to one important factor that has led to the rapid growth of professional photography – social media. Photo sharing platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr have become an integral part not only of our lives, but also of the entire brand universe. Today more than ever, customers source brands through digital videos and photos. This has resulted in photography being adopted as a profession by many, and if not a profession then at least knowing the camera equipment to produce quality content for its audience.
Whether it’s the hip #InstaReels or the massive boom in vlogging, everything has been made possible by the advent of technology and its development. With the advent of digital photography, which enables photographers to judge the quality of the image immediately after it is captured and make photo editing easier, a perfect image is the end product almost every time.
Professional photography genres such as wildlife, fashion, and weddings have always been recognized, but newer avenues such as food photography, luxury photography, pregnancy photography, and travel photography have grown in popularity a lot in the recent past. Hence, there are numerous niches to explore based on your interest in photography as a profession.
Photography may be a profession for many, but for some it is a passion – a hobby that gives them solace. Like painting or writing, a photographer is an artist and his art is like a breath of fresh air – it brings sanity and peace of mind not only to the photographer but also to the audience.
It is remarkable that photography can tell great stories even by laypeople. From the time of the physical photo albums to the digital photo albums, we cherish these memories and experience the moments documented on paper (or photo sharing platforms) through photos. On the trip down the nostalgic alley, when we miss a loved one or a certain milestone in our life, we have always found solace in photographs. And we will continue to do so in the future – because photography as an art will flourish for what it offers us all.
C Sukumaran is Director of Consumer System Products and Imaging Communication Business at Canon India.
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