Nowadays, it is so easy to buy a professional DSLR camera that literally millions of people have embraced the art of photography. Unfortunately, though, the vast majority of people who buy these expensive cameras, have no idea about how to use them, and what the purpose of these cameras really is. Most people would be fine with an average camera, but it “looks cooler” with a DSLR, so they buy them and end up not using a tenth of the full potential these high-tech cameras actually have. For the most part, it does not matter much, as the average person will only keep their photos to themselves, or show them to a limited amount of people. For artists, though, photography has long been a form of art, a form of expression, a way of capturing the essence of a moment in a very specific way. With the evolution of DSLR cameras, photography has become a huge business, and thousands of photo installations are displayed in various museums around the globe at any given time. The World Press Photo awards are the centre stage for many photographers, while others rely on really standing out from the crowd. Let us have a look at a couple of styles in photography that have evolved during the last century:
Photorealism and Hyperrealism
Both of these are distinctive types of art, that originated in the USA and derived directly from Pop-Art. In Photorealism, artists use a photograph as base, and then try to replicate the motion in a new way, or just simply come as close to the reality depicted as possible. Hyperrealism, on the other hand, takes it one step further and tries to resemble a high-resolution photo. Since there are things which are practically impossible to take photo of (because they do not exist in real life), hyperrealism quickly became popular among certain crowds, especially those with a keen interest in photography as an art form. Hyperreal paintings aim at coming so close to a real photograph that it is practically impossible to tell them apart, but the object in the “frame” is usually non-existent, often surreal or abstract. This looks especially awesome when seen on a big canvas, as the eye cannot fully comprehend the sight. It looks perfectly real, just like a photo, but your mind knows that the object does not exist in real life. Hence, a moment of cognitive dissonance may arise, which is exactly what draws the crowds to exhibitions of Hyperrealism.
Photography as art
As mentioned, professional photographers are now in the hundreds of thousands, across the globe. This is caused by the evolution of the camera itself. Starting with the camera obscura, which was just a dark box using light to capture a non-moving object, photography has come a long way and professional cameras are now available in most electronic supermarkets for a relatively low price. Now, the photographers themselves are divided into different groups. Some, like shown in the World Press Photo awards, are focusing on showing people life on our planet from different aspects. It could be images of war, of love, of harsh conditions or simply travel photos which make you want to visit a new place as soon as possible. Others have used this modern technology to create beautiful works of art that look nothing like the boring photos you see in your Facebook news feed. Jeff Wall is among the most famous photographers out there. He mainly uses light and set-up scenes to depict stories from real life. Photography is definitely an art, but it takes both time and patience to fully grasp the potential of your DSLR camera. Some photographers have also vowed to stick with the older types of cameras, and are still using different types of film to produce beautiful images.