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Documentation Photography

May 13th, 2017 - By One Stop Photo Workshops | Documentation Photography



Photography allows us to do bigger things than just the images that we can see. Photography helps humanity without any doubt to document an area’s landscape, people, cultures, customs and history through different photography niches. Styles of photography may require certain specific assets that will vary from lenses to even having the vast amount of time for waiting for the perfect light to fall over a valley.


About Landscape Photography


This is a pretty popular genre in photography, and it requires generous amounts of available time as well as patience beyond gear and technique. Landscape Photography focus on capturing nature and places in the world. Sometimes we can see vast and endless venues, and sometimes just small areas of them. The decision behind scale and proportion is a matter of style and inner voice. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features or disturbances of landscapes, such as cityscapes. Landscape photography is a valuable component for any storytelling work, especially those that center around documenting a specific location of the world even if we are not experts on achieving it.


A little bit about Ethnographic Photography


Australia is a rich land for doing what some people call ethno-photography. It is a mixture of ethnography, which is a mode of study whose intent is to explore, record and, far more importantly, understand a given set of cultural phenomena; and of course, photography. This special type of photography can cover People, Culture and Customs in a unique way.


Ethnographic photography can be done in every country and environment, and it has a special charm when done at our own country. Ethnographic photography is valuable when it centers on those customs that are lost with the passing time of generations and that are the origin of numerous festivities and ceremonies. One of the biggest motivations for practicing this special type of photography is to find situations that are pretty different from the ones that we regularly see in our everyday lives. Traveling to other countries we do not know can be very stimulating as photographers, because it enriches our lives by watching different customs.


It doesn’t matter if you are planning on doing this type of imagery abroad or at your very own hometown, it will always require a certain amount of prior research. It is essential to inform us in advance as much as we can about the place we’re going to document, the population and even the ceremonies or festivities that may occur during our time at a certain place. There could be some barriers, which may be seen as part of a nurturing experience. Such barriers or complexities could be language, cultural prejudices, and of course time. Time must be managed with extreme care because the more time we get to spend at a place, the greater the results we could obtain.


There is a good practice for photographers that love to explore and document the rich environments that the average tourist won’t reach is to hire a freelance tour guide. Freelance tour guides are usually locals, and they know the best places and the best tips to engage with people as well. Also reading traveling guides like Lonely Planet is a great strategy for any photographer.


While documenting places, people and culture, there is a high chance that you’ll encounter with ancestral customs that remain pretty rigid. In these cases having a local tour guide as your companion is key for gaining access to such hermetic demographic circles. Hospitality of some cultures is extremely warm and rich, and respect is always a fundamental component for getting around places without bothering locals with your presence. This may take some time, so try not to start taking pictures right away. Gain people’s confidence and you’ll be able to photograph meaningful scenes with a high level of nature quality.


Nowadays we have an essential tool: Google Earth, which allows us to plan distances without much trouble.


The Importance of Photography in making History


History wouldn’t be able to speak us so loud and clear if it wasn’t for photography. Since its formal invention, photograph has helped History in giving clear statements about things we need to remember and learn from. Past is something that must not be underestimated since it will always offer guidelines for routing our future. Photography and history mix together nice when documenting places because it will help future generations to understand with a clear vision how life was before their existence.


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