Understanding Modern Photography

By Phineas Upham

Modern photography is all about implying the story, so while photos may be elaborate there is always something to uncover the deeper you look. The change happened over time, driven in large part by surrealism and abstract photography. Modern photography isn’t just something that refers to a time period. These techniques have built on the work of the past.

Contemporary photography is, as strange as it sounds, a study of the mundane. This type of photography strives to evoke emotion from something that would otherwise be considered common place, so the subject you choose to shoot is as important as where you choose to shoot.

Basic Techniques

The first thing you’ll need to do before your journey into contemporary photography is a study of the past. Modern photographers are able to approach their craft with a keen sense of history, which is often a large part of what makes their work so compelling.

Take time to learn how your camera’s shutter speed works. Shutter speed controls how fast the shutter opens and closes, which is typically thought of as a function of the light pyramid. Adjusting ISO, shutter speed and aperture allows for very specific amounts of light to come through the camera’s lens. What’s often forgotten in this equation is how crucial shutter speed is to detail. If you are capturing motion, for instance, a fast shutter will provide a less motion-blurred subject.

Understanding how to capture that detail, without sacrificing your lighting, is an excellent primer for modern photography. The next step is getting out into the world and capturing photos.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Facebook page.

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