Style? I am intrigued with the concept. Some photographers have developed a strong personal style. The self help photography forums often suggest that you develop your own individual style. So what is style? One writer suggested that it is the accumulation of all of the little preferences and choices that you make with your photography. What subject to choose, what lens, what lighting, what camera settings. Ultimately it is a choice of what images you choose to show the rest of the world and how you present them. It is a sense of what is correct and desirable in a photograph.
Historically there have been huge transitions in style. Splinter groups form and experiment with new forms. Sometimes this reflects changes in technology, and at other times this reflects changes in values. Photographers become passionate and debate style. Perhaps the biggest debate in photography’s short history was between the pictoralists who saw photography as a new form of artistic expression and the modernists who felt that photography should be “straight” from the camera and rejected the manipulations of the pictoralists. Sound familiar? We still seem to have this debate today. However it is a bit too simplistic to summarize photographic style to this one debate.
There are many other things happening. Photography was explored by artists expressing ideas, like cubism, minimalism, abstraction and so forth. There is even a very contemporary “grunge” style. You may have seen grunge images in advertising posters. Is it worth understanding these movements and exploring these styles? I believe so. As I was trying to grapple with all the concepts I made a number of style sheets, A single page summary of the style with an image.
- Art Deco
- High Key
- Op art
- Pop art
- Pictoralism, Modernism, Post Modernism