By: Julia Bamber

What is Photography?

Photography is the art of capturing and processing various moments in time either chemically or electronically.

Where did Photography originate from?

The word photography comes from the Greek words light φῶς (phōs), and drawing γραφή (graphé). This together means "Drawing with Light". It was Sir John Herschel who made the word 'photography' well known in a lecture before the Royal Society of London, in March 1839.

Where can Photography be used?

Photography can be used anywhere and anytime. It is one of the most simple ways of capturing memories at family gatherings, social events, weddings, as advertisements, and as a creative outlet.

What are some industries/occupations involving Photography?

There is a growing field of jobs involving photography including: a photojournalist, forensic photographer, portrait and wedding photographer, fashion photographer, nature/wildlife/travel photographer, graphic designer, newspaper/magazine photographer, celebrity photographer, and many more.

What are the different types/kinds/genres of photography?

There are a lot of genres of photography, such as: photojournalism, documentary photography, action photography, macrophotography, micro-photography, glamour photography, aerial photography, underwater photography, art photography, portraiture, advertising photography, travel photography and many more!

What are the skills needed for jobs involving photography?

A degree in photography is not required, although having one would put you ahead of the game when looking for a job. Skills should include being patient, having a sense of composition, a sense of colour, an appreciation of technology, the ability to do trial and error, the ability to look beyond the obvious, to be creative and a thourough knowledge and understanding of working a professional camera.


This artistic photo features flower petals and fruit frozen in ice cubes. Although this is a very simple concept it is very interesting to look at. The colours are very bright but at the same time they work well together. This photo has a slightly high camera angle and it has a focal point lower down in the picture and the outer edges are not focused very much.





Camera Angles

The Bird's-Eye view

This shows a scene from directly overhead, a very unnatural and strange angle. Familiar objects viewed from this angle might seem totally unrecognisable at first (umbrellas in a crowd, dancers' legs). This shot does, however, put the audience in a godlike position, looking down on the action. People can be made to look insignificant, ant-like, part of a wider scheme of things.

High Angle

Not so extreme as a bird's eye view. The camera is elevated above the action using a crane to give a general overview. High angles make the object photographed seem smaller, and less significant (or scary). The object or character often gets swallowed up by their setting - they become part of a wider picture.

Eye Level

A fairly neutral shot; the camera is positioned as though it is a human actually observing a scene, so that eg actors' heads are on a level with the focus. The camera will be placed approximately five to six feet from the ground.

Low Angle

These increase height and give a sense of speeded motion. Low angles help give a sense of confusion to a viewer, of powerlessness within the action of a scene. The background of a low angle shot will tend to be just sky or ceiling, the lack of detail about the setting adding to the disorientation of the viewer. The added height of the object may make it inspire fear and insecurity in the viewer, who is psychologically dominated by the figure on the screen.

Oblique/Canted Angle

Sometimes the camera is tilted (i.e is not placed horizontal to floor level), to suggest imbalance, transition and instability (very popular in horror movies). This technique is used to suggest POINT-OF-View shots. A hand held camera is often used for this. Also referred to as a Dutch angle.

Camera Shot Lengths

EWS (Extreme Wide Shot)
The view is so far from the subject that he isn't even visible. Often used as an establishing shot.

VWS (Very Wide Shot)
The subject is visible (barely), but the emphasis is still on placing him in his environment.

WS (Wide Shot)
The subject takes up the full frame, or at least as much as comfortably possible.
AKA: long shot, full shot.

MS (Mid Shot)
Shows some part of the subject in more detail while still giving an impression of the whole subject.

MCU (Medium Close Up)
Half way between a MS and a CU.

CU (Close Up)
A certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame.

ECU (Extreme Close Up)
The ECU gets right in and shows extreme detail.

Shows some (other) part of the subject in detail.

CA (Cutaway)
A shot of something other than the subject.

A shot of two people, framed similarly to a mid shot.

(OSS) Over-the-Shoulder Shot
Looking from behind a person at the subject.

Noddy Shot
Usually refers to a shot of the interviewer listening and reacting to the subject.

Point-of-View Shot (POV)
Shows a view from the subject's perspective.

Weather Shot
The subject is the weather. Can be used for other purposes, e.g. background for graphics.