Digital Technology Has Expanded The Field Of Portrait Photography

By Jennifer Classin

Modern day advances in digital photography has allowed for anyone of any experience level be able to take photographs - it is as simple as point and shoot. Thanks to modern technology, the photographic process has become over simplified to the extent that practically anyone can capture professional quality images by purchasing a modern digital camera and a professional grade lens.

Portrait photography is the process by which a person's facial expressions are captured. A typical photo portrait captures a person's facial expression. A candid shot does not create a portrait because, in a portrait shot, the person being photographed is well aware that their image is being captured, thus resulting in a posed photograph - there is always an intentional pose when portraits are being taken.

Although portrait photography has been around for a very long time it was not always available to everyone. It was once only available to the rich and those that could afford having their portrait taken. Additionally, portraits were once performed by oil painters and sculptors. When you look back at historical figures, you will see that their portraits are actually paintings, and those paintings took a great many hours for a skilled painter to complete.

During the early days of photography, many types of film processing were competing for top billing. Two of those methods were the Camera Lucida and the Calotype. The Camera Lucida method was excellent at capturing silhouettes and paintings of miniatures. The Calotype method, which was invented by William Henry Talbot, started being used in the US during the mid-1800s.

When photography was first introduced, it didn't take long for it to be considered the fastest process for producing a high quality portrait of an individual. Daguerreotype was one of the earliest methods of photo development and was invented by Louis Daguerre in France during the 1800's.

When photography started to become a widespread form of art, oil painters and sculptors were immediately threatened by the technology. They felt that their skills would be passed over for the quicker, simpler method of capturing a person's image through photo development. Of course, that wasn't the case. Although it is still expensive and less prevalent than photography portraits, painting portraits is an honored art form that has survived to this day.

Portrait photography has transformed into much more than capturing a single person's portrait. Today's photographer captures portraits of not only the individual, but of families at weddings, birthday parties, and any event where family and friends gather. This transformation from single person portraits to group pictures is partly due to advances in technology. Modern cameras with high speed lenses make it a snap to capture a group portrait in even the lowest of light settings.

The field of photography continues to evolve right alongside today's technology. Modern digital cameras are far more advanced than cameras that were produced just a few years ago. If you've ever considered becoming a professional photographer, now is the time to do so. For a modest investment of a few thousand dollars, you can acquire exceptionally advanced photographic equipment that will allow you to capture professional grade photographs.

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