Photography Research

Last week we got assigned a task to take A LOT of photographs. These photographs had to fall under one of the six different categories that we were told to try and apply and think about when taking photographs. These being; scale, colour, tonality, depth of field, texture and perspective. The categories were not unfamiliar but research improves everything, even if it’s only a quick read up! I had already went out and taken some photographs and learning a bit more about each of these six helped me to organise them into appropriate folders.

Depth of Field

I looked at this first because honestly, I hadn’t a clue. I found that from just looking at one website, all it is basically, is what’s in focus in the photograph. A lot of the explanation went into great detail about different lenses (as it was for photography beginners) but all I needed was a basic understanding. I know that when I want to focus on a certain object in the frame and make it stand out, this is called shallow depth of field and vice versa. So for example if I wanted to focus on the frame as a whole, then a deeper depth of frame would suit better as everything would be in focus.



So with perspective, it seems pretty obvious right? Wrong. I didn’t realise that there was different types of perspective; natural and forced. I found that natural is what I have always perceived perspective to be, which is moving your camera around the subject to create a different natural perspective. Also by the way is the only way to achieve different perspective – not changing the lens on a camera! Forced perspective would be using objects in the foreground and background alongside each other to make the subject appear larger, smaller, further or nearer.


Forced perspective sourced from here


Basically scale is important as it gives the audience a sense of relief and enjoyment when looking at the photograph, instead of trying to work out the size of something while looking at it – unless of course that is the intentional goal to get people thinking. Nevertheless this is simpler to achieve than I thought. Really from what I understood all I have to do is use something in the photo that the size of it can be easily calculated and compared to the main subject in the frame.


Photo by Steve


So I originally knew that tonality was mainly different tones of the same colour. However, it can actually be different colours but also has to be different tones to show contrast. Im interested in this mostly because colour and tonality is a lot harder than I expected but I find it fascinating! I something shows a lot of tonal contrast, then I know to figure this out all I have to do is turn down the saturation and the photograph should still be readable and eye catching. If there are a lot of grey tones and not many very light or very dark then this is not a good illustration of tonality and more than likely will not be very exciting to look at.



So I bought a colour wheel to refer to and it was the best decision. I understand that in colour you’re constantly looking at changing the colour, matching it or trying to contrast it. The colour wheel really helped me to understand the main colours and what contrasts what.


I recognise that whenever I take photographs in colour, I’ll now be looking to have a contrast in colour. Whether that be two colours or a colour and white/black/grey. Obviously opposite colours on the colour wheel compliment each other e.g. red and green.


Photo sourced from here

Nevertheless if I was to contrast a colour off a tone then the neutral tone would compliment the colour making it stand out!



“Texture is everywhere” – David Peterson. Yes I get texture is everywhere but I never would’ve thought out of the box, e.g. typical items like wool and fur. I learnt that to find texture, I must think of what is evident and then begin to think about different objects within these obvious components. Once I find what I think is worthy of a photograph then I must try and get a detailed photograph to enhance the structure of the surface. If I was using a professional camera; I would know to use a Macro lens.


Located from amazing photographer Lucy Shires

*All photographs not sourced are my own


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