Photography is like anything else in our culture; it tends to hold certain trends for periods of time, then changes based on variables around us. Some trends can reappear, such as we’ve seen with the influx of “vintage” post-processing in the last few years.
The style wasn’t imposed directly during the 60’s and 70’s, it was a result of the equipment, processing and photography techniques used at the time. The idea became popular again in the last 5 years, and photographers began attempting to recreate those tones and colors using the more modern methods available to them.
The results of using the various techniques we’ll discuss are, of course, subjective. We have a huge number of photographers using these techniques, each formulating their own methodology. This produces distinct and differing results, which is part of the beauty of our craft.
We’ve listed five techniques that have appeared time and time again, and have proven to be among the most popular in photography today. I’ve attempted to stay away from pure post-processing techniques, and keep the scope of this article instead in the realm of physical photo-taking methods.
After we’ve finished, I’ll challenge you to tell us about your favorite techniques, and maybe even show us some of the work that you’re most proud of!
Long Exposure Photography
Long exposure photography has recently taken a foothold in the halls of 500px and the like, due to the dramatic effects produced with the technique. The advent of more advanced digital cameras have made it much easier to produce these images, since the calculations, guesswork and luck have mostly been eliminated from the process.
There are essentially two basic ways of capturing these shots; with or without a polarizing or neutral density (ND) filter. Either method requires a tripod, as these shots involve too much open shutter time to attempt holding by hand. The object is to increase your exposure time for the shot without overexposing the image.