How Art History Can Improve Your Photography
September 6, 2012
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I like Lighstalking because they often have articles that are not just equipment or the obvious how to type tutorials. This piece By Tiffany Mueller is a perfect example of that and one which I wholeheartedly agree with. There is no doubt that we can all learn from the masters of photography but why stop there, image making has been with us since almost the birth of mankind, think of the cave painting is Lascaux. So this article lays out the importance of art in general to photographers. I am always surprised when someone tells me they are interested in photography or more, that it is their hobby, but show no evidence of this other than owning a camera. What about exhibitions, master photographers or monographs or books about photography?
During some part of your training as a photographer, whether self taught or classically trained, you’ve probably been told to study images taken by photographers whose work you admire. You can learn a lot about your personal style this way, zeroing in on what it is exactly that makes you favor it. Discovery, after all, begins with observation. Keeping that in mind, let’s take our artistic observations one step further and we can see how the old masters of painting have influenced not the just the eyes of master photographers, but also the entire artistic medium that is photography.
There is no doubt about it, painting has had a significant impact on the way that photographers use light. The first thing that comes to mind is Rembrandt lighting. The style was named in honor of the painter and is still widely used in portrait photography for the simple fact that, when done correctly, it looks really good.
Vermeer – The Milkmaid [Public domain], by Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675)