Types of Photography

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Types of Photography Defined – Photographic work can be divided into dozens of categories, many with a lot of sub-categories. The following list describes some common types of photography.

Aerial – From a plane, helicopter, balloon or other airborne device.
Adventure, Action – Adventure sports, daring feats, etc.
Amateur – Any type of photography practiced by non-professionals.
Animal, Pet – Pets and their relationships with humans. Note that the human content is often as important as the animal.
Architecture, Real Estate – The art of making property appear attractive. Often involves panoramic photography.
Artistic – Photography in which creative composition is the goal.
Astrophotography – Space photography, through a telescope.
Aura – A controversial type of photography which some claim can photograph a person’s aura. Often confused with Kirlian photography.
Black & White – Not simply photography without color, black and white photography explores shapes, tones and textures. Shadows and highlights become much more important.
Camera Phone – “Convenience” photography using a mobile phone’s built-in camera. While not the best quality, camera phones have opened a new world of spontaneous, on-the-spot photo opportunities.
Commercial – Product shots, advertising, etc.
Digiscoping – Photography through a telescope or binoculars.
Documentary – Journalism, Events, Historical, Political, etc.
Event – Concerts, parties, festivals, weddings, etc.
Forensic – Police and legal photography.
Infrared –  Photography in which the recording medium is sensitive to infrared light rather than the normal visible light spectrum.
Large Format – For use on posters, billboards, etc.
Kirlian – A type of contact print photography in which an object touching a photographic plate is connected to a high voltage source, creating an aura-like image. Often confused with aura photography.
Macro – The art of photographing very small and/or close-up objects.
Medical – Specialized photography for clinical purposes, i.e. to help reveal and diagnose illness.
Microscopic – Any technique for photographing objects too small to be visible to humans.
Modeling – Photographing objects to be converted into 3D models.
Nature – Landscapes, animals, plants, sea, etc.
Night – Any technique used to capture images at night. Often includes infrared photography.
Panoramic – Views of wide areas, up to complete 360° panoramas.
Paranormal – Ghosts, unexplained phenomena, etc.
People – Candid, Family, Fashion, Glamour, Passports & Visas, Portrait, Pregnancy, School, Sports, Wedding
Pinhole – Uses the most basic type of camera possible — a box with a tiny hole to let light in.
Scenic – Landscape, Cityscape
Satellite – Views of Earth from orbit.
Scientific – Any specialized photography used for scientific endeavor, e.g. electron microscopy photographs, medical photography, astrophotography, etc.
Sports – The specialized art of shooting people engaged in sports, games and adventure activities.
Stereoscopic (3-D) – Involves taking two photos simultaneously to simulate 3-D vision.
Stock – Photographs taken for distribution to other people, for use in their projects. These photos tend to be quite generic, e.g. people working, landscapes, places, etc.
Time-lapse -Photographs with a very long exposure, used to illustrate something happening over time. A popular example is a street at night with car lights blurred into long lines.
Travel – Photography to showcase locations, illustrate travel literature, etc.
Ultraviolet – Photography in which the recording medium is sensitive to ultraviolet light rather than the normal visible light spectrum.
Urban, Industrial – Emphasizing urban environments.
Water, Underwater – Any type of photography taken under water with a water-tight camera housing.

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