No “graphic photographs” do not have anything to do with adult themed images. Graphical photography is an image style that utilizes shape, geometry and color to resemble something that might be drawn or designed. Photographs that are considered graphic in nature have distinct curves & lines, color contrast and highlight geometry with in a particular scene. It may sound more complex than it really is, as I’m sure you’ve seen photos everywhere that fit this description.
Finding and taking photographs with a strong graphic element takes an observant eye. Man-made objects such as machinery, architecture, roads, etc. are inherently great graphic photography subjects because they’re designed with geometry in mind by engineers, architects and civic planners. Nature subjects also have a strong geometric shape rooted in the molecular geometry of organic compounds like cellulose and inorganic compounds with crystalline structures like quartz. Whether your subject is made by man or nature if you add light, shadow and color plus follow the 5 tips below you have all the ingredients needed for a great graphic photos.
Here are 5 tips to capture great graphic photographs:
1. Look for curves and lines that provide contrast to shape and color.
Dusk at White Sands National Monument – featured in the new iPad app ePhotobook White Sands HD
Tech Info: Canon 1Ds Mark III, 70-200mm f/2.8 at 115mm, 15 seconds, f/22, Gitzo tripod
3. Look for light contrast to highlight actual and phantom shapes. Sometimes objects outside of the scene make their presence known by their shadow or inverse shadow.
Tech Info: Canon 1D Mark II, 20-35mm f/2.8, hand held
4. Experiment with your framing
By turning your camera or perspective sideways and even upside down to extract the shapes & colors from an otherwise recognizable scene to place additional emphasis on the graphical components of the image.
Pattern Abstract I – Death Valley National Park
Tech Info: Canon 1Ds Mark III, 300mm f/2.8 + 1.4x at 420mm, f/32, Gitzo tripod