For many of us, snapping a photograph has become second nature. With great cameras now built in to smart phones, making an image has become less about about artistry and more about utility. We take pictures of things we want to remember—this could be anything from a wedding or vacation to what we ate for breakfast. This doesn’t mean, however, that creative photography is going the way of the dinosaur—on the contrary. Technology has expanded its visual possibilities, with different apparatuses and lenses making it possible for us to capture different types of photography in ways we wouldn’t have dreamed before.

From eye-opening documentary images to awe-inspiring fairy tale scenes, one thing is clear: the world of photography is incredibly nuanced. There are countless ways to compose and edit a picture, but often, image-makers concentrate their portfolio on one or two types of photography. That way, they can perfect their techniques and refine their visual language to make their pictures even stronger.

Aerial Photography

Ever since photography was invented in 1839, people have been trying to capture the Earth from above. Aerial photography has a long and rich history, which started in 1858 when photographer Gaspard-Félix Tournachon tethered a camera to a balloon. Since then, it’s only gotten better thanks to the advent of drones. Photographer Andy Yeung tell us, “What I like most about working with drones is that we can see things we normally don’t have access to. Plus, drones add a layer between traditional aerial pictures and ground pictures, making the creative process more interesting.” If you’d like to get started with aerial photography, learn how 10 amazing photographers capture the world from above.

Black and White Photography

Modern black and white pictures keep photography’s oldest tradition alive. Now, shooting with this limited palette is a stylistic choice rather than a necessity, and image makers use it as a way to add timeless drama to their compositions. When shooting a photograph in black and white, it’s most important to remember contrast; the shadows will look more defined, and your extreme tones will appear crisp and clean.

Food Photography

One of the biggest trends in social media—still—is taking pictures of your food. Professional chefs and amateurs alike can make our mouths water with one appetizing image. To ensure that the dish will look delicious, there are a few tips to remember: make sure your food is well lit (try photographing in natural light); pay attention to your props; and shoot quickly—food doesn’t last forever before it melts or collapses!

Macro Photography

Macro photography makes things that are small appear larger than life. It’s got a broad range of applications, but one of our favorites is in photographing tiny bugs and plants. Exotic insects have their amazing colors and characteristics magnified, and as a result, we see all of the details that we would normally miss. You can take your own macro photos as long as you have a special lens.

Natural Landscape Photography

When photography was first invented, some of the earliest images were of the outdoors. So, it’s no surprise that natural landscapes remain a popular type of photography—there’s so much beauty out there! One subject that image makers are continually drawn to are mountains.

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